I just had to get the dogs and myself out for a hunt….

I was going to head for a block of native away out the back of the forestry for a look. My reason for heading for this block was that one of my work mates from Fonterra had said to me a couple of days earlier that he was going to be heading out with his mates from the local 4wd club to see if they could get over one of the old 4wd tracks. They were going to take shovels with them to try and fix the track up enough to get through. It has been a couple of years since I had been over the far side of this track as the water had washed ruts in the track up to eight feet deep.

As I approached the bottom of the hill and the start of the native the two dogs that I had Lightning and Fog became keen on a pig scent and tracked away. I followed up the 4wd track on the four wheeler as the dogs went from the bottom of the gully to almost the top, one km away. I stopped the bike on a tricky part of the track and listened out for the dogs as they were working the face opposite me. Lightning grabbed a small pig so I was quick to give him a buzz on the electric collar so he let the pig go fast and it got to survive. Over the next couple of minutes both dogs returned to me so I started moving some rocks around so that I could get the bike across this washed out bit on the track.

Once I got over this bit it was only a short ride to the top of the hill where I left the bike and walked the last bit so that no animals would hear the bike on the other side of the hill. One thing that I forgot to grab was the 357 that I had on the bike. As I was watching the two dogs work their way down the face I turned and looked out beside me and there was a good sized boar about eighty meters away sneaking out from where the dogs were earlier. As I whistled the two dogs back to me the boar took off making the most of any advantage that he was going to have. By the time I got the dogs onto his scent he would have had a ninety second head start. At 1.12 km away the dogs had stopped the boar so I decided that I would see how well the 4wd club had cleared this track down below me. I only got two hundred meters down before I chickened out and left the bike where it was in the middle of the track as I did not think anybody else would be using this track today. As it turned out I would have been better off walking from the top of the hill and straight around the side to where the dogs were instead now I had to go down through the gully up the other side and follow the same game trail that the dogs had taken. By the time that I caught up with the dogs and boar they had moved around into the next gully. This gully looked more suited to thar than pigs and the thought did cross my mind to just whistle the dogs into heel and leave the boar as I was not about to try and carry him out from where he was. In the end I thought that I had might as well go down and get some photos of the dogs bailing him before I called them off. As I closed in on them I came in behind Lightning who was barking and facing down hill with Fog down below hiding in the scrub but barking up hill so I knew that the Boar had to be just below Lightning. I did film from behind Lightning but could not see the boar in the footage so I got right up beside Lightning and looked over top of the scrub and could make out the outline of the boar, when next thing I knew he charged Lightning and was standing practically on my feet. All he had to do was throw his head my way and I could have been ripped. Without hesitation I pulled the hammer back on the 357 and pulled the trigger with the gun right up against the pig’s neck in behind the ear. He dropped like a stone not even kicking as the shot would have broken his neck. I had already made up my mind that I was not going to carry this 140 – 150 pound boar out as I was on my own.

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