Oink no more

in Outdoors and more2 months ago


Several weeks ago I was doing a tidy up in my workshop which happens three or four times a year; I try to keep things super-neat but over time standards drop. I was going through a few boxes and came across some items I'd all but forgotten I had. It was one of those boxes where things that seemed important at the time of acquiring them, but then became less important, tend to get put. I think, in a hundred years from now, should someone have found it they would have thought it was a really cool find, but to me, it was the same old stuff.

Medals from the old days, a few shooting trophies, a notebook or two, a bundle of letters from twenty five years ago, some photos, an old Swiss Army knife, some certificates and awards, a few matchbox cars and various other things were in there...including a set of tusks from a feral razorback pig. Yep, you read that right.

Feral pigs are a terrible problem here. They're an introduced species and they cause huge damage to the environment which is why it's open season on them and the Government work to eradicate them with baiting and shooting activities.

Some States of Australia have incentives for their destruction, a bounty paid in money if snouts and tails are turned in, it's about $10 per pig. Of course, no feral pig is going to willingly hand over it's tail or snout so shooters, professional and amateur, shoot pigs and it goes from there. They're dangerous creatures and many a hunter has been gored by one, so hunting them takes skill, focus and some nerve, especially at night and when on foot.

I used to go pig shooting a lot although in my State there's none except int he very far north of it so I'd travel some 1,700 kilometres into northern New South Wales, head due north of the little town called Bourke and head north from there and shoot around that vast area and also over the Queensland border. We'd go for a week or more of hunting, four wheel driving and camping.

It was on my very first trip when I shot my first boar, a big ugly bugger of about 120 kilograms in weight.

A couple of mates and I had staked out a small billabong (water hole) and were waiting, in complete darkness, for something to come in. We'd seen signs of the pigs coming in for water there so shot a kangaroo and pegged it out as bait.

It's amazing how far these things will come for water. Government agencies have tracked them moving up to 60 kilometres one way for a drink and then back to where they came from, in a single night! They move almost silently too, and that's where the danger comes in, they're there before you know it. Things get more lively when they have little ones too as they become aggressively protective, that's when they get very dangerous.

I'd thought I heard something out in the darkness. I was on foot a few metres from the truck. My mate, standing in the back of a pickup truck, had the spotlight. He didn't use it though, he wasn't sure he heard anything and didn't want to use the light unnecessarily so there I was knowing something was there but not able to see it. I was positive though, so risked some noise and hissed as loudly as I dared at him to turn the fucken light on ya bastard!

He did, and there it was at only 30 metres away heading right at me. It turned to it's left when the light came on and kept moving but I fired, catching it just behind the right shoulder blade and it was down.

I was in my early twenties at the time and, even then, wasn't a trophy hunter however my mate insisted I take the tusks as a memento and so I did; a photo was also taken. Back at camp I boiled them for hours and hours on end to get the marrow out and clean them up, then used some steel wool on them and they came up pretty good. That's the set of tusks I found a couple weeks ago in that box. I don't really know why I still have them, I don't know why I kept most of that stuff in the box actually, but I did.

Finding those tusks the other day gave me a thought; it's been a while since I've hunted pigs and I figured I'd see if I could put a trip together so made a few phone calls. I've got three others interested and that's plenty. I'm not sure when it'll happen, but certainly in the winter when temperatures in the outback are almost bearable, I'd say July I guess, but the planning has begun already.

I'll be honest and say I'm more interested in the camping trip, nights around the fire with good mates and the challenge the outback brings than the actual shooting although when it comes to pigs I'm happy to do the job as I know the damage they cause. They're challenging to hunt too, one doesn't just walk up to it and pop it, but I've got the skills to make a few of them oink no more.

Design and create your ideal life, don't live it by default; tomorrow isn't promised so be humble and kind - galenkp

Any images in this post are my own.


Decent eating, or do they get tough with age?

Good question. We'd not eat an old one, but if we find a young one early enough in the trip it's in the pot. It's actually quite tasty, but care must be taken as they can be riddled with worms; we're diligent though. It's the same for goats. So many feral goats out there and there's often one in the pot as well. We do a thing where we live off the land as much as possible.

Did I say I just had a club sammich with Bacon earlier..?

Mmmmmmmm... Good.!


I did search the internet how they look like. They look very wild. Here in Cebu, Philippines, we are famous for the food called lechon. It is an all time favorite esp every fiesta, birthdays, and weddings.

I wonder if you cook these feral pigs this way, if you successfully hunted them. I read in the comments that you cook the young ones, not the old ones.

I have never hunted one in my entire life, and I bet it is very difficult to hunt this one because they look very wild.

They are pretty aggressive when cornered, or when one gets between them and the babies. It makes for interesting times, especially when there's multiple, which is often. They go in every direction so shooters need to have a keen awareness of where they're shooting. That's why there's only ever a few guys there, it wouldn't be good to accidentally shoot each other.

We usually make a stew out of them if we're going to eat one. Potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, salt, pepper, a soup stock and so on...all taken on the trip for just this purpose. It's pretty good, but it has to be the right pig, the old buggers get shot and left where they fall. Usually a few days later, other pigs have cleaned them up. (Eaten them). They are indiscriminate eaters.

Must be such a crazy memory to have all these experiences when you were still a kid. Very brave but yet very risky too!

But yeah, keeping order between your stuff and always remain as you first sorted them out, it's hard. I often deal with this problem even though I'm a quite tidy person.

Must be such a crazy memory to have all these experiences when you were still a kid.

Well, at that age I'd been living out of home for six years and was married so I don't see myself as a kid, although looking back now I see myself as a kid when compared with later in life. Funny huh?

I try to be ordered, but don't obsess over it. I like to be prepared in general and I think having everything in its place is one aspect of that so I work towards it all the time and occasionally address those things/areas that have become a little wayward. It has worked for me for a lot of years and so I tend to stick to it.

I hope you're well, it's been a while. Thanks for your comment.

Same here. When I had an earlier age I used to not look at myself as being a kid because I had lots of adults tasks from an early age, but now looking back I realize that I was a kid and perhaps I still am but I tend to forget being focused on daily routines and tasks. What I know for real is that we all have a kid inside our hearts and it's our mission to feed it without letting ourselves turn into complete adults.

2023 didn't begin the best for me so that added another reason to my absence here but I try to get back on track and spend more time on the chain as I used to do a while go. Hope you are well!

we all have a kid inside our hearts

Indeed, this is how I see myself.

I'm sorry to hear the start of the year wasn't that good but you've acknowledged it and are moving in the right direction it seems. I hope that continues. Don't worry about Hive, it'll be here when you want it to be, just get things under control generally.

Good luck.

😊😊😊 what a beautiful story and experience. I have never hunted before but I can tell it's fun. Those pigs sound really scary so be careful out there.

Hope you will enjoy this one more than the previous ones, would love to join you, so don't forget to write about it when you make that trip. 😊😊😊

The trip over all is always a lot of fun. I'm very comfortable in the outback and wilderness which comes from having the right skills.

Pig hunting is exhilarating. We do it on foot and use rifles mainly. I always have shotgun slung over my shoulder with a couple solids loaded and ready though, just in case my primary firearm fails. Being charged by a razorback is no one's idea of fun. One of my mates was chased and got caught, gored and flipped into the air...it tore his entire calf muscle off which was left hanging by skin off the back of his knee area. He was evac'd by helicopter.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it and find the planning phase enjoyable also; lots of "planning meetings" which translates to BBQ's!

Feral pigs are a problem in parts of the U.S. also, mostly in the southern states. They really do cause a lot of damage to the environment where they live, and can tear up a farm field pretty fast.

I've heard that actually, and know some measures are in place to try and mitigate the issue. It's difficult for some to understand the damage they cause, and the implications of it, but there's no doubt it's there.

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