Upgrading the dog kennels

Dog kennels with the electric fence around to keep the sheep out

Dog kennels with the electric fence around to keep the sheep out

The hill that I had put the dog kennels on has been slowly wearing away making it hard jump for the dogs to get into their kennels so I wanted to make a concrete path along the front of them to make things easier for me and the dogs. This was not going to be a straight forward easy job as I first have to get the sheep away from around the kennels. To do this I took the motorbike up to the top of the hill with the sheep following.

Mixing the cement

Mixing the cement

Once I had them all at the top of the hill I had to go fast down the hill and get an electric fence around the kennels before any sheep turned up. Once the fence was up then I carted the concrete mixer up along with a trailer load of gravel and four bags of cement. I concreted under the dog kennels to tidy them up a bit and put the path along the front.

Concrete work complete

Concrete work complete

dog kennels with a great view

dog kennels with a great view

The path took a lot of concrete as it just seem to disappear. It took two extra trailer loads of gavel that had to be shoveled on to the trailer and shoveled back off again into the concrete mixer. This concrete mixer is better than any gym membership as it works most muscles and I have something to show for all of my hard work afterwards. I have had to put both Lightning and Fog into the dog box on the truck for the night as I don’t want any dog foot prints right across the concrete. I did however end up with a couple of marks made by the chickens. At the side of the kennels I am going to make the chicken house so that they are away from the house a bit to keep them out of the gardens as they are starting to make a bit of a mess.

Before the concreting

Before the concreting

Concrete floor in shed

When the shed first went up

When the shed first went up

I had set myself a couple of jobs that I wanted to get finished before I went back to Fonterra for the coming season. One of those jobs was to concrete the floor in my three bay shed. I was going to do all of the work by hand. I started small by boxing off ¼ of a bay to concrete first to see how it went. The concrete mixer I was using was electric so it was reasonable quit.

Mixing concrete is a good way to keep fit

Mixing concrete is a good way to keep fit

The brew that I made up each load was twelve gravel and two cement with water. My first attempt did not go to bad and the second time I finished the other ¼ bay. Next time I tried for ½ a bay and had jacked up for my son Sloan to come up for the day and help me to mix cement. It made things a lot easier having someone else to help out.

The first 1/2 a bay finished

The first 1/2 a bay finished

For the next ½ a bay I had Troy Gabedy in giving me a hand, this bay had one alteration and that was two cans embedded in the concrete with a steel rod through them. The idea is to be able to tie up the legs of an animal to this while the animal is pulled up to the ceiling which will skin the animal without me having to work too hard. It took about four hours to finish this ½ a bay.

The shed all finished

The shed all finished

Giving us time to go into the training block with one of Troy’s dogs. For the next ½ bay I had Sloan back along with one of my neighbours Craig, we were starting to get the hang of laying the cement so we could enjoy a beer as we worked. This was a most enjoyable day. The last bay was done ½ at a time on my own with the last ½ being completed in about three hours. I have also put up shelving in the shed so it is good to finally have everything organised so that I know where everything is. I have also added a stainless steel sink bench that will come in handy when cutting up an animal.

The Multi Kai North Otago Boar and Stag muster

A big line up of animals at the Oamaru comp

A big line up of animals at the Oamaru comp

I had high expectations for this competition right from the beginning, for first prize was a walk in chiller valued at about $10000 if this does not get every pig hunter within travelling distance coming to the comp nothing will. To win the chiller you did not even have to be at the weigh in. The four main organizes Craig Gibb, Sian Waters and Steve Clark and Sally Ann Donnelly had worked very hard to get good prizes and also letting everyone know about the comp beforehand.
IMG_4262The venue that they had arranged was in the old historical part of Oamaru on the waterfront called the Loan and Merc. Our Ridgeline judging team arrived by 11.30am to give ourselves plenty of time to set up before the weigh in started at 1pm. This comp had 400 adult entries and 70 junior entries.

An impressive line up of animals

An impressive line up of animals

We had two Ridgeling Gazebos set up early so we decided to weigh the couple of boars that had arrived before what I expected to be the mad rush. Each of us judges had our own jobs and knew what to do to keep things flowing. As the first truck pulled up Andy Moriarty and myself (Bill Westwood) were ready to give the hunters a tag to put their name on and put the tag on the front leg of the animal While Andy and I would scrutineer the animal.

The main prize a walk in chiller

The main prize a walk in chiller with the speights bar on a trailer on the right

This involves making sure that all of the animals have nuts in all offal removed including arse, throat and pisal. For the next two hours things went hectic, the only times I looked up I could see six hunting wagons lined up and around the corner. I don’t know how long the cue was around the corner but they kept coming. One ute that came in had five nice looking boars facing out the back and made a good photo.

5 good boars arriving at the comp

5 good boars arriving at the comp belonging to Kelly Lee and Carl Watters

Once we had scrutineered them they went onto a four wheeler that was being ridden by Sloan Westwood some loads had four large animals on the bike at once trying to keep up. Sloan had to ride the bike about forty meters with each load this was to keep the hunters wagons out of the way and keep traffic congestion down. Sloan had to deliver the animals to the next stage to get weighed by Phil Simonson and Bryce Westwood while being weighed Sian Waters was working flat out recording all of these weights on her computer this is one of the most important jobs at a competition as you don’t want to get this wrong.

The dog box that was donated by Jason Weir

The dog box that was donated by Jason Weir

Once the animals had been weighed Richard Hand and Tony Hogg had the job of hanging/lining the animals up making their job very physical. Craig Gibb was kept busy helping out where he could as him and Sian were also running this comp. We managed to acquire four extra helpers on the day as well, Wade Waller, Lance Clark, Craig Cox and Steve Davidson.

Allan Young receiving the brazier form Summer Weir

Allan Young receiving the brazier form Summer Weir

The last truck pulled in just before 3pm and I was so relieved to finally have a break. I was hoping that we may have got over 100 boars but not quite maybe next year. We did end up with 92 boars 22 Fallow bucks and 21 red stags. This means that our team scrutineered weighed and recorded 135 animals in 120 minutes so less than one minute per animal, that’s busy. Even though the weigh in had finished we still had work to do, Sian had to work out all of the placings and prizes with her team. The rest of the team had to work out who had the best tusks and there were three similar boars so all three had to be measured. While this was going on I had a chance to grab my camera and get some photos. There was a great line up of animals well laid out for all to look at of course there was the chiller that everyone had come to try and win and there was even a Speights bar on a trailer. Inside the Loan and Merc was packed with pig hunters the bar was being run by Fat Sally’s and had a roaring trade going. Also inside was a Bushbuck stand run by Toby Nicol’s with some nice new hunting clothing and gear as well as a stand run by Summer and Jason Weir. Summer has some great products from amazing pictures to stylish children’s clothing. At this comp Summer had donated a brazier made out of a forty-four gallon drum which is cut out in a picture of dogs bailing boars. Allan Young won this brazier in a lucky draw. One day I will buy one of these braziers but I would put a light in it so I don’t burn it out. Jason is also very talented in making top of the line dog boxes for his business Roaring Oaks Engineering. At this comp Jason was donating a dog box that would fit straight onto a flat deck truck. The winner of this box Nicolas Bennett was actually looking for a box at the time for his flat deck so the prize was well received. Things worked out well for Jason not only giving away a dog box to someone who really wanted one but he also won one of the main spot prizes himself of a 4 basket Multi Kai cooker. While the comp was going on one of these Multi Kai cookers had cooked beef, lamb and corned venison, you could get a sandwich and the meat was soo tender. Another lucky winner was Hamish Taylor winning a 2 Basket Multi Kai cooker.
The luckiest one of all was Micayla Brenssell winning the walk in Chiller.
Results
Heaviest boar
1st Andy Oaks 172 pounds
2nd Nathan Huddleston 160 pounds
3rd Warren Dixon 153 pounds
4th Clayton Peters 151 pounds
5th Zac Gilmore 148 pounds
6th Jamie McLellan 145 pounds
7th Stuart Eason 144 pounds
8th Wayne Brenssell 141 pounds
9th Tony Biemond 140 pounds
10 Mike Kapua 138 pounds
Average weight
1st Aaron Tait 113 pounds
2nd Marty Parsons 112 pounds
Best tusks
Corey Henderson 21 2/8
Ladies heaviest boar
1st Rachelle Schofield 138 pounds
2nd Kay Kemp 133 pounds
3rd Georgia Oaks 124 pounds
Heaviest Red stag
1st Stuart Moore 278 pounds
2nd Jamie McLellan 270 pounds
3rd Morgan Peters 256 pounds
4th Brad Thomas 246 pounds
5th Stuart Eason 229 pounds
Heaviest Fallow buck
1st Kevin Mcloud 147 pounds
Heaviest combined weight
Jamie McLellan 416 pounds
Boar 145.2 pounds
Stag 270.8 pounds
Kids heaviest boar
1st Zac Schofield 122 pounds
2nd Lucas Bell/Dylan Bell 99 pounds
3rd Sam Chilton 87 pounds
Kids heaviest mixed bag
1st Ella McNoe 22 pounds
2nd Nixon Turner 21.98 pounds
3rd Bailey Borst 21.67 pounds

Snow’s first fright from a pig


Something that most hunters don’t get to see is when their young dog gets its first tune up from a big boar. This can have a big effect on a young dog and can make a lot of young dog’s boar shy in one quick lesson. Once a young dog becomes boar shy it can take some time for the young dog to mature enough to be able to cope with an aggressive situation. An easy way to put a young dog off is to give them an electric shock and then take them away from the pigs this way they remember the bad things. In a similar situation if I were to give a young dog a shock then I would want to get that young dog back onto a pig so that when the dog is called off he remembers a good thing. Now with young Snow the other day I took him and his father Fog down to bail Mr Pig and everything was going fine until Mr Pig charged Snow and got him under the chest and flipped up into the air and Snow landed on the ground on his back and was a bit winded as he came back to me to try and hide from the big nasty boar. I had a quick look over Snow but there was no damage done so I got my camera back out and kept Fog bailing so that Snow would get his confidence back and go back in and bail. Snow was very cautious to start with but I had plenty of time and he eventually went back in and bailed. If I had taken him away from this situation when he got a fright it would have taken a lot longer to get him going next time so I was pleased that I was in a situation where I could allow Snow to gain his confidence again.

Snows bailing practice

Fog and Snow bailing Digger

Fog and Snow bailing Digger

Snow is now six months old and has shown signs of wanting to get more involved with the bailing also his voice has changed to a deeper tone like a teenager when they go through puberty. Remembering back to the first time that I had Snow bailing he got bored very quickly so now I have stepped the length of time up that he is on a pig for each session. In the last week Snow has had three runs in the main block that have lasted for over an hour each time.

When he first gets into the block he just loves chasing and bailing the boar with which ever other dog is in with him. For the first twenty minutes he is sticking with the boar and not coming back but then he starts to get bored and returns to me. At this point I am trying to teach Snow to go to the boar by saying where’s the pig Snow. Now how I say this is very important because I am trying to teach Snow something I don’t want to sound angry or excited I want to sound calm when I say where’s the pig Snow the other thing that I don’t want to do is repeat myself so I only repeat myself if I think that Snow has not heard me. When Snow does not respond straight away by going to the bail I just ignore him and within the next minute or so he goes back and joins the other dogs. Each time that I repeat this he is remembering the last thing that I said to him and over time he will associate my command with going to catch a pig. Know if I was to keep on repeating the command where’s the pig, then Snow would start to get annoyed with me that would cause a negative effect to the stage that he would not listen to me as well. I have watched a lot of people that try to get their dogs worked up by sounding worked up themselves and saying get him kiskis. The last thing I would want to do is become worked up myself when I am around the pigs this way my dog also stays relaxed. A dog that is worked up is a lot harder to control than a relaxed dog.

Sow and young piglets

This young sow was born in the training block in October last year so she is now ten months old and already having her first litter. I knew that she was pregnant and she had not come up for food for the past 8 – 10 days which indicated that she had her litter so it was just a matter of time before she would bring the wee piglets in for some extra food. She had managed to get out of the training block and was living up in the block above. I had watched her a number of times from the opposite face. One day I was only up the hill with one of my main dogs Fog so I walked over with my camera to see if I could get some footage of her with the piglets. We managed to get within a couple of meters of them with Fog standing beside me. As she walked around the scrub and saw me and Fog they did not panic because we were calm then they walked off. I was rapped to see that Fog was comfortable to stand beside me and not even attempt to chase the pigs.