by Jes Murphy
It all started on a rugged, wet Saturday morning. I got to sleep in until 9 am while Mac shifted the mobs of cattle! We were then off to meet Ian and two of his mates for a pig hunt.
We got out of the car and were soaked before we even got to the bush! I had my full wet-weather gear on while the boys all had just shorts and a raincoat on. I thought they were silly for wearing so little clothing. Five minutes up the track the muggy heat got to me, and it was then I realised I was the silly one for wearing so much clothing! One of Ian’s mates, Shane, was hung-over––or should I say––still drunk, so it didn’t seem like I was lagging so far behind like normal. It was a long hike uphill for the first 20 minutes, the slippery clay had the boys slipping and sliding everywhere. The best part about being at the back is, you get to watch everyone fall over!
We almost got to the top of the ridge and man, did I feel dizzy and faint. I was lagging behind a bit, but still trying to keep up. I finally caught up to them, just as Cash and the pup opened up way down in the gully. He hadn’t pulled it up yet so we stood and listened for the deep, constant barks. Everyone looked excited, but me not so much as this was the boar that got away from us the weekend prior. He slipped out behind the log without the dogs realising. I wasn’t sure if we were going to get him this time either. A few deep, aggressive barks came echoing up the steep gully towards us. He was stopped down beside the creek with 2 dogs bailing.
As soon as the other dogs arrived they all started bailing as well, which was a good sign that it was a decent pig, so everyone took off up the ridge to find an easy way down. I didn’t even try and keep up with them all, so I told them to go on without me. The bail got louder and louder as I got closer. The dogs grabbed it and there was a huge rumble in the creek before everything just went silent. I was all alone and shitting myself. No dog, no gun and no knife. My jacket rubbed against the supplejack and I jumped to the nearest tree. I stood there not too sure what to do. I didn’t know where the pig was, so I just stood there and waited.
About 200m down the creek the dogs opened up again. I continued to follow the boys’ boot marks sidling around the creek … the gully shook from the loud explosion of a .44. Again, I stood there waiting to hear either a “yahoo” or a boar barrelling towards me with dogs swinging off it. I had lost the boot marks at the creek, so I had no clue where to go! Then I heard them talking up around the corner ever so faintly, well at least I thought I did. I walked in the direction I thought I had heard them, and surely enough, there they were, four stoked faces, four exhausted dogs and one dead 115lb boar! Sadly, I missed the action this time, but they got it all on footage for me to watch. After a long lug up the hill for the boys and a few chunders from Shane, we were back at the truck in no time.