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The compleat pighunter

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 09:12
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Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight
Lord Of The Flies

Joined: March/14/2007
Location: South Africa
Status: Offline
Points: 5962

The compleat pighunter –

By Wouter Le Roux.(8shots)

(As printed in Magnum April 2007 Edition)

The coastal belt of the Eastern Cape, including the area north-east of East London, is bushbuck and duiker country. It is also home to the elusive nocturnal bushpig. They are however seldom seen, and even more seldom shot, because they are not that easily driven out of the deep, thickly wooded klooves. They also have a reputation of being dangerous, with razor sharp teeth and a disposition to match so few dare to enter the bush and go after them. But to me the idea of shooting a pig slowly became an obsession…..

Then, for some unknown reason, the hunting gods blessed me, for the new farm foreman we had just appointed happened to be an experienced pig hunter. He and his mates only hunt bushpigs using dedicated dogs. We bushbuck hunters listened in awe as we were told that these dogs would not even look at the farmer’s sheep. We audibly sucked in our breath as we heard how these dogs would run right past a bushbuck ram without a sideways glance and how they would stick to a pig like hot tar sticks to a wool blanket.

I, in a not too subtle way, made my desire to shoot a pig known to our experienced pig hunter foreman. It was not long and I was invited along on my first dedicated pig hunt. A nearby farmer had informed the experienced pig hunters of pig problems in his mealy field and this was where we were heading for.

It was early in the morning when we gathered at the crime scene. There were two groups, the experienced pig hunters and the inexperienced pig hunters. We inexperienced pig hunters stood a little away from the experienced pig hunters, slightly in awe. They were all dressed in patched one piece overalls, with no hats on. Battered .303 rifles without slings were casually held by the shiny barrels over their shoulders. They looked lean and mean. Each one had three or four dogs on a tether of old rope or a piece of bailing twine. These battle scarred dogs looked even leaner and meaner.

We inexperienced pig hunters again were dressed as we normally did for a hunt. We wore long pants, long sleeve shirts and a jacket as protection against the morning cold. We proudly displayed our lucky hunting caps on our heads and well looked after rifles were slung over our shoulders. We did not look lean or mean.


One of the experienced pig hunters came across and told us inexperienced hunters how the day was going to go. He pointed to the deep kloof below us, saying that the pigs are probably nesting down there. We nodded, for even inexperienced pig hunters know that bushpigs nest in the klooves, where the bush is so thick and tangled that no human can get near the sounder. We inexperienced pig hunters must find strategic places around the rim of the kloof and cover possible escape routes. Much like bushbuck hunting, I thought. The experienced pig hunters will in turn find fresh spoor from last nights activities and “tie the dogs loose”. They will then follow the dogs into the kloof.

As soon as we inexperienced pig hunters were in place, the experienced pig hunters started moving. It was not long and the dogs started up, they had the spoor! As each one was let go, they raced yodeling off into the kloof, closely followed by their masters. The lower they went, the thicker the bush became and I soon lost sight of man and dog. All I could now hear was the howling of the dogs. And then the dogs’ voices changed a pitch or two! They were hot on the spoor. And from what I could make out they were working in my direction. Yes, definitely. The howling became louder and louder. I released the safety catch on my firearm; butt in the shoulder, ready. Just like bushbuck hunting I thought. And then, with probably only one bush between me and the pig, it turned down, back into the kloof. The dogs’ voices became softer as they headed back into the thicket. And then one almighty din started up. They had the pig bayed. I could hear the howls and barking, and the occasional yelp as the pig got his own back. A shot rang out and all went quite.

Just as I was wondering what was going on down there, the dogs started up again, and the procedure started all over again. This process of chasing, baying and shooting off the dogs was repeated four times.

Finally all remained quite, and slowly the panting dogs started to emerge from the bush, followed by their owners. We gathered at the vehicles where four pigs lay side by side. In awe we looked at the experienced pig hunters. They were glistening with sweat, hair disheveled and they were covered in bits and pieces of bush. And then we looked at the dogs. They were clearly tired, panting and licking their wounds. The pigs had taken their toll. Three or four dogs had particularly bad gashes. Surely they would need a vet? And then, to our utter astonishment, the experienced pig hunters opened up the hinge plates on the butt of their rifles, where the cleaning kit usually goes, and started hauling out surgical sewing kits. One by one the wounds were cleaned and sewn up, right there in the veldt!

This pattern repeated itself on four more hunts, before the season ended. Save to say that on one or two occasions a pig did actually break cover and was shot by some lucky inexperienced pig hunter. But not by me….

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/01/2007 at 12:45
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Optics Master
Optics Master

Joined: November/04/2005
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I ain't going to the singles bar with you after your stories

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: April/03/2007 at 14:34
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Optics Jedi Knight
Optics Jedi Knight

Joined: January/02/2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Status: Offline
Points: 5481
Keep those stories coming, haven't had this much fun since we used to rabbit hunt with ferrets!
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