Bryce’s bitch Dusky and dog Buck

Dusky and Buck bailing the black boar

Dusky and Buck bailing the black boar

My son Bryce has had Dusky off the hill for a couple of months as she had a litter of young pig dogs so Bryce wanted to give her a run through the training block to make sure that she had not forgotten what a pig looks like. As an added advantage Bryce wanted to try out his Go Pro camera on Buck. I have had a camera on a dog before and found it hard to get good footage as the camera shakes around too much.

Black boar running past me

Black boar running past me

Another problem with them is that as soon as the dog goes though the scrub the camera gets knocked backwards and just films the sky. We did have a good run through the block though on the black boar and at one point when I was filming the two dogs had him bailed in a wallow in the creek when he made a break for it right through me. I managed to side step just at the right time and you can see on the footage as he brushes past the camera on his way through.

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Charlie the killer cat

 

Charlie in the towel rack when he was a kitten

Charlie in the towel rack when he was a kitten

I am not a cat fan myself but to keep the peace with the wife I had to give in. The only say that I got about the cat was to make sure that it was fixed first as I don’t want cats running around everywhere killing everything. Charlie started off as all cute kittens do playing with toys and wanting to get his claws into the furniture anytime he could.

Charlie and his mate Snow

Charlie and his mate Snow

Cats are natural killers so it was not going to take too long before Charlie started bringing animals back into the house. I am quite happy to see him catching and killing the mice and he is doing a good job here but I do not like seeing him killing certain birds so we have a collar on him with a bell. When he was young I also had a young pup Snow and the two got on well together.

A rabbit trying to hide from Charlie

A rabbit trying to hide from Charlie

The one dog that I had to be careful with was Jeff the possum dog so Jeff was introduced in a controlled environment and is now used to seeing the cat walking around without wanting to eat him. All of my other pig dogs are ok with Charlie. He is now one year old and very confident I can recall one day being about 500 meters from the house in the scrub with the dogs when Charlie came walking on up for a pat.

gentle carrying his rabbit trying not to hurt it. still at the playing stage

gentle carrying his rabbit trying not to hurt it. still at the playing stage

In the last month he has stepped up his hunting to include the rabbits. For a start he did not seem to want to kill them but bring them back to show us. One rabbit he brought back lived in behind the fridge for about three days before the wife made me get rid of it. It was funny to watch this little baby rabbit come out to chew on a pot plant with the cat following it around as if it was his friend.

no escape

no escape

I could even pick this rabbit up and pat it but in the end he had to go before he took a toll on our gardens. I have witnessed a number of times Charlie chasing and catching rabbits and there is no way that they can get away from him when he wants them caught. He has finally realised that there is some tasty meat inside those furry little pelts so no more pet rabbits for Charlie.

You stay right there

You stay right there

Liam Squire with Pip and Thunder

Fog, Bill's Thunder and Pip bailing Digger

Fog, Bill’s Thunder and Pip bailing Digger

Liam is a very keen rugby player and he has been signed up with the Highlanders for this coming season so rugby supporters will get to see a bit of him in the future. He brought in two dogs Pip and Thunder in for some extra training. For our first run we took Fog and my dog Thunder along with Pip and we had a run with Digger for about an hour with Pip loving every minute of it.

dogs bailing Digger in the pines

dogs bailing Digger in the pines

Fog Liam's Thunder and Pip bailing one of the young boars

Fog Liam’s Thunder and Pip bailing one of the young boars

For our second run we took Fog and Liam’s dog Thunder with Pip. This time we bailed up one of my younger boars that would be about 90 pounds and he put on a great show for us, he kept the dogs back bailing in the creek every time a dog tried getting in behind him he was quick to give them a shunt back out. We stayed with this bail for quite some time.

Jeff with the Black boar

Jeff with the Black boar

Next morning we were only going to take Liam’s two dogs but while we were in the block Jeff my dog must have escaped his kennel and turned up so we had to put up with him as well. On this run we gave the black boar a run around.

Snow’s first poke

 

Sloan and Mack with a 118 pound boar

Sloan and Mack with a 118 pound boar

Snow is now almost eleven months old so is getting out on the hill to do a bit of hunting. I had a couple of spare days to get out on the hill for a hunt and on the first day my son Sloan came out for a hunt with me. There was also another reason for this hunt is the local pig hunting club that I am a member of has only got until the end of this year to run for our competition and at present I was in third for the total weight of my six biggest boars so I wanted to give this my best shot. First place was Glen Ralston with 813.7 pounds and in second place was Caleb Mathews with 747.1 pounds then myself in third place with 738.9 pounds.

Bill with the 118 pound boar

Bill with the 118 pound boar

Sloan’s dog Mack and Fog worked a gully for about thirty minutes at one point when they were down in the gully we heard some panting coming though the scrub towards us that was not one of our dogs when Jeff came trotting out of the scrub, this little bugger had obviously chewed his way out of his kennel and tracked over 7km to find us so we were stuck with another dog for the day. Fog and Mack finally came back to us.

109 pound boar that ripped Snow

109 pound boar that ripped Snow

At this point Lightning tracked away down through the bottom of the gully then headed around into the main gully at the bottom. I sent Sloan after Lightning while I tracked 1km back up the gully to the bike then rode 4km around to pick Sloan up. Lightning was still 2 km further away around in another gully. We rode around to the gully that Lightning was in and started walking up the track as we watched Lightning track back down to the bike. I got the other dogs up to where I thought the pig might have gone but they did not track away so we walked back to the bike.

Snow with two wee pokes under his jaw

Snow with two wee pokes under his jaw

No sooner had we started riding the bike that Fog started tracking off and was running parallel to the track that we were on. About 1km along he had stopped and when we turned the bike off we could hear him bailing away. At this point we had Jeff and Snow in the dog box on the back of the bike but did not let them out as we had enough dogs on this boar. With Fog, Lightning, Mack and Thunder on this 118 pound boar he was never going to get away so once he was stuck we only had to drag him 50 meters to the track. I was stoked it looked like I was going to be in second place until I looked on the computer and Caleb had caught a 125 pond boar so was still in front of me so it was back out hunting again tomorrow.

Fog looking stuffed at the end of two days hunting

Fog looking stuffed at the end of two days hunting

Next day I was out on my own and it was again Fog that put up a nice bail on the opposite face, next to arrive was Thunder then both Lightning and Snow together. All four dogs bailed for about a minute before they put too much pressure on and the boar broke. I was standing in the perfect place with the camera and got to film the boar as he broke down into the gully where the four dogs bailed again. I could see Snow getting too keen as the boar was trying to throw him back.

Snow not only poked but also worn out after two days of running around the hill

Snow not only poked but also worn out after two days of running around the hill

This is where he got two small pokes under his chin. I walked in to the creek and stuck this young 109 pound boar. The carry was about 800 meters down to the bike and I thought this boar was a bit lighter as I walked all the way out without having to put him down once. Back on the computer and I see that Caleb had again tipped me at the post with a 133 pound boar. A couple of days left before the end of the year so I will have to try and get out again but if I don’t get another decent boar then Glen and Caleb deserve the prize for the combined weight of their top six boars. Caleb is only 6.7 pounds below Glen now so the pressure is on.

mob of pigs bailed above the dog kennels

mob of pigs bailed above the dog kennels

When I got the dogs home after this hunt they were absolutely shattered and I tried to get them to go off for another look but they did not want to go. However a couple of hours later the dogs were sitting at their kennels when my outside pigs came walking on in. There were two sows’ two boars and six piglets and because the dogs were so buggered they all bailed well and did not harm any pigs. I managed to get some good footage on my camera from being between the pigs and dogs so you get to see both angels from the pigs and the dog’s perspective.

Troy Mcevedy

Troy and Reuben spending some quality time together

Troy and Reuben spending some quality time together

Troy first came to train a dog with me quite some time back and had kept in touch since. Troy has a different mind-set than a lot of other people that I have meet, he can see how work can become a trap for a lot of people so they just don’t have the time to do the things in life that they want to do. He is a very keen pig hunter with a lot of experience, his other passion is his son Reuben, young Reuben is only four years old and loves doing things with his father. Troy is a very good shearer and had offered to come and shear my sheep for me in

This cow will not escape again

This cow will not escape again

return to be able to stay in my hut and do a bit of dog training.  Once I got to know Troy I learnt that it was not only shearing that he was good at as he liked working with animals so once the sheep were sorted we went out to the forestry to try and round up one of my young cows that had escaped. We spent three hours using one of Troys fathers dogs Trip to try and get this highland cow home but there was no way she was going to come home so we had to resort to plan B. I had brought my SKS along just in case this happened, Troy was happy to do the deed so she was shot where we could get her onto the trailer to bring home to be processed. Toy has worked in the freezing works for a while so he knows how to skin and gut an animal in quick time. The next job for Troy was to help muster some of my sheep that were over the boundary fence with the help of Trip and Jeff. We got twelve sheep into the yards with three extras going mad and breaking out on us.

I think one went into the pig block and have not seen it since with two others jumping the fence into the native block. Jeff and Trip managed to catch one of them down in the creek and there was no way we could get this bugger out.

 

 

Reuben asleep on dads shoulders

Reuben asleep on dads shoulders

He was a two year old ram that was probably the father of my lambs this year as they had come early which meant I lost a lot of lambs so it was an easy decision to cut his throat and leave him there. We did not find the other sheep that broke through with him and still have not seen any sign of it. Out of the twelve sheep in the yards we killed eleven of them and I let one go back on my place as she was normally a friendly sheep.

Troy skinning one of the sheep

Troy skinning one of the sheep

Lots of dog bones

Lots of dog bones

When ever I bone out sheep I always take all of the bones out so that they do not take up any freezer space. Troy’s way is to use the saw and chop the sheep down the middle then chop it up into chops.

Troy's way to chop up meat

Troy’s way to chop up meat

Highland cows leaving the yard

Highland cows leaving the yards

Next job was to drench and ear tag the cows. one particular bull proved to be hard work as we did not have a crush so we had to reach over the rail in the yards to work with them and this bull would almost climb up on top of the others.
On one of Troy’s visits he brought his son

Reuben on the hill with Jeff

Reuben on the hill with Jeff

Reuben to spend some time with him. For being only four years old he is a switched on young boy and very inquisitive. It is great to watch a father and son interacting, older teaching the younger some of the things in life that will help him. At one time we were out on the motorbikes with the dogs and we got off for a short walk Reuben was on Troy’s shoulder when he went to sleep as we walked along.Troy brought one of his older bitches along, Cloud she is nine years old holds pigs and not been ripped until now. Cloud was very hard and did not like any pig getting away from her. Because she was wearing a muzzle she could not hold. At one point while I was following them I was focusing on the camera when I tripped up on a rock and was lucky not to arse over. When they got to a face opposite us we saw Cloud get thrown though the air with a lot of force she was keen to get straight back in and was hard to call off as she does not like to leave a pig behind. She did get two small pokes in her neck but did not require stitching. For the guys who like holding dogs she would defiantly be a top dog.

Father and son do everything together

Father and son do everything together

Sam McCarthy with Smoke

Zoe, Thunder, Smoke and Lightning bailing Digger

Zoe, Thunder, Smoke and Lightning bailing Digger

Sam’s young bitch Smoke is out of the same litter as Snow so is an offspring of Fog. I have been following a few of the pups out of this litter so it was good to get to see how Smoke was going. In the previous week she had caught her first pig so I was looking forward to seeing her and her brother Snow working together.

Smoke and Thunder bailing Digger in the pines

Smoke and Thunder bailing Digger in the pines

Sam had said that Smokes kennel mates can be hard so she had learnt to go in with the other dogs to fight the pig. Sam also had another older Bitch Zoe with him that he had got off Jamie Haywood. Jamie first brought Zoe to me when she was only 3 ½ months old and she bailed real well for her age.
On our first run we took Fog, Snow and Smoke. Smoke was keen to chase the boars when they were running but she was a bit standoffish when the boars were standing still bailed. So over the next 24 hours Smoke was going to spend a lot of time close to some big boars.

Snow and Smoke bailing Boris on there own

Snow and Smoke bailing Boris on there own

For our second run we took Smoke and Zoe with my two Lightning and Thunder. We gave Digger a good run around for a while and I managed to get a few photos. Zoe was quite hard and really enjoyed the run on a good boar. Smoke was soaking up all of the action and learning lots.
Next morning we were back in the block by 6.30am with Father Son and Daughter, Fog, Snow and Smoke.

Lightning Thunder and Smoke trying to stop the Black boar

Lightning Thunder and Smoke trying to stop the Black boar

This time we gave Boris a run around for an hour until the dogs looked like they needed a rest.
On our last run we had Lightning, Thunder and Smoke and we got onto the black boar. Smoke had seen a lot of action over the 24 hours so she had learnt a lot so I was pleased to her back from Sam just over a week later to say that he had caught a couple of good boars one went 165 pounds.

Sam with Smoke and a 165 pound boar that they caught since coming up for some training.