Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Sunday Morning Chase - not for the faint hearted!

The Sunday morning drive started well and around 5am.  We piled into a friends Ute and locked the dogs into the cage on the back until we got out of town. Dorothy knew the minute I put the harness on her what she was in for and she could hardly contain her excitement.  My mates brought their two dogs too which are experienced hunting dogs so we hoped some of it would rub off onto our gollute.

We crossed the bridge which is temperamental on the best of days during the wet season but considering I had packed a chook and a bag of fruit, we weighed up the risk and it was worth it.  About an hour out of town we slowed down and let the dogs out to ride on the back of the tray.  It wasn't long before Rarney was keen and just infront of the car we saw a lone boar, completely unaware we'd pulled up behind it.  We all jumped out of the car and the chase was on!  One of the blokes went left of the fence, the other went right and I went under and over into the mud in the sheer excitement.  Dorothy learned her first lesson about barbed wire and, needless to say, was a bit nervous about running at full pelt behind this boar.  Judging from the warn in pig track along the creek, this boar was well ahead of us and he knew every hiding hole.  I picked myself up off the ground at least 3 times chasing Dorothy without a collar and hoping she'd stick with the other bloke who were far quicker than I was in the pursuit.  Close to spewing with exhaustion, I stopped running and splashed my face in the creek trying to catch my breath.  I spotted the other bloke about 100m from me and made my way to him before I got too lost.  We heard a gunshot and then the car horn and thankfully made our way back to the car. They'd double backed chasing the pig and were waiting for us.  The boar was nowhere to be seen.

Boar 1, Hunters 0.

The dogs were keen as after their first run and it wasn't long before one of the boys spotted a mob on the side of a dam.  We pulled up down-wind of them and snuck up from behind.  I was carrying my hubby's knife and it's too big for me so running with it is like running with a light-saber so I strapped it to my leg and over my pants.  The dogs could smell them but they were near the base of the hill, the dam water cutting off their only escape.  One of the boys cocked his rifle and before the pigs knew we were there we were on top of them.  Trap sprung.  He shot two instantly and Dorothy took one with Gypsy on the other side.  One of the boys called out to me and I stuck it quickly.  "More pigs, More pigs!" we hollered out to the dogs who responded by chasing down the mob over the other side.  One of the dogs double backed as the mob turned on it only to see the other two lugging dogs in pursuit as well and the three of them together took them all down like a well-oiled muscle machine. We were all on an adrenaline rush by now and the dogs washed off in the dam and cooled themselves off.

Pigs 1, Hunters 3.

Twenty minutes down the road we saw a dark shadow and recognised it's shape before it lunged into the long grass on the side of the road.  There were puddles and holes everywhere and before the car had pulled up to a complete stop, the dogs jumped off and the boys took off after them.  "Mob! Mob! Mob!" I heard one of them yell out.  This boar, instead of running away had led them all back into another mob.  The dogs were barking and bailed up a big sow and as I ran my fastest through the grass another sow ran in front of my legs and I went ass over in the mud again.  It took off in the opposite direction and I made my way over to check out Dot and the boys.  One of the boys had stuck a sow and I yelled out "More pigs! More pigs! Gettem Dotty"  Rarney and Dot took off on the scent trail and caught up with it about 250m away.  By now I was convinced I was going to break my leg, get bitten by a snake or vomit from sheer exhaustion but once they're on, they're on and you have to be fast.  I caught up with the dogs and my other friend and got my second pig for the day.

Pigs 1. Hunters 5.

The sun was starting to bake up now and all the dogs needed water and to cool off.  We started to make our way back to town and the two of us rode on the tray on the lookout for one more to make our half/dozen.  The wet season grass was high and visibility is much harder so the more eyes the better.  Almost back to town, Rarney got keen again and we stopped to let them have a smell.  Dorothy and Gypsy were all chasing Rarney and were ready to go again.  They took off into the bush with the two of us in pursuit when Dorothy went right and Rarney went left.... Oh shite! without a tracking collar and with only a few successful hunts under her collar it could have gone badly.  I followed my friend and hoped we'd catch up with Dot soon when I saw her galloping at fall speed after a big sow.  Both her and Rarney took it from either side and they bailed it up in a mud wallow.  Gypsy came in as final straw and one more Cape hog bit the dust.

Pigs 1, Hunters 6.

We were home by lunch and overall it was an awesome way to spend a Sunday morning!

For Valentines Day this year I got conjunctivitis and a new hunting knife. My hubby got a new hunting collar for our Dorothy and a new chest plate as the last one got a bit damaged when our galloping dope learned the hard way how to get through a barb wired fence at full speed in chase of a boar....

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