Sassy’s pups

Jeff and Sassy at the time of mating

For the people that read the Hooked on Boars Magazine they would know that I was breading a future litter of potential hunting dogs. The father of the litter is our handy dog Jeff. Jeff is now ten years old so I wanted to bring on a new pup as a replacement for him before he gets to old. Jeff is the sort of dog that I can get to do almost any job from bailing boars to working sheep or cows to catching killing and retrieving small game such as rabbits, Hares and possums. I don’t use Jeff for going out hunting pigs very often unless I have another dog injured and he is needed. The main reason that he does not get as much hunting as the other dogs is I already have four other dogs catching pigs.

Sassy looking fat a couple of days before dropping her litter

The mother of these pups is Sassy, she has only been with me for less than a year but reminds me of a lot of the traits that Jeff has so I had been waiting for her to come into season so that I could cross these two. Sassy hunts well and loves going out looking. When I got her she had not done much apart from being stuck in a kennel. The previous owner was going to put her down because he did not think she was going to make it as a pig dog. It is a bit sad in a way that there are a lot of dogs out there that just don’t get the opportunities to excel. All Sassy needed was a bit of encouragement and some opportunities and I can see that she will make a good finder bailer. On top of this I am going to train her up like Jeff so that I can work sheep and cows with her.

Sassy, Shade and Jeff with a young wild boar that was caught and released

On the 1st of November Sassy had come into season so I had to keep all of the other dogs away from her and just let Sassy and Jeff get on with the job of making puppies. At first it took Jeff a while to work out that he was allowed to mate with her as he is usually told off for showing to much interest in the girls. At ten years old this was to be his first time mating but once he worked out what to do he made up for lost time with every time they were off together over the next week they were knotted. Normally a bitch takes a week of coming into season a week on heat and a week coming back off. I did notice with Sassy maybe because she became pregnant she had a week coming into season her week of being on heat and then she came off heat over night once she was pregnant she would not let the other dogs mate with her. From the time of conception to the time of having the litter of pup is nine weeks or 63 days. On Saturday the 30th of November 58 days after Sassy was first mated I could tell that she was getting close to having the pups so I let her out of her kennel and let her sleep at the back door to the house so that I could keep any eye on her. That evening I cranked up the outdoor bath and had a soak with Janice for about two hours. When I got out of the bath I noticed that Sassy was no longer at the back door so I started calling her with no response.

new pups

After a couple of minutes of calling with no sign of her I started the motorbike and road down the drive to the hut where Sassy caught up with me. I bought her back up to the house and got her to sit down at the back door so that I could keep a close eye on her. I did notice a wee bit of blood around her back end but she did not seem to want to go looking for anything. Half an hour later and Janice noticed that Sassy had just had a pup so we sat down inside the back door and watched as she pushed out a second pup. When we got up in the morning there was a third pup there. When I went down the back to let the other dogs out for a run Fog wandered off down into the gully below the dog kennels so I walked down to investigate. Once down towards the scrub all of the dogs including Sassy went down and on closer inspection I could see Sassy three meters away in a tight patch of scrub and I could just make out the faint sounds of a pup. So I went around the outside of the scrub until I could get close to the sound and I forced my way through the bush lawyer getting scratch to bits in the process. There was not only one but two female pups that were cold as and a wee bit stiff after their first night with no mum, luckily it was not too cold during the night. I put the pups down my top and walked back up to the house where I put them with the other pups. Within a short time these two wee pups warmed up and started drinking off their mother. I was a bit lucky with that one. So now we have two dogs and three bitch pups. I will be keeping one of the dogs and letting the rest go to new homes. My preference is to see these pups go to young teenagers who want a dog that they can go exploring with as they will be good fast little hunters that you could get to hunt many different animals. When my two sons Sloan and Bryce were teenagers was when we got Jeff and to see the fun that they had together catching possums, rabbits and hares every day after school. They learnt to pluck the possums to make money.
Anyone interested in one of these pups contact me.
Since writing this article one of the male pups would not drink off his mother and is now no longer. the other male has grown bigger that the others.

Ben and Jasmine George

Jasmine launching a clay for Ben to shoot

Recently I sponsored a prize for 24 hours dog training for one adult and one child to the Green Island hunting comp. The winner was Jasmine George for weighing in the three heaviest animals in the junior section. Ben and Jasmine turned up with two dogs, Fozzy and Khan. Khan was the older of the two and was already going on the pigs yet Fozzy was still not doing a lot. It did not take too long in the training block to get Fozzy to join in on the bail.

Snow, Shade and Khan on the first run with the Black and White boar

We took the dogs for four separate runs through the pig block with the dogs getting a lot of experience at bailing. Jasmine had a ball watching and filming their dogs in action on the boars. I think dad will have trouble leaving her behind on his hunting adventures now.

Jasmine with their two dogs Fozzy and Khan

When we weren’t in the training block we got out some 22’s to shoot some targets. At first Jasmine said she did not want to have a shot but once we started shooting she got hooked and shot very well. Using my semi auto with the scope she was hitting the target almost every time. She had brought along her wee single shot 22 that she had shot her three animals to win the prize of their trip up here. This was a beautiful single shot bolt action that was very light so easy for Jasmine to be able to carry around on the hill. Once we had enough of the small guns I pulled out the shot gun to shoot some clays, Jasmine did not have a shot with this gun but she did work the clay thrower for us. Jasmine’s parting words when she left was, dad I want to come out with you on your next hunt.

Green Island Commercial tavern hunting competition

Wining boar weighing 216 pounds

This competition was well organised as a fundraiser for the local playground. The publican Richie and his daughter Sam had put a lot of time and effort getting good sponsorship and the right people around them to help out. One of the main prizes was a 2011 Honda 420- 4 wheeler. So for a $40 entry fee you were in the chance to win this motorbike and on top of that every entered person who turned up on the day also received a free Ridgeline shirt worth $35 which made the ticket for the 4 wheeler only $5.

Ritchie carrying the sponsors board around

So it was not surprising that there was 200 entries for this comp. There was also a section for Blue cob as there are a few local fisherman who regularly frequent the tavern.
Two of our Ridgeline judges live locally so they had a bit to do with helping out with Phil Simonson organising the 4 wheeler as a prize and Richard Hand jacking up a full on weekend for myself, starting with a fishing trip on the Friday with Ian Gunion and Amber Shaw.

A panoramic view of the weigh in

I discovered that my body is more designed for land than sea but I would like to think the burly trail that I left behind helped some of those fish to come in to be caught. Saturday morning saw Richard and I riding his side by side around one of the local forestry’s.
We managed to get a nice three dog bail up in the gorse which I got to sneak in and shoot the 122 pound boar. In the afternoon we went around and caught up with Ant’s who had 15 year old Bowan Willets and his father with him. They had yet to catch a pig so they decided to follow us around for a bit. First track we went down the dogs caught a young boar that Bowan got to stick, this was only his second pig so he was stoked to have a boar to weigh in for the comp. we were also lucky enough to pick up a third boar on the way out.
With the technology now days news travels fast so before the weigh in even started we knew that Jed Vercoe had a two tonner coming in and Ian, Amber and Jarred Shaw had shot two large stags.
The day of the weigh in had some showers coming through so our Ridgeline gazebo came in handy at times. There was a free BBQ going so every person was well feed. Sam who had done a lot of the work organising this comp also helped us out with the judging.
This would have to be the first competition that I have been to where the animals came in early.

Young Bowin Willets with his boar for the comp

Normally there is a big rush in the last half hour but 20 minutes from cut off we did not have another animal come in. This made our judging a lot easier. Just before prize giving the skies opened up with a good down pour so we held off prize giving until the shower blew through.
1st prize in the Kids section was a 24 hour dog training trip for one adult and one child at Mainland Boar Hunting Ltd with Bill Westwood which went to Jasmin George and her father Ben who have two young dogs that they will be bringing up for some training.
The main prize of the four wheeler motorbike was drawn by the local policeman Fred and the number that he drew out was 111, (what’s the odds). Braydon Young was there on the day and had a smile a mile wide as he received the keys to the bike.
There were 26 boars and 8 deer weighed in.

Richard with the boar that we caught together

Heaviest boar
1st Jed Vercoe    216 pounds
2nd Kyle mileaeve 156 pounds
3rd Jackson Veitch 146 pounds
4th Alister Harper  140.8 pounds
5th Tim Stewart      140 pounds
Average weight boar Jason Gunion 111 pounds
best tusks Terry Gough
Heaviest deer
1st Ian Gunion  259 pounds
2nd Jarad Shaw 247 pounds
3rd Phil Simonson
4th Dave Ogilvie 206 pound
5th Casey Patterson 187 pounds
Average weight Dave Ogilvie 206 pounds
Heaviest Blue Cod
1st Toni Walter   3.08 kg
2nd Jacob Patterson 3.00 kg
3rd Toni Walter 2.96 kg
4th Megan McCarthy 2.64 kg
5th Terry Gough 2,56 kg
Average weight Blue Cod Jacob Patterson 1.48 kg
Heaviest kids mixed bag
1st Jasmin George 9.76 kg
2nd Joseph McLeod 9.28 kg
3rd Nixion Turner 9.22 kg

South Canterbury Pig Hunting club open competition

2 long time hunting mates Wade Waller and Sam Coles at the weigh in

This open competition was organized and run by the South Canterbury pig hunting club on the 14th – 16th of July at the Winchester hotel on state highway 1. There is obviously a lot of planning and organising goes into running a competition which helps to get all of the members of the club to participate. Not only on the day of the weigh in but also for getting sponsorship and prizes organised.

Sloan Westwood and Matt Simmons measuring the pigs tusks

Pig carrying comp

The Winchester hotel as a venue works out real good as it is well positioned on the main road with a good car park area out the back for weighing the animals. At the weigh in is always a good chance for hunters to catch up for a bit of a yarn. Two of these hunters that I got talking to Wade Waller and Sam Coles said they had been hunting together for over 40 years and were still getting out there doing it. The weather for the weekend did have a lot of snow around so the hunting areas would have been limited to where you could get access to.

The smile on the face of this young competitior in the hare carrying comp shows how much fun she is having

The pig carrying competition proved fun for all especially the kids. Young Maddy Blackler was the youngest competitor in the hare carrying comp and was cheered on by the crowd.
There were 25 boars and 3 stags weighed in.

The youngest competitor in the carrying comp Maddy Blackler

Results Heaviest boar
1st Jeremiah Mclennan      172 pounds
2nd Alan Young                    170 pounds
3rd Stephan Van Lewan     137 pounds
4th Glen Rollsten                125 pounds
5th Dan Russell                    123 pounds
Average weight 106 pounds Hamish Thompson
Best tusks 17 6/8 Dan Russell
Heaviest stag

1st Andy Moriarty   240 pounds
2nd Caleb Mathews 169 pounds
3rd Tim Chave
Heaviest Wallaby
1st Stephan Van Lewan  41 pounds
2nd Sloan Westwood 39 pounds
most Wallaby’s Stephan Van Lewan 14

Teams event Average weight Boar. Stag and Wallaby
Pork patrol 328 pounds
Heaviest Junior boar Shaun Olernshaw 83 pounds
Heaviest junior Wallaby Shaun Olernshaw 37 pounds
Heaviest Junior possum Sam Moriarty 7 pounds

Hunting for the comp in trying conditions

Junior mixed bag
1st Sam Moriarty
2nd Neil Paver
Kids heaviest possum
1st Tom Slade 10 pounds
2nd Alys Lowe 9pounds
3rd Tarras Adams 8 pounds
kids mixed bag
1st Alys Lowe
2nd Koby Blackler
3rd Max Adam
Pig carrying comp open
1st Dan Roughan
2nd Paul Becroft
Womans 1st Nikita
1st Justin
2nd Ben

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