Testing my back

1st good boar since my accident, Stocked.

1st good boar since my accident, Stocked.

Finally got a decent boar to give my back a good work out. I was hunting with my three dogs, only Fog was running without a muzzle. It was Fog that found and bailed this boar three hundred meters away down in the gully. Both Lightning and Snow where quick to head to the bail and join in until I arrived. Most of the way down to the action was open mature pines which was easy going but as usual the boar was in the thick native right in the gully.

About to gave the back a workout

About to gave the back a workout

As I came in on him he tried to make a break for it. I had my camera in one hand trying to film when I saw him making a run for it so I quickly lifted my rifle with one hand and took a shot at him. He managed to run another ten meters through the scrub where Snow carried on bailing. By the time I approached him he had just kicked his last. I think shooting clays with a shotgun must be helping my shooting as it was a quick shot on the run and I knew all of the dogs were clear. The shot had hit him on the left of his spine and gone up through into his stomach killing him almost instantly. He had run that last ten meters on adrenaline. Once I had him gutted I had to drag him out of the prick of a spot that he was in and the first thing through my mind was he does not fell to heavy.

I needed a few breaks on the way back up the hill

I needed a few breaks on the way back up the hill

I have always found this to be a good ploy to tell myself a pig is not that big as it makes it easier to carry out. If you tell yourself that the pig is heavy and it is going to be a hard carry out this just makes it harder. The first place that I got the boar on my back was in the creek. I had gutted him and tied his legs up on a two foot bank which was going to make it easier to get him up on my back and see how it was going to cope. This was going to be my first real test on my back since my accident four months ago. I still have trouble believing that breaking nineteen bones in my body including my neck and back and here I was about to carry a 139 pound boar up out of this gully.

It was nice to be able to take the boar off my back for the last time. now the easy carry.

It was nice to be able to take the boar off my back for the last time. now the easy carry.

With the boar on my back I did not notice any of my broken bones the only problem that I did have was a lack of fitness. Some of my carries on the steeper ground I only made forty meters before needing a rest. The last eighty meter carry I wanted to stop and put the boar down but I could see the bike so I kept on forcing myself to make it. I had a great feeling of elation as I lowered the boar down onto the carrier on the bike. Not at one point did I consider ringing up one of my sons to come out and give me a hand. Next morning when I woke up I thought that I might have a few aches and pains but I’m all good.

Ashley comp

A good crowd at the Ashley comp awaiting their prizes

A good crowd at the Ashley comp awaiting their prizes

This is another very well supported competition run by the Ashley pub in north Canterbury. There were a lot of animals weighed in on the day with 69 pigs and 19 deer, this kept our lifters very busy. Stu owns and runs the pub and at this comp he had volunteered to be one of our lifters.

everywhere that you look there was pigs and deer

everywhere that you look there was pigs and deer

By the end of the weigh in Stu had lost a lot of sweat but had done a very good job of keeping the animals moving to keep things flowing. One thing that stands this competition apart from the many others is they give away a lot of food as there are always meat sandwiches and sausages in bread handed out for free to the many people that were present. This is also one of the few comps that has a section for sow’s and hinds.
Results
20160605_150404Heaviest boar
1st Quaid Campbell     168.5 pounds
2nd Gerard Smith         165.4 pounds
3rd Simon Moir            164.7 pounds
4th James Fowler         160.7 pounds
Heaviest sow
1st George Adams         100.1 pounds
2nd Dan Stewart             93.7 pounds
3rd Jenny McMurdo       88 pounds
Average weight boar George Adams     110 pounds
Below Average Jo Hewson     108.7 pounds
above average   Steve Tapp
Average weight sow Bart Van Den Bos  77.8 pounds
Below average Moose Joyce 77.8 pounds
above average  Jenny McMurdo 88 pounds
Overall average Jenny McMurdo 104.4
Heaviest stag
1st Brad Caswell 269.4 pounds
2nd Brad Watson 257.1 pounds
3rd Duncan Mackintosh 249.2 pounds
Heaviest hind
1st Tim Diedrich   214.1 pounds
2nd Richard Tapp 148.6 pounds

My new horse

Natalie and myself with the new horse

Natalie and myself with the new horse

Don’t tell my wife but I think I may have falling in love again. It all happened out of the blue, I saw an ad on Facebook for a horse. I have for a long time wanted to have a horse to go out hunting on so when I saw Kim Swan had a horse for sale I jumped at the opportunity. My son Sloan his partner Natalie and I made the big trip to Blenheim to collect this horse off Kim.

The horse looking at the two pigs hanging in the yards.

The horse looking at the two pigs hanging in the yards.

The six hour trip meant that we only arrived late in the day. Just with enough daylight left for Kim to take us out for a ride on my new horse. When I first left school I worked on a dairy farm where my job was to ride the horse out to collect the cows for milking. This was almost thirty five years ago so in the time since I have only been on a horse once or twice. Kim has been a big fan of mine over the years as she has written nine hunting books about pig hunting and has giving more to the sport of pig hunting than most.

Through the gate and making her break for freedom

Through the gate and making her break for freedom

When I got to see Kim with the horse I was right in my element as I love to watch people who are good at what they do. Kim had this horse for about six months as it had come in as a dog tucker horse but Kim could see that the horse had far more to offer. The only thing missing with this horse is a name.

Thinking about how to approach the sheep

Thinking about how to approach the sheep

Kim did not know anything about her back ground so if anyone reading this has an idea for a name please let me know. My wife Janice thinks that I should call the horse waterfall after my wee mishap.
I put the horse through a couple of tests today to see how it was going to react to different situations. As yet I do not have a saddle or rains so if anyone has a saddle that they no longer want I am after one. So I lead the horse out of my holding paddock with just a lead down past my cattle yards that had two dead pigs hanging up.

its not just about the horse I also had to get Jeff to think how he acts around the horse

its not just about the horse I also had to get Jeff to think how he acts around the horse

It was interesting to watch her reaction as she worked out that they were dead wild pigs, she was cautious as she walked past. When I got down to the white gates I thought she was being so nice that I let the lead go as I shut the gate. Up until this point the horse had been so nice and came to me when I talked to her but all of a sudden she started walking away from me down the drive. This is where people can make a mistake of panicking and running after the horse which can make the horse run faster, instead I just walked at the same pace as the horse and caught up to her just before the road gate two hundred meters away.

The mind is in overdrive, how to act around pigs

The mind is in overdrive, how to act around pigs

In this area there is endless amount of food for a horse so I gave her plenty of time to have something to eat as we walked back up the track. When we got back up beside the cattle yards I lead her to a bit of a bank and jumped onto her back with no saddle. She performed supper well and waked up the track nicely. Our first we hurdle was the gate back into the paddock that she had come from. She was obviously expecting to go back to this gate but I wanted her to carry on up the track. Our next obstacle was a mob of sheep as she was not too sure what to do.

About to spend her first night in the driveway. can't wait to see how she is in the morning.

About to spend her first night in the driveway. can’t wait to see how she is in the morning.

Another distraction that I discovered at this time was she did not like my dog Jeff following right behind her as it made her feel uncomfortable. I sent Jeff up through the sheep to make a clear passage for us to the gate. I got off her back to open the gate then I got back onto her to carry on riding up the track. At this point we had pigs on the other side of the fence to us and I could notice it in the horse. As we approached the area that I feed the pigs in the horse was getting a wee bit agitated so I got off her and let her loose as this part of the track is where I want her to spend the night so that she gets used to all of the different smells. can’t wait to see how she is thinking tomorrow.

Kelly and Michael Collins

Jeff, Tan and Pip trying to stop the black boar

Jeff, Tan and Pip trying to stop the black boar

Finally back into the dog training and just loving my job. To think that through my work I get to meet such nice people like Kelly and Michael. They travelled down from Nelson for a 24 hour session with two of their bitches, Pip who is already going on pigs at four years old and their younger dog Tan who they have not seen enough of her on pigs yet so were hoping to get to see how she went. When they arrived it was fair pouring down, by the next morning we had 47 mils of rain. While sitting out the worst of the weather, having a cuppa and a catch up we finally decided to get into the pig block and get wet. I had Fog for our first run and he went up and put up the black boar.

Black boar looking no worse for wear after giving the dogs a run around for the past three hours

Black boar looking no worse for wear after giving the dogs a run around for the past three hours

Once Pip and Tan arrived they stuck to that pig like glue. After a while Fog came back to me so I took him away and came back with Lightning. The whole time Pip and Tan bailed away well. The black boar does not like to sit still for long so the dogs had to work out how to keep him stationary. The dogs had about three hours on him before we called them out as they had earnt a good feed and a rest for the night. After I had feed my dogs I went to feed the pigs and there was black boar looking no worse for wear and waiting for a feed.

Tan trying to have a nip at Diggers back end to get him worked up.

Tan trying to have a nip at Diggers back end to get him worked up.

Next morning we were only going to take Pip and Tan for a session but once they bailed up Digger my dog Jeff turned up as he had obviously escaped from his kennel again. Jeff did not have a collar or muzzle on but at eight years old he knows what I expect of him so he was no trouble. While the dogs were bailing Digger we got to see how Tan liked to go around the side of him to try and nip as she wanted the boar to break and run as this is a lot more fun for a dog. Digger is a very relaxed boar at the bail but it was interesting watching him as he just stood there until a dog looked away for a split second then he would charge getting the dog worked up again.  Pip really impressed me she is a bob tailed Smithfield and a very nice bitch on pigs. After we had Digger bailed for about an hour he moved off down into the trees. When he was about thirty meters below us he seemed to move off a bit faster down through the creek and up the other side so we followed on. Linda first spotted Digger hiding in the pine trees so he had been cunning enough to take the dogs to another boar and get the dogs to follow that. As it turned out it was again the black boar and he gave the dogs another good run around. We followed him around for another hour before heading back to the house for a cuppa and something to eat.

Tan, Pip and Jeff bailing Digger

Tan, Pip and Jeff bailing Digger

While we were in the house I could see on the GPS that the dogs and boar were 300 meters away bailing quite happily on the other side of the gully. Just as we had finished our drinks I looked at the GPS and could see the action heading back across the gully towards us so we walked out just at the right time as the boar and dogs came down on the other side of the fence from us. We only had to call them off as they came past from another three hour session. Even at the end of this big workout I think that both of these bitches would have been keen to keep going. They are both very fit healthy dogs that were not wasting their energy.
Loving life? I have available dates for dog training on my bookings page so this is the time for anyone who has been wanting to give their dog some extra work, contact me now.

Greta Valley competition

A good line up of animals

A good line up of animals

Something pretty big happened in Greta Valley on the 22nd of May 2016 and it simply could not have taken place without the exceptional generosity of the local businesses. Hunters from as far afield as Otorohanga in the North Island and Wanaka in the South converged on the local watering hole at Greta Valley to compete for the coveted top spots in the inaugural Great Greta Valley Hunts first competition.

A young competitor in the pig carrying comp

A young competitor in the pig carrying comp

We had registrations from 147 adults, 12 juniors and 49 little critters and despite rough weather over the weekend we were pleased to see a great turn out on weigh-in day. The traffic layout had been well thought of as the hunter’s wagons arrived they were giving tags for their animals so that they could have their names on them ready by the time they moved forward to get them scrutineered and weighed.

using a slide as part of the pig carrying competition was a good idea

using a slide as part of the pig carrying competition was a good idea

We had scales on the ground so we did not have to lift the animals up high and we even had a small digger as a backup for any overly heavy animals. The hanging racks were home made with posts driven into the ground and railway irons on top. There was no way these racks were going to fall over. We had plenty of helpers on the day which help to keep things flowing. By the time 3pm came around we had 110 animals weighed in including an impressive, prize-winning stag that was dragged out of the bush for 6 hours!!

Matt Simmons and Sophie Wood with their 377 pound prize winning stag

Matt Simmons and Sophie Wood with their 377 pound prize winning stag

20160522_170925_002One unlucky hunter Grant Findlay had a dog killed by a boar that he weighed in on the day. It’s always sad to hear but we do have a sport that does have an element of risk. The pig carrying competition on the day was well liked by the spectators and they had a novel idea of using a small slide where competitors had to first go under the slide with the boar on their backs then up the steps and slide down. One of their other obstacles was a picnic table which worked well. Over 70 top notch prizes were handed out to happy hunters at prize-giving, not to mention the well- stocked goody bags for our critters, and we just could not have achieved the quality or quantity of prizes without the help of our sponsors. The feedback from The Great Greta Valley Hunt has been overwhelmingly positive from participants and the community as a whole and we see a bright future for this event. We would be very humbled by your continued partnership in 2017. Not just a great event, The Great Greta Valley Hunt has also generated crucial funds for Scargill-Motunau Playgroup which is an essential source of support to rural families with young children. This funding will enable much-needed repairs on our ageing building to begin in earnest. THANK YOU!!

HEAVIEST ADULT STAG  WEIGHT (lbs)
1st Sophie Wood 377
2nd James Calder 275
3rd James Poultney 272
Average Nick Eaton 227 (average = 226.5)
Best Antlers Sophie Wood

HEAVIEST ADULT BOAR WEIGHT (lbs)
1st James Sunbeam 188.5
2nd Tim McKnight 186
3rd Jock Moriarty 170

Average Shane Roberts 119.5
Best Tusks Ryan Nesbit 21 6/8

HEAVIEST ADULT FISH WEIGHT (kg)
1st Phill Jones 2.8
2nd Ian Gardner 2.1
3rd James Maxwell 1.9

Average Ian Gardner 2.1 (average = 2.13)
BEST DRESSED HARE: Logan Gardner
JUNIOR BOAR WEIGHT (lbs)
1st Ben Jensen 153
2nd Blair Wilkins 146.5
3rd Allie Miller 104

JUNIOR GOAT WEIGHT (lbs)
1st Ben Jensen 98
2nd James Beaton 95.4
3rd Blair Wilkins 94.2

CRITTERS HARE
1st Maddison Dobbs 4.240kg
2nd Aiden Dobbs 4.056kg
3rd Jessica Calder 3.896kg
CRITTERS RABBIT
1st Logan Tuki 2.184kg
2nd Tyler Tuki 2.094kg
3rd Hunter Lovell 2.054kg
CRITTERS FISH
1st Logan Gardner 2.0kg
2nd Flynn Travis .094kg
3rd Caleb Musson .056kg

 

Back to work and dog training

A recent photo of dog training with Shaun Kerr's dogs Snake and Chip. Hi Bill just some feedback after a couple weekend hunts, snake and chip caught 3 boars, a 70, 90 and a 130 absolutely stoked with the progress from one days training, Thanks

A recent photo of dog training with Shaun Kerr’s dogs Snake and Chip. Hi Bill just some feedback after a couple weekend hunts, snake and chip caught 3 boars, a 70, 90 and a 130 absolutely stoked with the progress from one days training,
Thanks

Almost three months have gone by since I slipped off the water fall, I am very pleased with how my body has recovered. My one last visit to Burwood hospital for x-rays and a clearance is on the 13th of May. After this I hope to be back too almost normal life. I only have a few days left working for Fonterra this season so even if I had not been on ACC I would still get my contracted hours worked because I had done a few call backs back in the summer during the peak.

Two training dogs dressed to the max

Two training dogs dressed to the max

I’m actually looking forward to getting back out to work and catching up with the other drivers and getting behind the wheel of a truck again. I have been working for Fonterra for sixteen years so far and I think it is a great place to work, I am treated with respect and I have been trained to do my job properly.

Father and son Snow and Fog

Father and son Snow and Fog

Because I am going back to Fonterra I will also be starting up the pig dog training business again. Over the past few weeks I have had a couple of dogs through so I know that I can get around the block OK. Check out my bookings page for my available dates. Now I believe is the best time of the year to give any dog some extra training as the weather is starting to cool down the pigs become easier to catch.

more training in the pig block

more training in the pig block

The dog training does not have to stop at just getting a dog to bail a pig, for some dogs they require a bit of stock training as well so they know the difference between animals. I create many different scenarios for the dog to learn from and by making this fun a dog wants to join in. Bookings will be limited so if you want to give your dogs some extra training don’t wait contact me now.