So, 5 trips this year and no pigs. It would most definitely be easier to hunt without Haru at the moment. Of course it's enjoyable to have a partner, but I'm pretty much out there to train her, and so the hunting suffers a bit. Just got to stick with it.
Rustled up a sow today with 4 large piglets, tried to get Haru onto them, but she didn't realize they were there and was too busy with some other scent. They got down the gulley and up the other side, so I figured I might as well take the shot. Around 80-90 meter shot, had one of the piglets broadside and had the time to get a good look, and I missed. Haru was oblivious to the whole situation, even though the pigs ran nearly past her. I had some fun and tracked the pig family for a while, nice to see what extremely hot tracks look like.
There was a lot of pig activity in the area, fresh tracks and tilled fields everywhere, but those were the only pigs we found. They were sleeping in a bamboo thicket at the top of an embankment 30 meters away from where I parked the jeep. Took me walking in a 2km loop to find them though... was just getting back to where I could see the jeep and bam. Wish there was a shooting range in the prefecture where I could actually fire slugs/shoot at targets etc. The last governor we had here was a liberal who wanted to ban all hunting/firearms in the prefecture. So she started off slowly by closing down the main shooting range. There are only two others, and they have limitations on what you can fire.
Left the pups in the car for a bit and hiked up to where a trapper has bait out for pigs. It attracts a lot of birds, and I was thinking maybe I could tag another pheasant. I hunkered down and a few minutes later I see a big bushy tail bounding toward me. Cute little squirrel carrying some sort of nut that was nearly as big as he was. I don't think he even saw me, as he got to within 2 meters and climbed the tree next to me. He just sat up there munching away.
Didn't see any pheasants, but saw a bird that I hadn't seen in Chiba before, Bamboo Partridges. I didn't know there were any here, but now I know exactly where they are. They're actually an introduced species, but are on the list of huntable birds. I figure they probably make good eating, and I would have taken a few but wasn't sure if they were on the 'list' till I got home and checked.
Have showered the dogs, picked off the ticks (white dogs are great!), and gotten everyone tucked in for bed. If I had my way I'd be off in the mountains again tomorrow. Alas I have things to do, and life cannot be all play and no work.