Print Page | Close Window

Hunting Wild Boar

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: The Best Foods You Can Get - Your Own
Forum Name: Hunting and Fishing
Forum Discription: Hunting and fishing fed us for many thousands of years - discuss it here.
Printed Date: 19 August 2019 at 02:04

Topic: Hunting Wild Boar
Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Subject: Hunting Wild Boar
Date Posted: 05 February 2019 at 14:13

Our newest member, Wannabebwana, mentioned that he’s hoping to set up a wild boar hunt in the Ukraine this year.  I hope he gets to make such a hunt. I’ve hunted them, and they’re the second most fun you can have with a gun.

Let’s get two things straight. In the second place, with one notable exception, the so-called wild boar hunted in America are not wild boar.  They are feral pigs. Don’t get me wrong, if you get on the wrong side of one of them he can do some serious damage with those tushes. Odds are, however, he won’t.  And that’s because, in the first place, there’s been more BS written and talked about wild boar than you can shake a stick at.  I’ve hunted them in Texas, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, for instance, and if I hear one more tall tale about having to climb a tree to escape one I’m going to go in the corner and throw up. 

Wild boar are not, repeat not, dangerous game.  If one seems to be charging, and you take two steps to the left, he’ll go right past you. My very first pig---which happened to have inherited enough genes to look like a pure Russian---did just that. I stood on tip-toe, and shot him in the back of the neck as he moved past.

Lions, tigers, bears, and oh, mys do not behave that way. When they charge you better hope you can drop ‘em before they reach you. They have only one goal; to rid the earth of this pestilence with the loud stick. And nothing deters them from that goal. It’s like the old story about the professional hunter who seemed to have fallen off the end of the earth. When asked about him, a mutual friend replied, “something he disagreed with ate him.”

Nor is it all that difficult to put one down, despite what you’ve heard about that back-plate that turns bullets. Friend Wife dropped her first one cleanly with a single shot from a .45-Colt revolver.    

The European or Russian wild boar is a different ragout of pork altogether.  This is a critter who has always been wild; who, for time out of mind, has depended on his wiles, strength, and, yes, fierceness to survive. Like any wild animal, if he has no other choice he’ll fight back.  In his case, he’s geared with the equipment to do it. Those three and four and even six-inch tusks can do a number on you, no question about it. 

Given a choice, however, he would rather run than fight.  So why all the horror stories. Well, back in the days of the British Raj, there were a lot of officers with more guts than brains. They engaged in many frivolous activities, one of which was the high art of pig-sticking.  These idiots would go after wild boar armed only with swords.

Let me tell you something. If some maniac was poking at you with a sword, you’d poke back. So did the boar, often with catastrophic effects on the British officer corps. Thus began the legend of the terrible wild boar.

That out of the way, let’s talk about the exception to the feral hog rule.  Back in the early part of the 20th century, a group of wealthy sportsman had a hunt club in western North Carolina. They had actually stocked it with true wild boar, imported from Europe.  The pigs thrived there, and multiplied, and provided years of sport.  After the Great Depression, however, things took a turn for the worse, and the club slowly fell into disrepair.  In the late 1930s, a hurricane swept through, and drove the final nail in the club’s coffin.  The boar all escaped into the wilds.

Normally, in a situation like that, the wild critters will cross with their domestic analogs, with the result that all purity is lost.  In modern times we see that with domestic turkey, who cross with their wild cousins, diluting the stock.

But there was another aspect to the story. In 1935, North Carolina had enacted a fence law---perhaps the first southern state to do so. Livestock could no longer wander the woods at will.  In effect, the domestic hogs were isolated from the wild ones, and the wild ones bred true in an environment they were very suited to.  They’re still out there today. And they’re the ones I had the opportunity to hunt, with some folks who ran a hunting lodge at the time.

Let me tell you about the land in southwestern North Carolina. To call it mountainous is an understatement. We’re talking about rough country; with steep ridges, deep hollows, and few roads. Getting around is, itself, a challenge.  Just one example: A farmer had called my host about having picked up one of his dogs. As the yellow hammer flies, it was about 20 miles, door to door.  To pick up that dog, however, my host drove in excess of 200 miles. 

So, rule number one: If you hunt this area, for boar or anything else, you better be in great physical shape. Which I was, then, but certainly am not now.  Rule number two: Expect to cover a lot of ground. A lot of ground if you’re going to take a stand, and incredible amount of ground if you opt to follow the dogs. Which raises rule number three: if you expect to be consistently successful hunting wild boar, you have to do it with dogs.

Fine by me. Anything you can do with dogs is better than anything you can do without them. And if there’s anything in the woods prettier than a pack of hounds in full song, I don’t know what it is. Well, maybe a setter quivering on a hard point, haloed by the setting sun as the covey busts wild. But that’s another story.

There were three of us, spread out along a ridge, maybe an eighth of a mile apart. When the dogs let loose we could hear them just fine. They seemed to be driving a hog towards my right, towards the other hunters.

Of a sudden, a young pig, perfect eating size, was coming towards us on a game trail. I was using my Dan Wesson .357 Rmax---arguably the finest hunting handgun ever built---and waiting him out. I wanted that pig in range.

Meanwhile, my guide, paying more attention to the dogs than to what was going on just down the hill, was unaware of “my” hog.  Step by step he got closer. After several minutes, that seemed more like that many hours, he was almost in range. It was then that the guide first noticed him.

Ever been in a situation where the guide gets more excited than the sport? Alas, that was the case. He suddenly noticed the pig and shouted to me (mind you, we were practically shoulder to shoulder) “Shoot him! Shoot him! Shoot that pig!” Of course, by the time the first “shoot him” echoed through the hills, the pig had turned aside and was running full out.

Yeah, I threw a shot after him. How could I not? But it was a hail Mary, and I knew it as I squeezed the trigger. 

Meanwhile, the dogs were in full cry.  A few minutes later there was a shot, and a cheer. And we knew somebody had scored.

Shall I tell you the most dangerous part of wild boar hunting? It’s chancing a cardiac event as you drag 185 pounds of wild hog the half mile it took to rendezvous with the pick-up jeep. For the record, and despite physical rules to the contrary, in western North Carolina, every direction is up. So, even following rule number one, you might wish a long, healthy life, to every wild boar in the state.




But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Date Posted: 06 February 2019 at 15:04
This is great reading, Brook - thanks!

I don't have anything to contribute, unfortunately, but am looking forward to the discussion that will hopefully follow.

If you are a visitor and like what you see, please" rel="nofollow - click here and join the discussions in our community!

Posted By: Wannabebwana
Date Posted: 06 February 2019 at 15:44
Thanks for this, Brook.

I’d have no bones about doing a feral hog hunt, simply for accessibility, but will do my best to try a true wild boar hunt when I’m in Ukraine. I’d actually looked into it a couple years ago but the guide wasn’t offering hunts at the time, due to the war. He did offer to let me drive and shoot a Russian tank, but the $1000US price tag was more than I was interested in.

I’ve hunted Africa twice and have a Warthog mount strategically placed to greet visitors who come into our living room.   

Posted By: pitrow
Date Posted: 07 February 2019 at 09:28
I remember my mom would tell us about how, as a girl, she was always scared to ride her bike through the forest near her house in Holland because her dad would tell her horror stories about the wild boars that lived there. I'm curious to know if any of those stories were based on fact or just embellishments of someone's imagination.

Mike" rel="nofollow - Life in PitRow - My often neglected, somewhat eccentric, occasionally outstanding blog

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 07 February 2019 at 10:24
A little of both, I'd say, Mike.

There have been cases where wild boar seriously mauled, and even killed, people. What's not clear are the circumstances.  If there is no other choice, one reason or another, they will go into attack mode. But it's actually rare for that to happen.  Normally they fade away into the woods. 

As with anything else, however, the stories grow in the telling, and one or two real incidents becomes an epidemic. 

Most times, when there is a human/pig interaction, it's accidental.  Keep in mind the typical situation. The dogs have one bayed. You go in for the shot. Chances are, you are following a game trail to do so. Meanwhile, the pig, who's eyesight ain't that good to begin with, has had enough and decides to run for it. If he chooses the same trail you're on, you'll swear he's charging. But he's not. If you step out of the way he'll go right past you. If you don't move, however, and he runs into you, he may or may not decide you're a threat, and attack.  

For a similar situation, think about wolves.  How many actual wolf attacks have their been, throughout history?  Yet, until recently, they had a lousy rep as vicious man-killers.  The fact is, however, that if you find yourself in a social confrontation with wolves, all you need do is pick up a stout stick. 

Think of it this way. Even though I was ready to back her up, I did take Friend Wife boar hunting, she armed only with a handgun.  I would never even think about doing that with truly dangerous game, let alone put here in a life-threatening position.  

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: Wannabebwana
Date Posted: 07 February 2019 at 11:10
Slavyanka's mother grew up in northern Russia, near the border of Finland.  She had to walk 7 miles to school, part of it through a large forest that was too big to go around.  She always ran through that part, for fear the wolves would attack her (let's not talk about the predator/prey drive that would make it more likely for the wolf to attack if it saw her running).

There certainly have been enough attacks by wild animals to warrant caution around them.  There was a young woman killed by coyotes in New Brunswick a couple of years ago.  Just last week a jogger was attacked by a cougar in Colorado - he managed to strangle it to death.  Plenty of people killed by bears over the years, too.

In most cases, at least with non-Apex Predators, you're usually between them and where they want to go.  Like, never get between a hippo grazing on land and the water, or you're taking your life in your hands.

Posted By: HistoricFoodie
Date Posted: 07 February 2019 at 14:18
You're making my point for me, Martin.

That hippo, for instance, probably doesn't even notice that you're in the way. That's not the same thing as charging. 

Bear are an interesting case. Most bears of the world are classified, correctly, as dangerous; grizz particularly so because they're so unpredictable.  But American black bears are not. They're just overgrown raccoons, and will high tail it if you say "boo" at them. 

Out west, in Wyoming, and Montana, and Colorado, all the stores sell "bear bells." These are small bells you lace onto your boots. The idea is that bear can hear you coming, and get out of the way. The standard joke among guides and outfitters: "You know the difference between black bear scat and grizzly scat?  Grizzly scat has bells in it."

But, then again, you ever see a raccoon cornered?  You don't want to be in its way when it becomes all hair, teeth, and glaring eyeballs.

Not all game animals classified as dangerous are predators. As I'm sure you know, among the African Big 5, f'rinstance, are elephant, rhino, and cape buffalo (which many consider the most dangerous animal on earth). Next time any of them kills another animal for food will be the first time. 

Don't get me started on the coyote problem in eastern North America. They've become a pestilence upon the earth, and are dangerous because they travel in packs and have taken up residence in urban areas where they'll attack anything weaker. 

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket

Posted By: Margi Cintrano
Date Posted: 09 February 2019 at 12:23

Let me know if you get a chance to Hunt wild boar, and have the luxurious boar sausage and boar salumi.   

Truly Paradise for the palate !!!  

Good luck on your hunting trip ..     

Volamos a Mediterraneo, un paraiso que conquista su gente u su cocina.

Print Page | Close Window