Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Busy Day

Got a call early yesterday morning that one of the traps set out by the hunter's association had a boar in it. The local hunting season is from November 15th to February 15th, but whenever farmers report crop damage the local government does a survey and when necessary calls in the hunter's association to do a cull. It's pretty much a volunteer community service. In the area I hunt there's quite a bit of crop damage all year round, and high numbers of game living in extremely close proximity to humans, so there's a cull going on almost all year round.

We took a fair amount of boar out of this particular area last season and were a bit worried because the numbers didn't seem to be rebounding as fast as previous years. We took quite a few large sows, so that was probably the main factor. The farmers have been quite happy as the damage to their crops has been minimal so far. In most areas they will do a combination of trapping and hunting with dogs during culls, but the area I hunt mostly just traps.

Had an extremely busy day planned, but in this heat trapped boars don't last very long. Last week I got a call that there was a large female trapped, but due to work I couldn't make it down that day. The next morning one of my friends went out to collect the boar and it had already died from heat stroke. So, dragged my ass out of bed and decided to take Baron along for some training. I would have taken the girls too, but they're both pretty out of it because of the insane heat wave we're experiencing.

It was a small male boar, under 30kg. One of the local hunters has a new 3 year old BT Shikoku female that just arrived from a friend of his down south who's closing down his breeding operation. She's never seen boar before, so we were interested in seeing how she'd do. As soon as I took Baron out of the car, he bee lined it straight to the boar. He bayed it up very well, so we brought the BT female out next. She showed no interest, but also no fear, just trotted around without even noticing the boar. I figured if I brought Baron back out she might get the idea of what she was supposed to do. So here's the video.

You can see that part way through she finally vocalizes a little and then after that really catches on. I took Baron back to the car as he was starting to realize he couldn't get at the boar, and I didn't want him getting bored. After this we hobbled/released the boar. The dogs caught it very quickly, and the Shikoku female was right in there with Baron. She got a good bite in, and held it till we got there. Between the two of them the boar wasn't going anywhere. We dispatched the boar, and took it down to a nearby stream to cool it down. My friend is 72 years old, and the heat was doing a number on him, so he headed home. I gutted the boar, packed it in ice, and sped home to get to work. Had to go out with a client for dinner in Tokyo, so got home around 11pm. I'd left the boar 'refrigerated' in ice in our bathtub (thank god the wife's away).

Anyway, walked the dogs, then got to work setting up a makeshift work area. Usually I butcher at my friend's house using his set up, but because of yesterday's schedule there was no way around bringing it home. Finally finished packing all the meat and sterilizing the bath and kitchen at around 3am. I'm wiped out and taking it easy today.

I've got some video of Baron and the Shikoku after they caught the boar, but it's short and I'm not that big a fan of gory hunting footage. I think it's more humane to get in there and dispatch an animal quickly instead of taking time to film it. Of course if you have someone else there to film, or the dogs are baying that's another story.

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