We collared up the dogs and headed out the back for a quick walk along a track surrounded by bush. This time we had 3 older dogs and a couple of young pups that were starting to figure out what hunting’s all about. Two of the older dogs named Sol and Cougar were working well with that steady chilled breeze coming from the South East. I’ll tell ya now it was bloody cold out and we were rugged up in warm gear. The moon was in its first quarter (half bright) so again we had no need for our torches on the track and could move around silently under the cover of darkness.
A successful evening hunt
The dogs were spending a fair bit of time winding into a certain gully; there must’ve been a faint pig scent floating on the breeze. Leith and I noticed their behaviour change in the dim light so we sat down to give them time to figure it out. They moved down into the gully several times before giving up completely and headed off further down the track we were walking. It was enough to tell us they had lost interest but there must have been something there, they just couldn’t quite pick it up.
Since my old dog Nig has healed from his eye injury I’ve noticed he tends to stick in close to me at night; it must be a lot harder for him with only one good eye in the dark. It doesn’t worry me too much that he isn’t out there looking because he is handy to have in close in case a pig runs past. In the daylight he is still catching me pigs but struggles to find the courage to go and have a good look around through the bush in the dark.
It was nearing 11:30pm when we heard a ‘ttw waaaaannnggg’ as something shot through an old overgrown fence from our left heading to our right. Nig took off towards the noise but was well behind the action. It turned out the dogs had found a nice boar in a bush gully to our left and as they closed the gap on him he decided to break out across the track we were walking, smashing through the old fence in the process. On our right the boar had a downhill run of around 400m and I guess he knew it was his best chance at getting away. All the dogs were hot on him apart from the old fella who wasn’t far off. All we could do now was wait quietly and hope they could get a bite on him before he gained too much distance between them.
The beauty about night hunting is, sound travels easily and it was very clear when the dogs got close enough. We heard a roar as Sol grabbed a back leg and Cougar was straight on the ear. Then I was sur- prised to hear one of the young dogs open up bailing almost instantly. It was 5 month old Colt; he wasn’t keen to miss out on any action. Nig was there within a few moments and the boar was now well held. He let out those deep grumbling growls as he swung the dogs around. They had him stopped halfway to the bottom and we were well on our way and trying not to stumble as we ran down towards the battle.
I ran in and grabbed the back legs lifting them off the ground as Leith put his knife in to finish him off. We sat on him as he finished kicking to make sure he didn’t cause any damage with his sharp tusks, but when we stood up and took a moment to calm down, the dogs decided they hadn’t finished and dragged him further down the hill before we could calm them down! Apart from this we were wrapped with the efforts of the pack and it was a good carry back to the truck that took a couple of hours.
After a quick drive back to the Bush House and we all had a good night!