Mother Nature at its finest

This was once a nice smooth driveway

On the 21st and 22nd of July we had some very heavy rain, in 36 hours 177 mils fell out of the sky. For that whole time it was so heavy that I knew it would cause some damage. When it finally stopped I took the bike for a ride to scope out just how much havoc the rain had caused. Lower down the hill where the creeks have a lot of water flowing down them was where the most damage was going to be.

Removing some of the old culvert pipes

In our QE2 covenanted block there is a culvert that had been blocked up with the gravel and plant matter that had been washed down the gully. This caused the force of water to wash down our driveway and first fill up the dip in the track with gravel that was meant to divert the water over the edge and back down into the creek. Once this dip was full the water carried on down our drive and just blew it out with its force.

I hope this pipe copes better with the next flood

In places the hole in the ground was three meters deep. This meant that I could not drive in or out until the track was fixed. I was stuck in and my wife Janice was stuck out for six days before I could get a digger up to start fixing things. I was lucky enough to get Gary Oliver from Winchester to come up with his 12 ton digger to start this big job. Gary was quick to get the track open so that we could drive in and out then next we needed to work on the culvert that blew out.

Gary doing a great job with his digger

Rather than just clear these culvert pipes I wanted to get a bigger pipe that won’t block up again in a hurry. In the ten years that we have owned this block of land this is the second time that it has blocked up. The first time there was one culvert pipe about 400mm wide that had blocked up so I had put an extra five 300mm culvert pipes above this hopping that it would not blow out again.

Driveway all fixed up

Obviously I had to take all of these pipes out and put in one large pipe. It is only when you need a culvert pipe that you find out just how dear they are. The cheapest large pipe I could get was 800mm wide and 6 meters long and it cost just over $1000. At least now it should not block up.

The creek running out of our driveway gate at the road

The 400mm concrete pipe that we took out we put into the pig block as the culvert that was there had also blocked up. Once the culverts were fixed Gary got to work on getting the track back to an even better state than it was before. Down at our gateway needed a lot of work to make it better and more open.

The road gateway all fixed up

I am rapt with the end job as Gary in four days has got our track looking heaps better. At the end of the job I towed a pallet up and down the track behind my motorbike leaving a nice smooth finish.
Thanks Gary for a great job.

Blocked up culvert in the pig block

Pig block culvert replaced

Rotherham comp July 2017

The weather turned on a nice day for this comp with the animals coming in all the way through the weigh in saving the mad rush at the end. This maybe the last competition for Keith Benwick the publican as the place is on the market as he looks at retiring after running the Rotherham pub for the past 18 years. As with any competition there are always one or two people who do most on the organising for each comp and this was no different with Wayne and Miranda Paget doing the majority of the work.

Pic of Wayne’s boar

Most competitions recently have had a lot of deer weighed in but this comp had a lack of deer with only 3 weighed. One hunter Curtis Morgan turned up with a tragic story of how the boar that he weighed in went over a bluff with two of his dogs and all three were dead at the bottom. Another one of the dangers we hunters and our dogs face on some hunt.

There were a number of boars with good jaws on them but one really stood out above the rest. It was brought in with a towel wrapped around it so as not to damage them as they will rightfully be taking pride and place with Wayne Paget.

Sloan Westwood, Straty and Matt Simmons measuring the tusks on the winning boar

This had to be one of the bigger tusks that we have measured coming in at 23 5/8. This is one of the few comps that has a memorial trophy donated by the Mason family in memory of their father who was a keen hunter. Phillip Mason was on hand to present this to Kent Martin for weighing in the biggest boar.

Results weighed in 22 boars, 13 sows, 3 deer
Heaviest boar
1st Kent Martin    159 pounds
2nd Wayne Paget  147 pounds
3rd Ethan Keerewer 146 pounds
4th Noel Wormsley  139 pounds
5th Russel Walker   137 pounds
Heaviest sow
1st Dan Pemberton  114 pounds
2nd Josh Williams 110 pounds
Average weight pig Sain Waters 110 pounds
Best tusks Wayne Paget 23 5/8
Heaviest deer
1st Corey Henderson    215 pounds
2nd Dan Pemberton      198 pounds
3rd Mat Bailey               187 pounds

Good night sleep, Yeah right


Outdoor bath

With my wife Janice having a 4am start in the mornings I had planned an early bath. Not your ordinary bath but our outdoor bath that I had to light a fire under to heat the water. So just after 5pm the bath was ready to go and we had a good soak until 7pm. At one point while we were in the bath I heard the dogs barking in their kennels and instantly knew that there must be a pig annoying them. I quick yell out and they shut up. All was good as we had an early night until I was woken about 10pm with an elbow in the ribs and informed that my dogs were barking again, so out with the torch and there on the other side of the gate was a large white boar.

I quickly recognized him as a boar out of Mr Pig’s block. This boar was getting some size about him and I had been thinking about putting him into the training block but as yet don’t have a gate between them. This is the first time that he had made it around to the dog kennels as he would have had to go through two electric fences. So I got dressed and went out to give him a hurry up back to his own area. Jeff always sleeps in the shed now so is always off, so with him and I let the two young dogs, Shade and Sassy out for a run.

They were quick to get onto him and give him a hurry up. They ran down the hill and around along beside the drive through under a taranaki gate into the holding paddock before the dogs came back to me. I was hoping that the boar had gone back through the two electric fences back to his own area.  10.30pm and I was getting back into bed. Midnight and I got that sharp pain in the ribs again to once again tell me to shut those dogs up. This time I was not in such a good mood with this boar so I let out Fog, Shade and also Jeff, it did not take Fog too long to put up a good bail in the crap face between the drive and the creek.

182 pounds with stomach in

I was hopping with a bit more pressure on him he would break all of the way back to his own block. After watching this bail for ten minutes it became apparent that he was not going to let these dogs move him any further as he was doing his best to give a dog a tattoo so I had enough of him. I walked back up to the house and grabbed my riffle and knife then went and let the other two dogs, Snow and Sassy out to go and join in. This bugger was not about to give me another night of no sleep. With the five dogs on him he had a lot of pressure so broke into the creek where he made his last stand. While I was in with them at one point he charged right past me almost knocking me over. To get the shot in was not straight forward as I had to put the torch in my mouth, hold the Camera/phone in my left hand and the riffle in the right hand. Before I could shot I had to call the dogs out of the line of fire then BOOM. Down he went with the dogs diving in to make sure he was not about to get back up. It was good to see that Shade stayed with the boar as he buggered off a couple of days earlier when we were shooting clays as the gun shot must have giving him a fright.

155 pounds gutted

I had to drag the boar about 40 meters through some real crap then out into the holding paddock another 60 meter drag to where I could get the motorbike to. Back at the house I put all of the dogs away apart from Jeff and went and collect the boar. I brought him out with the guts in to see what the difference was in weight before and after gutting. With the guts in he went 182 pounds and once gutted he went 155 pounds. Finally got back to bed at 2am with no more dogs barking.

Phillip from Europe

Phillip with the sow

Phillip had hunted a number of different animals in the past but as yet had not been out for a pig hunt so he wanted to tick this off his bucket list. I planned to just ride the motorbike around until the dogs got keen on whatever was out there. We had three dogs with us Fog the main dog Sassy an 18 month old bitch who is starting to shape up and my young pup Shade.

Phillip put in a good effort carrying this sow out.

At one point Sassy had tracked off up above us through the Douglas firs, when she was a couple of hundred meters away she started tracking back down at the same time that Fog and Shade were tracking up towards her so I had a feeling that they could ambush a pig between them. Right on key as they came together the bail went up. Phillip and I got within twenty meters when the pig broke down hill across the track that we had the bike parked on and bailed again. Each time we got in close this pig kept breaking but Fog would not give up and made sure that it did not get to far each time. In the end I got ahead of Phillip and shot this pig which turned out to be a 118 pound sow. She was dragged down into the gully and gutted ready to be picked up later.

Phillip with the young boar

Back at the bike we carried on around our planed route with some amazing views from the tops. As we started heading down the other side I noticed Fog taking off at full pace so quickly turned the bike around to head down a side track. While heading around the track I was watching the GPS and it looked like both Fog and Sassy had stopped something around the corner on the track. So following along on the bike I stopped just below by now the three dogs bailing a nice young boar in the open pines. I did manage to film the bail for 9 seconds before he tried to break but only made twenty meters at which point as soon as I saw an opening I took a shot at him with the SKS. He instantly charged downhill at us as if he had not been hit and it was Fog that grabbed him just before he came over the bank at us. I was quick to put the rifle down and jump on him so that Phillip could come in and stick this 88 pound boar. As it turned out my shot was a killer going right through the middle of him blowing his lungs too pieces. It just goes to show how tough these animals are. No carrying for this pig it was just put onto the front of the motorbike and carry on.

Back at home with both pigs ready to be skinned and boned

We rode a few more km back around to where we had caught the first pig and then had to walk 300 meters up into the gully to collect this one. Phillip was keen to have a carry and made it all the way out without needing a break. Back at home we weighed both pigs then I skinned and boned them out so that Phillip could take all of the meat away with him.

Hut renovations

I had been planing on putting up windows around the lean-to on the hut for quite some time now so I finally got around to this job. I had to cut the grape vine back and lead it around inside the lean-to so it should do well this year and also the possums won’t be able to eat it. Just got to put a door on so it works like a conservatory inside. Also I have pulled the exterior cladding off the front of the hut and added batts into the walls to help the hut to hold the heat inside longer.

Shade’s 2nd wild boar

Out for a quick early morning hunt. Fog was the standout on this hunt tracking off 200 meters above me before breaking out to the left for about 800 meters then straight down to the bottom of the gully beside the 4wd track that I had the motorbike parked on. Fog did not let out one bark untill he had this young boar well stopped. Me and the other dogs were about 500 meters away before we could hear Fog bailing away. All three dogs Snow, Sassy and Shade went all of the way to the bail. When I arrived I let the dogs carry on bailing to see how they were working on a wild boar. Sassy is an 18 month old brown and white bitch that I have not written much about so far. she was saved by my son Bryce as the current owner was going to shoot her because he believed her to be no good on the pigs. Her only problem was that she was not let out of her kennel and giving the chance to prove herself. When Bryce got her it was with the intention of getting her started on the pigs and then passing her on. He asked if I would put her onto some pigs for him.  Normally I don’t like having a bitch in my team as they can be a pain in the arse when they come on heat.  I quickly took a liking to Sassy and have been quite happy to keep her on. She has been no trouble and loves bailing pigs.  With 4 dogs on this young boar is almost too many dogs and I can see the time in the very near future when i am going to have to split the dogs up as they will start to put too much pressure on the pigs causing them to go in and hold which is what I don’t want. Shade had bailed well but still has a fear of the water which he is slowly overcoming. I let the dogs bail for about twenty minutes before taking this boar right beside the track where I could ride the motorbike to.

Shade, Fog and Sassy bailing from the bank while Snow is in the water