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Pig Hunting (Part 1)

Updated: Dec 12, 2023




The top photo's show the size these wild boars can get to, and a photo  of myself and the rifle leaning on the tree is the ideal gun to hunt these big fellows. In close quarters and thickish bush, you don't want telescopic sights because they will blurr at close range and you will miss the target. It is a 3.0-2.5 I have never tried this, but they say with the right projectile, they will drill a hole in quarter inch steel. I remember this particular boar, the day was hot and two of the three dogs had collapsed with exhaustion, the boar kept breaking and the third dog was ready to give it in.  


All the time I was running over a long distance I only spotted him a couple of times as the bush was reasonably thick along the creek bed, most of the time I couldn't get any closer than 50yards, I decided to run up the hill and run parallel to the creek, when I was opposite the boar there was an opening in the creek-bed, I took aim and he crossed the opening, I fired you can rest assured this was a fluke shot. I'd hit him through the heart area, for running the distance I'd run and shaking like I was I would have considered it a good shot, if I'd have hit him anywhere between the grasshole and the arsehole. In fact I thought I'd missed him because I seen a puff of dust. But the dust came from the dry mud caked on his body.      


As you can see with the pig in the ute there's not many to a ute load. I remember this big boar also, he'd been feeding on a farmers crop of oats. The morning I got him he'd been feeding on the stubble, that's when the crop's  been harvested. I saw his diggings in the paddock and his tracks under the fence where he had gone back into the bush. The dogs weren't too interested in his tracks, so I knew he was out of range. For the ability of my dogs to scent for pigs you had to see to believe.  We continued hunting through the bush taking different tracks, I remember we hadn't caught up with any pigs.


My dogs would scent the wind from the back of my ute at any speed I traveled, about 3or4 hours later I was driving along a sandy flat about 3or4 kilometers from the paddocks where the big boar was feeding, when the dogs started howling and spinning around in the back of the ute. I pulled up and they all took off running into the wind up a sandy hollow, I knew it was pigs, for the dogs wouldn't play up for anything else. I don't often make this mistake, when I caught up with the dogs they had the big boar in reasonably thick bush.


I snuck into position trying not to let the boar see me, took aim for the temple, I pulled the trigger and it went click, In all the excitement I had forgot to load the rifle. I had to run back to the ute, load the rifle, return and shoot him. The rifle is that lever action 22caliber with telescopic sights. I have shot hundreds of boars with this rifle, and if you hit the right spot, just above the eye and the side of the temple they will not close their eyes, they are dead on their feet, 9 times out of 10.


More Boar Stories




The photo on the top  shows the size of the boars tusks, and why they can kill a dog really quick. This boar had bayed up against this log, they do this to protect their back, I was lucky because it was fast getting dark, so I was able to lean over the log put the barrel to his head and shoot him.


The picture on the bottom shows a lot bigger boar than the one on the log, but not quite as dangerous. They don't seem to charge the dogs as often, the dog in the picture we did not know his breed, this photo's was taken in the late 60's. We were mainly hunting with kangaroo dogs, which rely on speed to catch their prey and not their nose, so they are more inclined to go on eyesight. The smaller breeds of dogs go on scent and become a better dog for pigs.   


When we first started hunting for pigs, we would go out to areas where we had hunted for kangaroos in the past with my father, he was not interested in pigs at all.  I remember one day hunting kangaroo's with him and Nipper, we would go to certain areas in the bush and we would walk for hours, looking for kangaroos, the dog would bale-up a big kangaroo, we would shoot him and take the hindquarters from the third rib. One of us would put his hindquarter on our shoulders and walk out to the nearest bush track, on the way sometimes the dog would get another kangaroo, so the both of us would be carrying, we would hang them in a tree next to the bush track, to avoid ants getting on them.


We would then walk out the opposite side of the track through the bush and look for more kangaroo's.     My father had trained Nipper to only catch the big male kangaroo which was called a boomer, the younger male ones were called bucks.     How my father achieved this was when Nipper was a young dog learning he would kill a young buck or female, then he would take my father through the bush and show him where he'd killed, my father would say" you silly mongrel" you don't catch them and he'd never pat him or praise him for the kill. But if he showed my father where he'd killed a big boomer, my father would put his arm around him and give him a pat and say good dog.


We witnessed Nipper do this many times, in very open bush we would watch him put in his run for the roo, if they were small roo's, when he got in range of them he would realize and pull out of the chase, dad again would give him a pat and tell him he's a good dog.      Of all the kangaroo dogs and hunters I've seen in my time I have never seen this combination between man and dog. Many old bushman would say he's got a good dog and I used to think the dog had a good master.


More Hunting with my Father




This sequence of photo's show's my father cutting wood into 12inch lengths and loading them into the back of the ute, they were cut this length to suit his meters wood stove. I got this big boar while he was cutting the wood, I had found this particular firewood tree while I was hunting a few weeks earlier. 


This day I returns with my father so he could cut it up for himself. As we were approaching the area were the tree was, maybe a kilometer or two back ,I spotted a half a dozen big male kangaroo's heading down through the bush to a paddock. I waited for my father to drop the tree and I said while your cutting it up, I'm going to walk back through the bush, with my dog Rusty and the rifle. For I was out of dog meat and I knew that Rusty would catch one of those roo's. 


 I had hunted this area ever since I was hunting and over the last couple of years I had seen the tracks of this big boar and I'd always wanted to get him.       As we approached where we had last seen the roo's. I saw Rusty picking up speed with his head to the ground and disappearing. I started to run thinking he would be on the tracks of the kangaroo's, it was sandy soil I could see Rusty's footprints and then the big boars prints.     I knew I had him Rusty was barking, I got halfway to them and the barking stopped. I got a bit closer and Rusty was coming to me wagging his tail he was very excited. Rusty knew that this boar had picked this spot to stand and fight and he had all day.   


The bush was very thick along a creek-bed, I said to Rusty "get hold of him". Pigdogs love to hear those words, but he looked at me with his tail still wagging as if to say "you get hold of him". I knew how to suck him in, I pointed the rifle at the thicket and fired a shot, he give a scream of excitement as he took off into the thicket and then started barking ,I knew he had him for sure. As I was getting into the thicket I could hear the moans and the boar chomping his tusks together.   


They do this to scare the dog and to let them know they are dinkum. Luck had it that about 15-20meters from him a massive tree had fell over, as tall as myself lying on its side, I climbed up on to it, the massive root systems another 4-5 feet higher than the log, I climbed up the root system and looking down into the thicket I could see the big boar with his back to me, I could only see the top of his hindquarter. 


This boar was capable of killing my dog with the flick of his head and the longer you take to kill him the more chance of this happening. So I took aim thinking I could hit his spine and paralyze him, I shot for the kidney area, but missed the spine, the boar charged my dog, at no time could I see the dog but I could tell by the bushes were he was,     I was lucky the boar came back to the same spot, I tried the same shot again I missed the spine. He charged the dog then everything went quiet.


Then I heard an unusual thumping and the top of a big Grasstree was shaking, then no more noise from the dog or the pig, my rifle was a 22lever action with a telescopic site, no good in close quarters in thick bush.    After awhile I climbed down off the log, I found a little bit of an opening, I got down on my hands and knees and crawled in, every 10feet or so I would listen. Still no noise from the dog or the pig, you can't help but think that the worst has happened, but as I got to the end of the opening the bush and all the rushes had been flattened were this bail-up had taken place and Rusty was standing there looking at me wagging his tail, he then looks to the side.


I knew what he'd be looking at, the big boar was looking towards me laying on his belly, both the shots had hit his kidneys right along side the spine, he had bled out internally. I stood up and walked over to him, put the rifle to his temple and finished him.  I then went back and got my father, loaded the ute with wood then took him and showed him the big boar. As we were coming home ,my father on the passenger side, Rusty sitting in the middle , I remember when I was a young boy sitting on the passenger side and Nipper in the middle.


Dressed Bush Pigs


This photo shows the condition these wild pigs can get to when the tucker is right. I've seen when they've got inside a farmers crop of oats, when it was maybe 3-4 ft high. They will pull the crop up and stack it like a mattress and camp there for months, unbeknown to the farmer. Sometimes the sows would have their young there. By the time he came to harvest his crop, you can imagine the damage. Bad for the farmer but good for me as this is when their at their best for eating.  



Another Day Hunting


The man sitting on the tailgate, it's his first day hunting wild pigs, his name is Barry Harvey. I met him in the Picton Hotel roughly 50-60 klms from Collie. I remember when I walked into the Hotel.  Barry and two other men also an Aborigine fellow, they were playing darts.


I was brought up on this game, I even remember when I was unable to reach the board, without throwing it like a stone. My Father and three older brothers were all good dart players, my oldest brother Tom in particular. I remember him telling stories.There were six Hotels in Collie and being a Coal-mining Town, there was a lot of gambling on the dart board.


The drinking age at this time was 21 and I was 17. This was 1964. The Pub that my father and brothers mainly played in was the Club Hotel better known as Coppers Canyon at that time. Every Friday night they would hold a dart tournament, called the Knockout.


I recall my father saying to me "do you want to come down to the knockout". I said I did, and I remember walking into the Bar. There would have been between 30-50 men, miners, timber-workers and many other trades. I remember being so nervous, but a few beers soon settled me.


You drew numbers to see who was going to play each other, the losers of each game would drop out. Then you would play the next player in line of the winners. Until there was only two left.  I won the knockout. When it finished they would start playing a game where you had to score 51 with 3 darts, 2 shillings(20cents) a throw. I went home with a pocket full of money.


Back to Barry and his mates, I remember standing at the bar watching these fellows playing darts. I'm about 28-29 yrs old and I've been around the best of the best in WA.


A  friend of mine Johnny Burnett won the Australian Title and many others, also played in World Darts. Now and then a World Champion would tour and I witnessed Johnny beat a couple of these on his merits. Another friend Timmy Brown, who also won the Australian Title and also could beat some of the best in the world on his day. I could not split these two.


I remember talking to Barry, he asked me where I was from, I said Collie. He asked me what I done with myself on weekends, I told him my main interests were pig-hunting and I also played darts a bit.


He told his friends and they asked me if I wanted to join in. I said I would, they told me to have a couple of practice shots, I knew the aboriginal fellow(Mick) would have his eye on me, so I sprayed them, just missing the 20 I hit a 1, then a 5 then a 20, this shot is known in darts as bed and breakfast and it's a bit embarrassing.

Straight away he said "how much you want to play for mate", I said what you's have been playing for, a glass of beer. Mick say's what about 50cents and buy your own beer, so he's sneaking up on me, I agreed with him. I had another throw and sprayed them.



When I goes back to the bar, Barry whispers to me, he's sharking you mate and he beats us every weekend. So I go back to the board and spray's it once more, but this time I hits the triple 1, then the triple 5 and the 20. Mick doesn't realize I've aimed at these, thinking it's still a bad shot, Mick say's" what about a dollar mate", I agreed.



As I was emptying his pocket, I knew he was ready to fold. I needed 52 to finish the game, so I hit dbl 13 dbl 13. I knew this would rattle Mick, but when I went back to the bar, Barry suggested I'd gone the wrong way, that it was best to hit 20 dbl 16 for 52. I said I suppose that's another way, the game finished, Mick had not drawn blood, and took off home.



I sat at the bar  having a few drinks with the boy's. Barry say's  you've made me feel silly, I said how do you work that out, he said "me telling you, how to peg 52".  Also he said you were sharking him, again I agreed.



You won't believe what happens 8 or 10 yrs later, I walk's into another little Hotel, which was about 20klms from the Picton Hotel, where I stitched Mick, called the Boyanup Hotel. I was with a friend and we were looking for a game of darts for money.



There were 4 players on the board, maybe ten fellows sitting at the bar. One of them was Mick. He'd forgot me, I said to my friend, the aboriginal sitting at the bar is a bit of a money player. So I thought I would try and set Mick up again. The 4 on the dartboard were playing doubles or partners.



We asked if we could join in.They agreed, I could see they were just sociable players or friendlies, I told my friend not to hit too much and spray them a bit. We were playing for a beer and we let them win a few. All the time I was watching Mick out the corner of my eye, when my friend had his shot and sprayed them. Mick was nearly falling off his bar stool, leaning over to watch my friends shot.



He gets off his stool and walks passed me and my friend, with a cheeky smirk on his face, not unlike a cat coming out of the back of a dairy. The toilet was at the end of the bar, as Mick was going through the door and disappearing into the toilet, I yelled out loud 51 for a dollar, Mick yells out (anytime). Even though we couldn't see him.



When he comes back, he say's you boys want a game 51 for a dollar. We agreed, Mick has a few shots on the board to loosen up. Then we empties his pocket, the game was finished. Mick looked at me and he said "I know you fella", I said I don't think you do. Mick say's your from Collie, I said "where the !!!! is Collie".  He say's "by gee you remind me of someone". Until this day he knows no different.



How I Financed My Hunting


The photo of the pigs and Barry shows his first day hunting, because while we were sitting at the Bar, Barry asked me if I could take him out. I said that I'd be more than happy to take him out. He was keen and asked if it was possible if we could go out next weekend. I told him my address and to be there at 6 o'clock Sunday morning. I'm not too sure but I think we had 5 or maybe 7, I think there was a couple more to go into the ute.


We got off to a bad start, the dogs would scent the pigs with the wind from the back of the ute. It didn't matter what speed I was doing. The first pig they scented was a long way from the road, also on the backside of a big swamp. We could just make the dogs out barking, by the time we got through the big swamp, we were both knackered. Also it had been raining and we couldn't get any wetter than if we jumped in the river. I said to Barry, I'm not sure if were capable of getting this pig back to the ute, again he was keen and said we'll get it back and we did.


I thought this might take the shine off of the hunt for him. I suggested we might head home as we were so wet. He said that he would like to keep on hunting and we should light a fire and dry ourselves. So I drove over to an area where they had not long put a big power-line through the forest.


I was going to light up one of the wind rows of timber. As I pulled up  the dogs went over the side of the ute, Barry said your dogs have gone, I said their just keen. I went to throw a match in the wind row when  the dogs started barking a couple of hundred yards from us, It was open Jarrah forest, good conditions.


The barking stopped then started, they done this a few times. I said to Barry I know the dogs have got trouble, because the barking will only stop and start when they have got a big boar, or more than one pig. When we gets to the barking, they had three or four big pigs, but when I looked around there were pigs everywhere.


I have never seen this before, they were all sows and they were all in season. They didn't seem to want to breakaway, so i'd take one off of the dogs and tie it and they'd grab another one, until we had five or six tied up and the rest were gone, the two dogs were exhausted. Barry and myself as well by the time we got them to the ute.


While we were driving home, Barry asked me what I was going to do with them. I said I would try and find buyers . A lot of people made Italian sausages out of them. Also the meat was as good as domestic pig or better, we thought. Barry told me that his job was making sausage skins at an Abattoir. Also he said he knew a lot of people who would buy the pigs. He asked what price I was charging, I told him 10 dollars a pig, It didn't matter if they weighed 150lb or 100lb or 80lb.


So I followed Barry back to his home town and into the Picton Pub, I also said that I know some Italians in Bunbury, which was another 10klms on from Picton. I rang them and told them what I had, they said they would come out and take three. Barry turns up and hands me ten dollars, I told him I just got rid of three on the phone, he went away and came back with another ten dollars, he done this 2 or 3 times and I told him he had better not sell any more as the Italians would turn up for their three, he said you've got an argument on your hands, I said why, he told me to come outside.


There was a big man standing at the side of my ute, we were introduced, he said are you only charging ten dollars for these, I said yes, he said that I'm taking the biggest one. I told him they were all gone the Italians were taking the last three. He leans over the side of the ute and picks the biggest up and walks off to his car. I remembered how me and Barry battled to carry that pig out of the bush, and something told me not to argue with him. We were still there when the pub closed that night, we'd had a good session on the dartboard. I slept at Barry's that night and went home next morning. 


Pigs at Night


Many hunting trips will stay in your mind, for what ever reason. Especially if one of your good dogs are killed, or you've had a near miss yourself or one of your mates. Or something exciting has happened. I remember having trouble catching up with this mob of pigs. The farmer was concerned they were getting into his crop, when it was maybe a foot high. It was about a 4 to 6 thousand acre farm.


I'd tried a few times but was unable to find them, I couldn't find their pads leading back to the forest, I remember asking the farmer if he could find where they were going back into the forest. He also failed. As time went on and the crops were maturing fast.


It was Christmas and I would take the family to the coast for 4 weeks, fishing and diving. My oldest boy is 45 now and you can count on one hand how many Christmas's we missed. I've done this myself for 60 yrs, thanks to my father.


When I returned home from the holidays, the farmer told me why we couldn't find their tracks on the boundary, they were camped  in the middle of the crop. I goes out there late in the evening, the dogs picked their scent with the wind, I waited and I could hear their barking in the distance. When I caught up with them they had the big mob, all bailed up on the edge of the river among the paperbark swamp.


The dogs become a bit cautious in this situation, because if they grab one pig the others will get into them. It was maybe a half an hour before dark. I shot a big boar and knocked him to the ground, I remember looking at him as I ran past, his eye's had rolled back and I reckoned he was dead, the dogs were still barking with the rest of the mob further on.


The pigs know that their safety is  in numbers. There was different size litters, some 80lb some 20lb. One of the 80lbs made a break to get away, the dogs went after him and had him in about 50yds. I took it off them straight away and tied it and they were barking with the mob again. It worked out good because this happened another three times, giving me four pigs tied up. By this time it was well after dark, the dogs were a bit tuckered out.


I remembered after getting the 4 pigs back to the ute, then returning to have a look at the big boar, he was gone. I must have grazed his head and stunned him. Also I realized my dogs were not there with me, I knew they must have got a second wind and gone up along the river somewhere looking for the mob again. I got in my car and drove a kilometre, when I listened I could hear them barking.


They had gone back to the second camp the pigs had made after the farmer harvested his crop and disturbed them. There was 2 big sows and a litter of small pigs. I took the biggest sow that was not feeding young and the first photo shows the other sow with it's young, I left them. More than happy with the photo's I had taken of them.


The second photo shows you the sow that I took and the condition they were in, living inside that crop. The third photo shows the dogs and the pigs in a standoff, until I said " Get hold of him". The dogs love to hear those words. I would say that to them in the backyard just to stir them up, sometimes 4 of them. They would eventually get me to the ground, without marking me or drawing blood. It was a game we played. They were as friendly as friendly comes.





Hard Yakka

This photo shows myself in front, brother in-law Peter in the middle and his mate Starky. The both of them had just returned from Vietnam.  This boar would have weighed between 2-3 hundred lb and we had carried him a long way.


The macho image kicks in and you don't want to be the first to give in. Starky was new to the game and I thought  he was ready to collapse, I know I was. I suggested to Starky that he should keep swallowing, for the lump in his throat, might be his arsehole, it worked, he laughed and collapsed, then I looked at him and said your as weak as piss. All in fun!  



More Hard Yakka


This photo shows my oldest boy at the back carrying the pig with his mate Flapper, also the third oldest boy Brett, who is a bit young, but would love to have a go. You can see their knackered, they've carried it a long way. I remembered telling Starky to keep swallowing, because of that lump in his throat, but as you can see they are ready to collapse.


I have lost count of how many people I have taken out the bush hunting pigs, women included.



Hard Yakka Contd


This photo shows my oldest boy Dave when he was maybe 12 or 13 and his mother, loading the pigs into the ute. We had carried them a long way, with the wife and Dave rotating in turns of carrying it with me. I remember we were trying to get across a creek, the wife slips and drops her end and all but sits me on my arse in the creek. I remember jumping up grabbing her by the neck and rolling on the ground. (no I didn't)    


I remember this day in particular, we get's up the road about another ten klms  and the dogs played up again on the back of the ute. They would scream and howl and spin , like someone had put turps on their arse, but they had got the scent of pigs in the wind. They got going and disappeared for about 5 or 10 mins, they had gone to the right hand side of the road.


Luck had it I was looking up the road about 4 or 5 hundred yrds, in time to see the dogs come across with their heads to the ground. No doubt on the pigs tracks. I knew which way to run, straight up the gully that I was in. There was a big swamp and I thought that's where the dogs would find them.


About halfway I run's into a boar, coming away from where the dogs were barking, I stood and watched, he was maybe only 10 yrds away,  he was running towards my ute, my 2 boys were running towards me, and  told me later they also seen the boar.


This is the only time this has happened to me, I could hear another vehicle and I knew that it was very close to mine. Also I thought they might have seen the boar on the road. I know my dogs would have had the biggest boar in the mob, that was a habit they had, nine times out of ten they would pick on the biggest boar. They couldn't handle him, I got close enough to grab the dogs by the scruff of the neck and coaching them to leave him.



When I get's back to the ute. The vehicle I heard, was a pig hunter, the boar had run out in front of him and his dogs. He had him, he said that he'd been out most of the day walking through the forest looking for the pigs. I don't think he had dogs that were capable of scenting from the back of the ute while it was travelling  at that time.


I knew him well and I was a very good mate of his brother, his name was Micky Tylor. I knew he kept his pigs in sty's. He'd put good tucker through them and then sell them. I would say that Micky's dogs maybe started to scent with the wind, because I know that he was getting a lot of pigs in the finish. I told him I had no plans for the two pigs that I had. Micky was happy to take the both of them.


I believe the hunters were controlling the wild pig to a degree, but then the Authorities or the white collar decided to close access to our forests, by putting it under Quarantine, using what a lot of the old bushman said was not necessary right the spread of Die-back. It caused an explosion in the pig population. The hunters and their dogs were unable to get access to them.


The farms that the Quarantined forests surrounded were being tipped upside down by wild pigs. There was complaints go into the papers about the damage they were causing. One farmer took photo's of his paddocks, then asked me if I would go through his back gates and hunt these mobs, I said I would, he said if there's trouble over this, he would go to court with the photo's and sue for damage. I could not believe when I got into these forests, the damage the Timber Contractors had done, I have many photo's of this destruction.


In the early 70's a gentleman came to my house and asked me if I would talk to him about the destruction these pigs were causing. He was working for the APB     (Agriculture Protection Board) his job was to locate and poison all the noxious weeds, like (blackberry)(capetulip)I think (pattersons curse)and a few others.


Also he had a small farm and there was a  mob of pigs giving him trouble, his neighbour also had trouble with pigs. I hunted off many farms. When the pigs moved in they would let me know. Some of these were under lock and key and they would give me a spare key for my keyring. I was more than happy to rid them of their problems. He told me that the APB also the PWD (Public Works Dept) and CALM ( Conservation and Land Management) had very little or no knowledge of the wild pig. Personally I would say no knowledge.



Contd Knowledge of the Wild Pig


If you remember my mother is in her 90's and remembers when she was a little girl, her father hunting with dogs in the day of the horse and cart. I don't know the exact year, but my mother was maybe 16 when she met my father when he was roughly 20. At the time he was working on a farm that was on the Blackwood River, maybe 70 or 80klms south of Collie. The little town was called Balingup.  Dad told me stories of his hunting and fishing. He moved to Collie and they were married two years later. Hunted our forest the rest of his life.


I agreed to do a research program on the pigs, roughly how far and wide they were spread and what their eating habits were. Also if they had any disease. I know they were scared if Foot and Mouth ever got into the wild pig, it would be nearly impossible to control.


I think all of the Governments Departments shared the costs of paying another gentlemans wages over two years in this research. We would tag many pigs over this time and release them. We would take blood samples also (faeces). I presumed they studied what they were eating. The feedbag of the big boars that I had to shoot, also some of their carcasses were taken to Murdoch University for research. I can't recall a bad report.


I remember one boar, he was nearly dead with old age, he had a couple of big lumps on his body, also he was a bag of bones. I remember the fellow who was being paid for doing the research suggesting if Murdoch University was going to find any disease in these wild pigs, there was a chance it would be in this boar. The next weekend he told me there was no difference between that boar and a domestic pig. The photo below shows that boar.


Pigs in the Spotlight


This photo shows my two youngest boys Craig about 8 and Brett 12. They loved to go out spotlighting at night, looking for rabbits. Also I would let them shoot a kangaroo for dog meat, this was all done on farms.Where these animals were damaging crops.


This night the boy's were standing on the back of the ute and they spots this wild pig, I started chasing it through the paddocks in the ute, I would cut in front of it and turn it, I done this a few times and all of a sudden he stops, I was about 15 yards from it, the boy's were normally good, they knew not to make a noise or move when I was about to shoot.


I had zeroed in on the temple, when they both started laughing, they were out of control, the pig bolted, so I had to chase after it again in the ute. I'd hit the brakes, shoot at it on the run, I hit it three times before it dropped. The rifle was a small caliber 22. I said I should kick you's in the arse. I did'nt tell them but I was laughing a little bit myself as I was chasing it.  



Pigs in the Night

This photo shows a mob of wild pig's, the boy's are on the back of the ute with the spotlight on them, I was driving,  the wife was on the passenger side, I told her to set the camera up and pass it to me, she then lent over and was steering the ute while I hung out the window with the camera.



Another Night



This photo show's the 2 dogs and both my youngest boy's and the wife positioning a good size boar alive. Some people who have seen this photo ask how come the wife is doing that and I tell them that the pig will bite you and I don't like handling them.


You can see the youngest boy Craig has a torch in his hand and Brett has the spotlight in his right hand. We were'nt hunting pigs this night, we were after marron and if you look in front of the brown and white dog Rebel you will see a scoop net.


We were on private property which had a river running through the middle of it. The boy's had 3 or 4 meat baits on string in one of the pools, they would scoop a few marron off of these baits, then we would drive about a kilometre to another pool, where they had also put some baits. We would stay there for maybe half an hour, then go back to the first pool.


I had left some spare bait wrapped up in paper, something had tore the paper and taken some of  the bait. I said to the wife I don't know what has done this, so I wrapped it up and put it in the fork of a big paperbark, about 6 ft off the ground.


Another thing as we would travel from one pool to the next, when I hopped out of the ute, I could hear all the farmers sheep in the distance making a hell of a din. He'd been having trouble with town dogs, travelling out about 6 or 7 klms and killing sheep.


I said to the wife that we'll go and check it out, they were on the opposite side of the river, so I had to drive about 4 or 5 klms to cross over. The two boy's were on the back with the spotlight and the two dogs, I also had my rifle. I pulled up and listened and they were still going mad, just over the hill in front of me.


The boy's shone the spotlight on them and they were running to us. I said to the wife I know what's going on, it was late in the summer and the paddocks were low on feed and the farmer had been hand feeding them, in a diesel ute the same as mine and they thought they were going to be fed. False alarm.


While we were on that side the boy's knew the paddocks as well as I did, they said can we check the rabbit warrens, there were a few rabbit's running around. The boy's said can we try and get them with the machette. I said they could, I was holding the spot and they were running around like they were the last of the Mohicans.


They climbed into the back of the ute and they said that the dogs are not here dad, I thought they'd maybe got onto another rabbit in the night. When one of the dogs started barking, also I could hear another pig squealing in the distance, I grabbed the little torch and some pig rope and the boy's were shining the spot down towards them.


When I get there Rebel has got the boar that you see in the back of the ute. The other dog had a smaller pig in the river, which he let go, I'd say because he heard the other dog barking. After we sorted thing's out and headed back to the pool  where the baits were. The boy's continued catching marron. I realised that the spare bait that I had wrapped up and put in the fork of the paperbark was gone and I realised it was water rats. 


Growing up in the Bush



This is a photo of my three oldest boy's, who's ages are today Dave 45, Jamie 42 and Brett 39. Craig hasn't arrived yet. The photo is misleading, the stick was bent that way, it is a Redfin Perch and we consider it as good as any fish in the ocean.


The dogs you see in the background, the white one was named Sandy and the other was Red, they died young. Red was 14mnths and Sandy was killed 3 weeks later,  they were brothers. Also they were very aggressive and known as grabbers, they loved the battle and handled many big pigs. They were also first class scenting dogs from the back of the ute. They would hunt on the wind at any speed I would travel.


Different people that I took out over a time could not believe when the dogs started howling on the back with scent, because sometimes there would be half a dozen or more pigs in the back it made no difference. They scented on the incoming wind and the distance they could scent these pigs you had to see to believe. But grabbers don't go the distance. A boar will one day catch up with them.

I remember this day, with Sandy and Red and their father Rusty, they had got onto a bad boar, who would not bay up and kept breaking into the distance, so I just had to keep running ,every now and then I would stop and listen and would just make out the barking in the distance, I would run again and when I listened, there was no barking.


I'd left a friend back at the car, when I finally caught up with them, I shot the big boar, both Red and Sandy were ripped, Red the worst, I fired two shots into the air, hoping my friend would hear it, but he was out of range. As I was walking back the dogs were no doubt sore and feeling sorry for themselves. Red was bleeding pretty bad.


As I was approaching a main gravel road, that I had crossed over while chasing them, I could hear a vehicle coming. I knew it wasn't my friend by the sound of it, it was a four-wheel drive. It turns out they are Fishery Officers or Wardens. He hits the brakes and being on gravel, slides to a stop, maybe 10ft from where I was standing, he said how you going, I said do you want me to tell ya, he said you do look f!!!!d, I could have said exhausted but this is a true story.


When he saw the state of the dogs, he said what's happened. I told him I'd shot a big boar up on the side of the hill, they seemed pretty keen, they wanted to have a look at it. So I took them up and showed them. When we come back to their vehicle, he asked me where my vehicle was. I told him it was a fair way off inside a pine plantation. He told me to put the dogs in the back and he would take me back to my vehicle. I said the dogs were bleeding to much and they'd mess up his car. So I said if you don't mind, I'll tell you what roads to take and you can tell my friend where I am, which he did, they were a couple of decent fellas.


The Red dog was out of action for about a month. More Vet bills. And his next hunt would be his last. There was a young fella that used to like coming out the bush with me when I had room, he was about 14 or 15yrs old. He'd been on quite a few pigs with me.


On this particular afternoon we had tagged a boar and released him and we were on our way home when the dogs picked up scent, I said to the young fella I'm not going to stop, it's too close to dark, also I'd seen the tracks of a big boar a couple of days earlier with my father, and I had commented on the size of his tracks.


The young fella was keen and he said that it might be different pigs, I did'nt need much convincing. I hit the brakes and the dogs were screaming over the tailgate and back up the road. I reversed back, there was quite a thick swamp. When I hopped out of the vehicle, I could hear the dogs trying to find the pigs. They seemed to be taking too long to catch up with it, I said to the young fella that we've got troubles the dark was fast coming on us.


Then all the dogs fired up barking, troubles for sure. I knew they had that big boar.I always carried a torch in the car. I pick up my rifle and I told the young fella to wait at the car, the barking would stop and then start again, I was within maybe 20 to 30 yrds of him. I could hear the big boar moaning and smacking his tusks together.I couldn't see this, but he lets out a large grunt and charges the dogs, I knew he had one of them  by the mournful howl, things went quiet, then I heard a noise coming to me. I've got a rifle with tellies and a torch inside a swamp, not a good feeling, it turns out it's the Red dog, as he's heading passed me to the vehicle I could see he was in a bad way.


The dogs started barking again with the boar, he charges again and the barking stops, I could hear the dogs noise going away from me, then deadly quiet. I've seen this many times in the day time. Inside a swamp the boar will stand still and listen for the noise and charge at it. I knew not to make a noise, but I thought he might hear my heart. I waited for the dogs I could hear them returning. I thought I hope they don't come to me. Luck had it they didn't.


When they started barking, I turned and got out of there as quick as I could. The young fella said that Red's in the front of the ute. I always had hessian bags in the ute, I picked him up and laid him on the bags in the back of the ute. I didn't like his chances. All this time the dogs were still barking about 50yrds from the road, I would whistle and call them every now and then but they would not leave him.


I wiped the blood off of the front seat with one of the hessian bags, I said to the young fella  we'll drive off into the distance. When we pulled up and I got out of the car and listened, you could just hear the dogs barking, maybe a klm away, I waited for 10-15 mins, then I drove back a passed where they were and kept going for about a klm the opposite way, done the same and you could just hear them barking in the distance.


I sat there for maybe another half an hour, I was going to drive passed them again, as I was taking off there was a set of headlights coming towards me on a gravel road, as it gets closer to me, this fella pokes a sign out the window of his car, which read Fisheries Stop, I pulls up along side of his door, he recognises me and asked !How ya going!, it was the same Fisheries Officer that came onto me when Red and Sandy were wounded. I said no things aren't too good. He said why's that I told him to hop out of his vehicle and listen, he could hear the dogs barking, he said what have they got pigs, I said yes.


He had a dog with him, I asked what he was like and he said he was a good dog, I said do you want to see "how good", then I said have a look in the back,  he saw the Red dog and said no I'll give it a miss. He said I hope things turn out alright as he drove off. I was starting to worry, it was a couple of hours after dark, and I knew the young fellas parents would be starting to worry. So I drove  passed one more time and headed home about 25-30klms, I dropped the young fella off at his place.


Then I was going to head back out, but as I was driving passed my sisters house, her husband was getting off the bus, from afternoon shift from the Underground Coalmines. I pulled up and told him what was happening, he was also keen on his pig hunting, and he went back out with me. When I pulled up at the swamp and we hopped out of the car to listen, we could hear the noises of the dogs coming out. The ordeal was over.  

Red died that night.   


Sandy and Red                



This is maybe the last photo of Sandy & Red with their father Rusty. Like I said they were killed three weeks apart. Many people commented on Sandy and they would ask his breed, most of them thought he was a white dingo, the pricked ears and  curled up tail, he's a little dirty in the photo, but he was as white as snow and a champion at six months old. Red would get me pigs, but not in the same class as his father and brother.


It's funny how the real good dogs will pick up some type of habit or an unusual trait. With Sandy you could guarantee every time I pulled up at the service station, the young fella that used to serve me was my cousins son (Macca). When he used to put the nozzle in the fuel tank, which was close to where you can see the dogs feet. Sandy would lean over and put his mouth around the hand piece of the nozzle, all the time he would be looking at young Macca with his tail wagging. The young fella said this day, why do you reckon he does this, I said he more than likely wants to go out all day and he's making sure that you fill it. ( Macca I hope you didn't tell too many of your customers that.)


I remember another time when I pulled up to get fuel. I had not long put a heavy duty roo bar on my ute, there was an elderly lady in front of me in a mini minor, which was maybe the smallest car on the road at that time. Again I remember an old bushman telling me that they had trouble with the mini minor in Collie, he reckoned when the kangaroo dog cocked his leg to pee on the back tyre, it went through the window.


So while I was parked behind the elderly lady, I said to my older brother Reg, I'll just duck over to the shop which was opposite the fuel station and grab a bottle of cool-drink for out the bush, we were going pig hunting. As I opened the door of the shop, I heard quite a loud bang, when I looked over, she had reversed into my roobar. When I get back over there, the brother and the lady were looking at the damage.


She was a well groomed lady with a bun in her hair, She looked at me and said I usually have trouble finding reverse, I thought why would you want reverse when I was parked behind you, I didn't say anything, then she said that it's not even my car, it's my daughters and she is away on holidays. I said that it might have healed by the time she comes home, she never spoke to me again. Not a good time to test someones sense of humour.               


Rusty



This is a photo of Red and Sandy's father Rusty and also my father. You can see that Rusty in his own rights is equally as good looking as Sandy. His build was a little bit larger than a Labrador, but with the same nature. And all his sons were of the same temperament. He reigned for twelve years, so there's many stories to be told on him.


Because a pig dog has to have a bit of luck to last twelve years. The main reason for them not to go the distance is the many boars they come up against in that time, also snake bite. Plus in later years the authorities sprayed tens of thousands of poison baits over hundreds of thousands acres of forest's for fox. ? if you travel our highways, were the paddocks come up to them, there is hundreds of foxes run over in a season. Especially along the low lying coastal paddocks.


They are being sighted inside the towns. I actually seen one at the Entertainment Centre in the city of Bunbury which is 50-60 klms from Collie. I've known them to come into town killing chooks on a quarter acre house blocks. Yet of all the years that I've been associated with hunting I believe that I could count on one hand the amount of foxes I have seen in the middle of the forest also before they were baiting.


Another way they were being controlled again was by hunters, but they stopped the market for their skins. I know different fellas that were killing them in their hundreds, in three or four months in the winter, when their skin was at it's best. And you would get anywhere up to $40 for their skin. And it scares you to think what effect they have on our fauna.   


Scenting Ability of the Pig Dog



This photo shows you the conditions we sometimes come up against.The thick undergrowth in the foreground and the steepness of the hills. The pigs like to feed around the small Pines. It was dangerous for the dogs with a big boar.Where the dogs had trouble manoeuvering, the boar would travel through at top speed and the dogs would be unable to pull him up, until he hit the bottom of these big hills. Many pigs were lost, they'd be out of range and we couldn't hear the dogs barking. They would turn up sometimes 2hours later, worn out because of the conditions with no result.



This is one of those memories that will stay with you. I had a good friend with me, who today is 88yrs Bobby Harrison.  We were on a hill similar to this maybe 40yrs ago, when my dog Rusty picked up scent. They will normally howl and spin around in the back of the ute, but this time he was pretty calm.


When I pulled up he was on the left side of the ute, with his head in the air and fairly sucking in the wind. Also his tail wagging. You can sometimes hear them scenting from the front of the ute. We hopped out  and we were standing there. I said to Bobby that he's got something in the wind, I thought maybe there had been a big boar somewhere in the area maybe the day before. They leave scent on the ground for a long time.


I walked back up the road, the dog followed me, but he didn't leave me.So I said to Bobby we'll give it a miss, told Rusty to get on the back. As I went to get in the ute, I said to Bobby he's still interested. So I made like I was going to walk off the road and said "where is he." He thought that  was enough reason, no doubt he wanted to check it out.


He headed down the big hill pretty fast. We couldn't see any of this the pines were about 10-15 ft high. I said to Bob that we'll head up the road and take the next two turns to the left. The pines are in square apartments and I thought we might cut across his line. I pulled up roughly where I thought it might be. It was maybe a couple of kilometres by road but only 1 klm the way Rusty went. We walked around thinking he may start barking.


After about 20mins or half an hour. I said to Bob he's on to something, because he very rarely went for anything other than a pig. As we were walking around, I noticed car tracks and fresh boot marks on the ground, I said these look fresh. When I looks up to my car Rusty comes out of the bush wagging his tail as though he had done his job. I said to Bobby I think I know whats going on.


These boot marks are from pig hunters and Rusty has been to where they have got pigs. Bob knew Rusty's ability and didn't dispute it. I give him a pat and said show me and he set off back up the hill. About 4 or 500yrds and shows me a pig trap. And they had just taken a couple of pigs that morning. So way up on top of that hill a bit earlier, when Rusty was confused. No doubt he could smell pig also human, plus they had the top quarter of a kangaroo with sawdust over it, plus a big bag of apples.


We kept on hunting, we had three or four good pigs in the ute and we had released a couple. We decided to head to the pub or as we used to call it a watering hole. It was only about 20-30klms from where we were, it was a small bush town, one hotel, a police station and one store. The main employment was the big timber mill and forestr


We were sitting in the corner of the bar next to the wall also the dart board. And Bobby liked to play as well. It' a Saturday and there's 15-20 mill-workers sitting at the bar. We'd had a few drinks. We could look through a big window at the ute and see if the dogs were alright. If they got out, it was for a piddle. Then I would go out and say stay in the ute and they wouldn't get out again, they were very obedient.


This time when I look out to check them, there's a gentleman walking up from the railway line. He looks over and see's the dogs, because Bobby had a big brindle kangaroo dog as good as they come. This fella walks off his line to have a look in the back of the ute. I said to Bobby, he's checking us out.  Then comes into the pub, looks up and down the bar, spots us and comes over, orders a beer.


Then he say's "I see you boy's have been out pigging". He asked where we were from, I told him. Then he said I've been out myself and got a couple this morning. I looked at Bobby and give him a wink. I said you got yours out of a trap mate. A real startled look on his face, and he said how did you know that? I said we get around. He's a local and a few of the fellas at the bar were his mates, and they were listening.


Both Bobby and myself laugh a little and it gets the better of him. He said you don't know where my trap is. I said I believe I do. He say's I'll bet $20's you don't. I said listen matey, before you get too carried away. You've got a kangaroo top quarter with sawdust over it and a bag of apples. That real disappointed look comes over him.


Would you believe he pulls a set of darts out of his pocket. While he's having a conversation with us and after a few drinks. He keeps throwing the darts, he turns around and say's we've got dogs too, me and my mate and I think they'll be better than yours. Not the sort of thing you say to another man about his dogs. But I let it go.


I commented on his darts. He said do you play darts. I said yes I do, a couple of years ago I had a game. So he challenges me. I said yeah I'll have a game with ya. So I grabs a set of darts from behind the bar and went up and had a few throws. One throw I nearly missed the pub and he say's what are we going to play for mate. I said just a game and have a throw.


He said we usually play for a beer. I had a couple more throws and I was getting closer to the board. He said hey mate a beer costs 40cents, why don't we play for 50cents and pay for your own beer. I said you've got me. When I looked at Bobby, he had a grin a foot wide. I slowly emptied his pocket and I knew I had his Saturday's allowance. He surrenders, also he said I thought you said you didn't play darts. I said I told you I had a game a couple of years ago. He said I don't know about that I'm an A grade player. I said well that's how it is.


He gets back on about how good his dog's were. He's not happy. I said I'll tell you what I'll do with you. I'll come over here next weekend and take you out with my dogs. Then the following weekend, we will go out with your dogs. He's got himself in too deep and his mates are listening and he agrees. I said we won't do this for nothing and I'll bet you $20's on the outcome. He excepts. I've even got photo's of him ( sorry Johnny).           


Story Contd



The photo shows Johnny on the right and this is the first weekend I went over and took him out with my dogs. You can't quite make my mate Bobby out on the other end of the pole. There was another pig with this one, but we could only get one across at a time.


I remember when we picked him up at his house and we were still on the bitumen road, when the dogs started howling on the back. Our first mob of pigs. I hit's the brakes. Sometimes I had to pump the brakes to pull the dogs away from the tailgate, because they would try and go over while I was travelling too fast.


I said to Johnny you better get going, the dogs will have pigs in a minute. Because you have to get to them as quick as you can, if you don't they may damage the pig. He seemed to want to wait for me, so we got going and I could hear a big pig squealing. I took it off the dogs and they got going again. It was a sow and she had not long weaned young . They would have been maybe 20-30lb. So I put a tag in her ear and released her.


Then started to run the way the dogs had gone. We got to the top of a big hill and we couldn't hear nothing. I said to Johnny their out of range, and there's a good chance that they will kill one of those 30pounders. We waited about another half an hour and the dogs returned with blood on them. I told him they had definitely killed one of them youngens. He said do you reckon, like he had a bit of doubt. So I said to the dogs " show me" and they headed off into the distance.


It was quite warm and the dogs were exhausted and they takes us back to a wet swamp. The dogs laid in the water, they would have still showed us where it was, but it was too thick and we will give it a miss. We walks back to the ute, the dogs have had a spell, also they'd been in the water and they were keen again.


We must have drove about 2klms and the dogs were spinning on the back again and howling. They only went about 100yds and I could hear a pig squealing. We runs up to it and I take it off the dogs, it was the same sow we had released an hour ago with the tag in her ear. We let her go again and continued hunting.

Johnny was a Forestry worker and he took us into areas I hadn't been. We were traveling along the top of a big hill. Looking to our left at the bottom of the  hill about 3-400yrds, there is a big freshwater creek, that you see the boy's carrying the pig across. It was very open bush.


The dogs played up again and we stood at the car and watched them get to the creek and disappear. We walked around but we couldn't see any diggings or pig tracks, Johnny said do you think it's pigs, I said I know it's pigs, they won't do this for anything else. On the opposite side of the creek there was also a big hill equal to the one we just come down. There was a hollow running up this hill.


There was a bit of a storm coming in from the Northwest and blowing towards us from that hollow, I said to Johnny I reckon that's where those pigs will be. A little bit of luck. I was not always right but this time I was. I know this impressed him. We run a long way before we get to them, I could hear a pig squealing and further on I could hear a dog barking. I grab the pig that was squealing off one of the dogs and he takes off to where the other dog was barking and he starts up barking as well. So I know that they've got a pretty mean pig bayed up.


The pig I had was about 80lb. I could see Johnny coming up the hill, so I didn't bother tying it. I thought I'll give it to him, which I did and I told him to tie it while I went up further to where the dog's were barking. I could also see Bobby coming up from the bottom of the hill. It turns out it's about a 150-180lb boar and full of fight.


I took my jumper off and I sneaks up along side of a tree to about 6-7yds from the boar, you stay blind to the boar if you can. I throws my jumper to him and he charges at it, grabs it and shakes it like you can hardly see it. The dogs know this, as he hits the jumper, they hit him. They'll grab an ear each, the boar thinks he's got something and there's less chance that he'll rip a dog. Also I'll have him by the back legs as quick as I can. All their power is in their back legs.


I will then kick at the weakest dog and tell him to get back, which they usually do. Then I will tip the boar the same way the strongest dog is pulling. And it's quite easy to get him to his side. I will drop on his neck with my knee, then I will tie the back leg to the front leg on the same side, roll him over and then tie the other two legs.


When I finish with this boar, I was wondering where Johnny and Bob were. So I walked down the hill to where they had the other pig. They hadn't tied it, I said I'll tie him. Johnny said what did the dogs have up the hill further, I said a fair lump of boar. I told him I had tied the boar up, he said can I go up and have a look at him while your tying this pig. I said yes.



While he was gone Bobby suggested he hadn't been around pigs much at all. When Bobby got to him, he had tied one end of the rope around one front leg and the other end of the rope around the opposite front leg, the ropes about three feet long and it had about as much effect on the pig as if he had tied it around his ear.


On our way home to Johnny's place to let him off, he said can I call that bet off. I did not know that dogs could scent on the back of the ute with the wind and especially at the speed we were doing.  


The top photo is of myself on the left and my mate Bobby on the right. photo below is of Bobby with his dog Harrow, short for Harrison, Bobby's last name.



Beginning of an Era



This photo shows me with the mother and father of all the wind scenting dogs I ever owned. The big dogs name is Lady, she is a half breed stag-hound  and short-hair kangaroo dog cross and very similar to my fathers champion Roo dog Nipper. The other dog is close enough to a full breed American Pit Bull. His name is Buller and I bred five generations from these two.


Before Buller came on the scene the only hunting dogs were roo dogs. My father tells me before my time, when they were hunting kangaroo's only, the dogs would now and then bay a pig. My father was not interested in them. He would shoot them with an old army rifle a 303 and leave them.


You can see in the photo that Buller is a ripple of muscle and I know he had a bad past. He may have even been used in dog fights, which I hated with a passion. A real good mate of mine Bobby Carroll, his brother Richie was living in Bunbury, which wasn't a City then.


I don't know how but Richie got word that they were going to put Buller down, he had killed a couple of dogs. Maybe a friend told Richie and he said that he would like to have a look at him. He said rather than put him down I will take him to my brothers place in Collie and see if they want him for a pig dog, which he did.


My mate told me to come over and have look at him. I told the wife and we both go over, he was on a rope and tied to a fence. When we pull up alongside of him, he was sitting, looking at us. Whether it was because I told the wife that he had killed a couple of dogs, she instantly said I don't want him. Buller had stood up and his tail wagged, I don't believe I've had a better feeling, (well since I first touched my missus on the arse.) Love at first sight, both way's.( isn't that romantic.)


He had many white scars over his head from teeth marks. He was carrying a lot of weight, nothing like he looks in the photo. I put the tailgate down and I had to help him get into the back. I don't know if he'd ever been in a ute, I don't think he had. He was all over me like a rash, licking my hands when I patted him, on our way home, he was going from side to side checking things out. When I pulls up, Lady comes over to the ute, instant mates.


The three pigs in the ute are alive and tied. The bitch is standing on the spare tyre and looking bigger than she is.


The photo below shows a bit of our history, it is an old steam boiler, I think used as a winch on the old formations to load the train. You can see Buller and Lady in the foreground, myself leaning on the wheel and my mate Bobby Carroll on top. If you look between the wheels in the background, you can see a small kelpie type dog that belonged to Bobby, we weren't too sure of his breed. Thanks to another friend who was keen on his camera, Terry True or otherwise I would not have had these early photo's.


I remember when Bobby and myself took the small kelpie out hunting for the first time. We were walking through some hilly country, looking for the pig camps. When Bobby's dog started barking , we could see the dog but there were a few bushes and we couldn't make out what he had. Then we realised he was barking at the ground, I said to Bobby it could be a snake. But turns out it was a bobtail goanna. They've got a big mouth for their size and a blue tongue.


The kelpie who's name was Smoker was running circles around it  barking. Both of us were watching and laughing. I said to Bobby we shouldn't be doing this, because he will think this is what we are hunting. Bobby growled at him and said that's right. Plus I said the next one might be a snake.


We kept walking about another half a kilometre. There were some good pig signs and smoker hadn't been with us for awhile, and he starts up barking 3 or 4 hundred yards in front. As we were getting up closer, I said to Bobby this might be a snake. Smoker was barking at the back of a big tree, and it turns out it's what they call a hollow butt, where the fires over the year have got inside the base of the green tree and burnt out a big hole. He had two big boars, it was their camp. We took the both of them.


Over the next 6mnths Smoker started to show good signs, he'd scented a couple of mobs from the back of the ute. Which he had learnt from the pit-bull. Then his luck run out. He'd bayed a boar at the base of a tree,  he wasn't all that big, his  tusks were about an inch and a half long. I was standing at the back of the tree when the dogs grabbed him, it was like ten seconds and I had him by the back legs and tipped him.


But Smoker had already been hit. It looked like the tusks went in then out. There was no rip, but it was the base of the throat and it had hit an artery. We carried the boar back and put him in the ute. I said to Bobby we'll head home as Smoker was bleeding pretty bad. We done the wrong thing, on the way home we had taken a different road, because we knew there was a big mob in that area.


The dogs started howling on the back, like fools we stopped, the dogs were gone, Smoker as well. When we caught up with them barking they had as mean  a boar as you can get. The pit-bull would pick the biggest boar in the mob every time. It was good open bush and he had picked up a habit with the big boars, when they chased one of the other dogs, he would fly in and lock on the big boars testicles.


They would corkscrew trying to get hold of him that fast that his four legs would be in the air and he took a lot of shaking. Lady makes the mistake going in to try and give him a hand, the boars tusks are maybe 4 or 5inches long and he hits Lady between the front legs in the chest. It must have been at the end of his swing, again the tusks went in then out without ripping. I shot the big boar. We couldn't handle him, we left him there.


All this time we hadn't seen Smoker, I said to Bobby maybe he went back to the ute. He wasn't there, it was good sandy country, so we tracked from where they left the ute. Halfway back to where they had the pigs, Smoker was laying up under a bush. He'd lost too much blood and they know, they will camp up.


When we got home Smoker stood up in the back of the ute. Bobby picked him up and laid him on some bags at the back of his house. We have seen dogs lose a lot of blood and survive and I said to Bob I think he'll make it, I went home and Bobby came up about an hour later and told me Smoker had died. It's so hard when you lose a good dog, they become part of the family. The boy's all get upset, the wife gets upset. And it puts a lump in your throat.  



Memories of my Mate



This photo shows my mate Bobby Carroll on the left and myself also smoker under the pig. Before the big timber mills became automatic, press a button or push a lever. Bobby's job was man handling everything and he was the number one bench-man. He had a real good eye for timber, because they have to get the maximum out of a log. (His workmates reckon he could skin a rabbit on a bench.)


Another thing Bobby was an absolute gentleman. He would not tolerate any swearing around a female, maybe once, he would step in and they wouldn't swear again.


I remember a time we were out hunting. We had a couple of pigs and the pit-bull had been missing for maybe an hour. There was a gully that went away from the roads with no access. I told Bobby to drive around and listen in different spots while I walked up this gully in case  he'd gone that way. I had walked some distance and when I listened I could just make him out barking in the distance. No doubt the boar was breaking on him and he could not stop it, it was in a thick swamp gully.


I knew this country,  the swamp ran for kilometres. I couldn't take the risk and go back to Bobby and tell him because they would get out of range and I would lose him again. When I caught up with him, the swamp was only 40-50yrds wide. It was bad conditions, no protection for me. I called out to Buller and I could hear the boar put in after him. He came out of the swamp and he's looking at me wagging his tail, then looks back.


The big boar comes out onto the edge of the thicket. I put the rifle to my shoulder, as if he knew he went back into the swamp,with Buller behind him. I never saw or heard them again, after about an hour I went back to where I knew Bobby was, told him what had happened. We decided to go for a drive and pick up that big gully a couple of kilometres away.


We walked around for maybe an hour or more. I said to Bobby that he's a real dog killer, he's as big as boars come and a mean set of tusks. We decide to sit it out, every now and then we would fire the rifle. Another hour passes, it's not looking good. I said that we'll drive along a couple of the major roads.  Because sometimes the dog will hear another vehicle go through. They will come out onto that road and follow that car track.


At that time Buller was the only dog scenting with the wind from the back of the ute. You get a sick feeling come over you, money can't buy this dog, he's your pride and joy.


Then to make matters worse we drives onto a vehicle, parked on the side of the road, it was a T junction. He was a bush-worker waiting for his mates to show them what road to take. When I pulls up, he comes walking over to our ute. He's a fair lump of a man. We had two other dogs with us.


Bobby said to him, you haven't seen a dog have ya?  He said actually I've  seen two, in the back of your ute. He doesn't realise its not the time to test Bobby's sense of humour. As Bobby opens the door to step out, he say's your a smart fella aren't ya. Also he say's I'm going to see how smart you are. He ran for his car and I'm not too sure if he opened the door or dived through the window.


We drove back to where Buller got onto the pigs. I had left my jumper on the side of the bush-track and he was standing there. A real good feeling.


This is another photo of Bobby Carroll, who has since passed away. He contracted Motor Neurons Disease in his early 60's. A good mate is sadly missed. I will tell many stories on him.


His wife Val and daughter Donna and family kept him at home while he battled the devastating disease for ten years. A credit to them. If ever a disease foundation needs all the support possible, it's MOTOR NEURON.  




A Potential Dog Killer



This photo is of myself and  shows what I consider to be one of the most deadliest Boars the dogs can come up against. He is the runt of the litter and is full grown. The first thing the dogs think, we can handle him because of his size. You can see the tusks he is carrying. Also he has no doubt been knocked about by the big boars, and has got a grudge on the world. In the human world it's known as the little man syndrome. We will shoot these as quick as we can. The boar not the little man.


Bale-up in Water



This photo shows two of my dogs with a big boar in the water. They first picked him up about 1 kilometre in the forest along side of a creek that ran down to this water catchment. After I shot it and we were standing there debating on what to do. We either had to carry it back up the gully, which would have been about 4 or 500 yrds to where we could get it across the creek, as you can see he is a big boar. I said to the two fellas with me, the other alternative is to swim him across from here.


The timberline you can see on the opposite side of the water is where the bushtrack is and I can get my ute to there. The biggest fella said right we will swim him across, me and you, I said you should be able to handle him by yourself. He wouldn't take his eye off me for awhile, then agreed. Me and the other fella set off to get the ute and come back down to the closest point. I hopped out of the car and took a photo of Bill coming out of the water with the boar. His tusks stand out like they do, because I had put a stick about 6 inches long in his mouth to show them off.  We load him in the ute, we had another pig as well about 20 or 30lb that the dogs had killed.


We pulled into a hotel and had a few beers and then we take the other fella home, his name was Les. When we pull up he said I will get my mum and wife and show them the big boar. They came over to the side of my ute and they said "he's a big mean pig isn't he" I don't think they'd seen one before. His mother said, look at the big teeth. Then she say's whats that stick in his mouth.


When you have got maybe a bit too much beer in you, your inclined to mishandle the truth. I told her that the dogs had the boar in the middle of a water catchment. And I said that they will kill the dogs every-time under those conditions.


I told her I never had time to take my clothes off, I dived in and swam out to meet the boar, he left the dogs and came straight for me. She said what happened, I said that piece of wood in his mouth, was floating along side of me, I grabbed it with my left hand, and when he went to bite me, I poked it in his mouth and he could not close it, she again asked me "what happened then". I said while I was hanging on to the stick in his mouth, I put my right arm under the water and grabs him by the balls and squeezes as hard as I could at the same time pulling his head under with my left hand. And drowns him.


It all come undone when Les said Mum when we cut him open this little pig was inside him. She said now I know you mongrels are lying. I shouldn't have to tell you but we were. 




They Start Young



These pups are not yet 3 months and their the fourth generation of the pit-bull and Lady the kangaroo dog. It's because they start at this age and  brought up learning from their father, they become champions. Lady was the only female I ever owned. I would only keep male dogs and I would pick the bitch to put them over.


I remember in the early day's when I put the pit-bull over Lady and their first litter was maybe the same age as the two pups in the photo. I liked to take them out the bush, not necessarily to get anything. I liked to walk them around the open forest and they would be watching their mother and father run around scenting the ground.


This particular day the two adults put in a run and I watched them disappear with the two little pups trying to keep with them, but they lost sight of them. One pup turned back and came to me and I lost sight of the other one. Straight away I thought this could be bad for the pup. A couple of minutes later I could see the big dogs coming back, but no pup.


I stood there for a minute looking into the distance. I spot the pup coming back, he's maybe 2 or300 yds from me. He turns right angles and go's away from us. I started to run and I was pointing towards him and I was telling Lady to get hold of him, like I'd seen a kangaroo. She spots him and hits top speed, until she gets to him, they turn and  come back. I thought I could have lost him so easy.


I put the two pups in the front of my ute and I thought I would go for a drive. It all helps, they get used to traveling in the ute. We were having a good winter and the day before, we had 2 or 3inchs of rain. I turned up a main gravel road and it crossed over the river.


The pups were playing up, they could see the big dogs on the back through the window and they were climbing onto the back of the seat behind my head trying to get to them. I was grabbing them with one hand trying to pull them back and telling them to settle down. I didn't realise the amount of rain we had had. The river had burst it's banks and the bridge was under water.


As I pull up, the big dogs went over the side and headed up the road to the edge of the river. One dog went to the left, the other to the right. I knew it was on, they were not going by sight they were on scent. The one that went to the right realised and returned and went to the left. I wound the window up in the car, grabbed the rifle, shut the door to keep the pups in.


The dogs were really cranked up barking. As I ran along the edge of the flooded river. I could see where the big boar had been digging. There was thousands of worms. The water  rose that quick the worms were coming up from the ground trying to get away. Also the bushes and shrubs about 2 or 3ft into the water, were a mass of worms. I have seen this three times in my life. The boar had been feeding on them.


When I get within a couple of hundred yards I could smell him. I get to about 30yards, he'd backed into the water. As it rises the water on the edge is calm. The boar doesn't know I'm there, also he didn't know what hit him. I was using a small 22 calibre lever action with telescopic sights. I would always shoot from side on and I would aim for the temple  just above the eye. Like I've said before I've shot hundreds. If you hit the mark it never fails, they will not close their eye's. Sometimes they will very slowly sink to the ground, they don't know their dead.


I snug the big boar out of the water as much as I could and I headed back to the ute to get the pups. As I was taking them back to the boar, when I got to about 50yrds, they were smelling his diggings also the air and they would not go any further. I went and sat on the boar and rolled a cigarette. I couldn't coach them in. It makes you wonder if they don't get vibes off the big dogs that this is danger. They eventually came to me and showed a bit of interest, they started to smell him and check everything out.      


Dead on his Feet



Like I said when you shoot a big boar and  hit the spot. The photo above shows the results. His front legs will stay stiff, even while his back end is on the ground. He'll eventually roll over and the nerves will kick in and start to thrash. The dogs seem to like to have hold of them when they do that. You can see the dog running in.



This photo shows myself squatting along side of a boar that is as mean as you will get. You can see the size of his tusks and the power in his short body.  You can see on his shoulder what they call the fighting pad and it is just starting to overlap his front leg. I've only seen this once, where I could put my hand up under the overlap.


I remember skinning a big boar one time and there was the lead of a 303 army rifle, lodged under the fighting pad, it hadn't got to his body.



This photo shows the gentleman, who I done the two years study of the wild pigs with. Kim and his lady friend at the time Vicky. I know they got off on pig hunting and enjoyed every bit of it.


This photo shows how the boars will protect their back with whatever is there. This is the same boar you see Vicky and Kim with in the previous photo. I remember taking Vicky up to where the  photo was taken at the back of the log. There was plenty of protection for her, also I thought there wasn't too much danger for the dogs, I couldn't see any tusks. So I was taking my time letting her have a good look. But when he charged the dogs and came back to the log, I was looking at the other side of him and there was a 4 or 5 inch tusk, the other had been broken. So I shot him.


I remember before we got this boar, I had shot another big black boar. Also we had hit two other mobs of small pigs.  I forget how many we tagged and released, I know one was a little sow about 60lb and she was heavy in pig maybe 2 or 3 day's from having them.


Vicky was carrying a little cardboard box with whatever Kim was using to document the pigs. A set of pliers he used to put the metal tags in the ear, a syringe for taking samples of blood, a notebook for writing down the details. This was their first time in the bush hunting and the box was a little bit awkward carrying. Later on when he realised he got himself a briefcase and I used to think he looked like a Philadelphian Lawyer in gum boots.


I will always see in my mind Vicky standing there with the cardboard box in her arms and Kim had the little sow that was pregnant. We would normally snig it over to a log or stump. So when Kim released it he had protection. But this time I said to Kim just release her and run . Vicky and myself were standing about 30yrds from them. Being so heavily pregnant I thought she would be a bit slow, she was'nt, she was on her feet and after Kim.


I can see him zigzagging around the shrubs and bushes with rubber boots on and Vicky screaming keep running Kim.  The pig eventually lost sight of him, then turns and looks at me and Vicky. Lets out with a grunt and comes at us. I yelled run Vicky. She took off with a scream. It looked so funny with that cardboard box in her arms. I made sure I kept that little bit in front of her and every time she looked back the pig was closer and the screams got louder. I knew the pig would veer off and get going.   I also knew  Vicky would not know that. She was quite a lady and not long out of University.  As we were driving along the road she said that was quite exciting back there.  Good memories.     


Pigs In Ute



This photo shows you two wild boars, that I shot on a small Private property, that was surrounded by Jarrah Forests. This day my wife was with me and my youngest son Craig, he was about 5 also a young pig-dog about 6 months old. He'd been in quite a few pig hunts with the good dogs. I used to like to test them by themselves occasionally and to see how good they were.


We had actually gone out for some soil. The property had what they call red loam soil, no better for the vegetable garden. I remember pulling up at a mound of loam that had been pushed up by a machine. Which made it easier to shovel into the ute.


I noticed a big boars track, I said to the wife that this looks fresh, so I'm going to take the pup for a walk. This property had been planted in small pine tree's and there was quite a few clumps of bracken fern. They varied some were half an acre others an acre and thick enough to hide pigs. I had walked for maybe a kilometre, there were good signs of pigs. The pup had shown interest in them and then he disappears. I kept walking and hoping I'd hear a bark. I looked up about 1 hundred yards and the pup was coming to me, pretty fast and wagging his tail, very excited.


I thought he'd been to the big boar and maybe was scared of him. Your adrenalin starts to pump. I said to the pup "where is he" they love to hear that. He turns and heads back up the hill pretty fast, the way he came from. There was a thick clump of bracken, the pup gave a couple of barks and it sounded like a piggery. Then all of sudden this big boar comes out and chases him. He stayed on the pup and I watched them go out of sight amongst the other clumps of bracken. After a few minutes, the big boar comes prancing back.


All this time I'm sitting on a stump, he doesn't know I'm there. He go's into the big clump of bracken and all the pigs start grunting again. Then it goes deadly quiet. I'm sitting roughly 25 yards off of this and absolutely engrossed. Then I see the pup coming to the bracken on the top side. I could see he was spooked, but enjoying it. No doubt those pigs were listening for him. The big boar came out again at top speed again, I watched them disappear. The big boar done the same, came back to the bracken and what I have just told you happened three times. The third time, he paused a little when he came out after the dog. I was watching him through the telescopic sights, he moved when I fired and I missed.


He bolted down the hill with the pup chasing him, I was also running in the direction they went. This was the last thing I wanted, I was desperate to shoot him for the pup's sake.

After a half an hour or so, I knew I'd lost him. When the pup came back he was worn out, so I headed back to the ute. The wife had shoveled a full load of soil. Some of my mates said that I'd set her up. We drove off, the ute was low to the ground and a bit overloaded.


The pup was standing on top of the soil, wagging his tail pretty happy with himself. We traveled about a kilometre and the two boars that you see in the photo walked out onto the road in front of us. He was over the side and had the first boar close enough for my wife and son to see me shoot him. He was in beautiful condition as you can see the one on the right.


I remember bleeding him and thinking it couldn't have happened any better for the pup. Then I realised he was missing, I said to the wife has the pup been with us she said no. When I listened I could just make him out in the distance barking. So I shot the second boar as well. The wife and I couldn't handle them, so we went home. I unloaded the ute, washed it out, got a couple of mates and returned to carry the boars out. I sold them to some Itlalians for sausages.


The Ability of A Dog to Return To it's Kill



This photo shows you Lady the kangaroo dog circling a big boar and it's one of those day's that will stay with you forever. It will tell you of her ability. This day I had gone out to a farmer who I knew well, with my mate Bobby Carroll.


I picked the farmer up and we drove out through his back gate and into the forest about 5 or 6 kilometres. Parked the vehicle and started to walk back through the forest towards the farm, looking for the big mob of pigs that had been giving him trouble. I remember there were pig diggings everywhere and also pads that they travel on. They had not been hunted.


We could see the dogs running with their heads to the ground. I knew it was going to be on and started to run to where we last seen them. You could hear grunting and then squealing. I grabbed 2 about 20lb off Lady one after the other,tied them and  put them into hessian bags. When we listened the dogs were all barking, they had a real big boar, the farmer had his rifle and shot it. I'd left my gun back at the ute.


We bled the big boar and gutted him,  the farmer was going to give it to a friend.  Also he said that we have to get going now it's getting late and I have to play Hockey this afternoon, it's an important game were getting close to the finals. Another thing he said it's closer to my farm house from here than back to the ute. So I'll walk it's quicker. I will return after hockey with my tractor and carryall, which is a platform you can lower up and down on the back of the tractor.


I suggested he mark his way back to the boundary of his farm. He gave me a bit of a look and said I won't have any trouble finding this. So he left us also he had taken his rifle. Bobby and myself headed back to the ute, which was about 3 or 4 klms. Roughly halfway the dogs started barking again when we got to them, they had another big boar in an open tea-tree flat which is a low shrub or bush.


I said to Bobby you run back to the car and get the gun and I'll stay with them. Because if the dogs grabbed the boar, they will eventually weaken and that's when the boar will maybe rip them or kill them. When Bobby returns,we were standing there watching, when all of a sudden there was a hell of a noise coming up the flat towards us. It was an army helicopter and it was quite low, no doubt they saw us and were hovering above. No doubt looking at the boar and the dogs,  me and Bobby as well. It seemed like a couple of minutes and it was deafening. Then they left us.


We bled and gutted the boar, carried him out to the bush-track and loaded him in the ute. When we got back to the farm-house, the farmer and his wife were there. He said it was later than we thought and he had missed his hockey match. He was going back with his wife to pick the big boar up. I said it will take you quite a while and I'm going over to another water-hole to see if there's any signs of another mob there. Then I will catch up with you and give you a hand to load it.


I was gone for maybe half an hour. Then I came back and drove down through the paddocks about 2klms from his house. So now I'm on the opposite side from where we shot the first big boar. We can hear the tractor in the distance for the next half an hour. I said to Bobby he can't find that boar. We got through the fence into the forest. I patted Lady and said show me, she took me in a straight line, for maybe 2klms, straight to the big boar.


The farmer was in the next gully, so I went over and told him where the boar was and he followed me back. When you think that Lady had got another boar after leaving the one she just showed me, also we had drove out and checked another water-hole, plus I had asked her to show me from the opposite direction. It made me think of my fathers dog Nipper, and on his memories this is the truth.       


Memories That Never Leave You



This is another sight I only witnessed once in my life. I was driving along an old formation or railway line, from back in the past maybe 100yrs or more. The  line and sleepers had rotted away. The forest department had formed it up as a bush track. Back in the time when we had big winters and our forests would become a hazzard as far as bogging, because  we only had the two wheel drive ute's. And over all those years the weight of the trains, with their big Jarrah logs had compacted the soil and we could travel these all winter.


I had a friend with me Terry True, who I said was keen with his camera. But this day he didn't bring it with him, I think he just forgot. On one of the long stretches of the formation, I must have been looking out of my window and Terry said it looked like a little black rabbit  crossed the road along way up in front. I said that's unusual in this bush.


I must have started looking out my window again and Terry said there go's another little black one. I said  they must be little pigs. So I put my foot down and when I get to where they were, I hit the brakes and the dogs went over the side. Terry ran the way the dogs were going and I ran up the formation in front.


Thinking my mate would grab the first pig and I would maybe get the second one. I'd gone about 2 or 300yrds and I started to walk listening for a squeal or a bark. But there was nothing. Then up in front of me further I could hear moans and groans and I thought the dogs had a big pig. I ran up along the formation another couple of hundred yards. It was good conditions big open clear patches.


When I looks down, the two big boars you see in the photo, were locked together, it looked like they had a grip on each others mouth and they were trying to manhandle each other big time. I was only 20-30yrds off this, so I squatted down on my haunches, and couldn't believe what I was watching. This went on for maybe ten minutes, then I hear some grunting up in front of me, when I looked up I watched two big sows walk out onto the formation. Also a boar as big as you get.


I would say the sow's were in season because he was grunting too. No doubt he was the number one boar and the other two who were still locked together, were sorting out who was number 2 and 3. Looking back I wished I'd had a camera, more so than a gun.


Then I started to wonder what was happening with the dogs and Terry. I look back towards the ute and Lady comes out onto the formation and looks up and see's me squatting there and comes to me pretty fast, wagging her tail, no doubt thinking I'm being silly with her. I said to her listen, all my dogs knew that word and would stop breathing instantly.


I points to the two big boars and Lady can't believe what she is looking at. She runs to them and starts barking. They seem to ignore her for a couple of minutes, then another dog turns up and starts barking. They let go of each other  and shake themselves. They walk to a dry creek-bed and were standing there while the dogs were running around barking.


Terry and myself climb up a river-gum. They fork at the ground, it was convenient we climbed up it like it had steps. The boars were no more than 15-20ft. I said to Terry, shoot one of them, which he did. The other one was standing maybe 20ft away. The dogs grabbed the one Terry had shot and it's nerves kicked in. I said the other boars not going to leave, the dogs went to him and started barking, he knew he had trouble and he came over to the  boar Terry had shot and stood there along side of him.


He passed me the gun and said you shoot him. Which I did and as you can see in the photo they are touching each other. When we had a good look at them, one of their big tusks were broken fresh and you had to see the rips one of the big boars had on his body over his fighting pad and rib-cage. It looked like someone had taken to him with a cut-throat razor. On our way home we were talking about how one boar stood there and wouldn't go away. We believe he stood there, because had he  gone away, he would have been admitting defeat to the other boar. Like I said they were sorting out who was number two and three.


We went back the next day with Terry's movie camera, and ran a little bit of movie on what had happened. The photo was taken off the video.   


A Memory Gone



This photo shows myself with a fair lump of boar, and for whatever reason I cannot remember this photo. I came onto it when I was going through the old photo albums, to put onto the computer and tell my stories. I suppose after 64 yrs and hundreds of photo's it's not too bad to lose track of one or two. I hope!


But it does show you the conditions and there's no room for error,when your sneaking through thickish bush or shrub  like this, to get him in your sights. The little fat green leaf in the foreground, was named by the old bushman or early settlers as soap bush. You can drag a handful off the bush, it grows mostly along the creeks and when you put it in the water and pull it out and rub your hands together you would think you had a cake of soap in you hands it would lather up.  


My Father



This photo shows my father at some cattle yards on a farm, which we turned into a pig trap. You can see that the yards have been dug up by some pigs, also the trail of grain that runs to the right of this photo for about 30yrds to the river. That's where the pigs were coming in from. We were hoping that they'd follow the trail and into the trap. Thinking we had it pretty secure we went home.


My youngest boy Craig was with us maybe 9 or 10. This was a Sunday morning and no way was he going to go to school on Monday, before checking the trap. So we left early in the morning before school and when we get there the pigs had eaten all the tucker, made themselves a hole and got out. We had designed it so the pigs could squeeze through the opening you can see on the left of my father. But they could not come back through it.


We blocked the hole,  re-baited and headed home and the young fella was a bit disappointed. I said we'll have them in the morning mate. But they had been and gone again. We done this 4 day's in a row, on the 5th morning my son said do you think we'll have them today dad. I said it's just a matter of how many.


As we were approaching the trap on the 5th day and we were about 3 or 400yrds away looking through the timber line you can see in the background. I said to the boy you keep looking over to where the trap is, because I had seen a little bit of movement and I didn't tell him. Then he yells I can see pigs. I put my foot down just to make it a little bit more exciting for him. When we hopped out of the car and walked to the edge of the trap. There were 12 pigs. 2 big sow's, 9 about 20-30lb youngens and a big boar.


I took maybe 6 photo's of them. The big boar was absolutely mental and kept charging the fence, sometimes he sized the fence up by standing on his back-legs with his front legs on the fence. My father said shoot the mongrel, so I put the camera away and got the gun, but before I could get a shot, he ran at the entry of the trap and jumped and lobbed on top of the lowest point which was about 3ft or better. He seemed to balance there for a second or two.


I took aim real quick and fired and I hit the steel railing in front of me, then the boar was gone. As I was tying the 2 sows and 7 young, the other 2 escaped. The farmer had pig sty's, he fattened the little ones up to about 80-90lbs, also the 2 sows and we both had meat for the freezers. It helped towards the cost of our food bill. We believe it had a better flavour than domestic pig and so did my customers.


At the same time controlling the wild pig. Quite a few pig hunters done the same, free of charge to the Authorities.   I remember telling you my young fella was excited, apparently I was too, I'd left the cap on the camera. But I do have lots of photo's of pigs in traps, which I will show you in time.    


Wild Pigs Camp



This photo shows you a pig's camp. It's a big Jarrah tree and it is called a hollow butt for obvious reasons. They will only choose a tree that the hollow is on the off side from where the weather comes from, southeast 10 out of 10. I have seen where sows will go around pulling up  small shrubs and bushes, they take them into the hollow butt and lay it down like a big mattress. No doubt to keep their young off the cold ground.


A good dog knows not to grab them in these conditions. I will usually throw my jumper just in front of the pig and when it grabs the jumper the dogs will grab the pig. Then I'll grab the backlegs at the same time if possible.



This is another angle to the hollow butt. Over the years I've shot many boars like this. If you look on the left side and up about 3ft you can see there's a hole. I'd put the rifle through the hole and I could all but touch the boar on the head.



This photo shows you the effect of the jumper. Even though the dog has got him by the ear, he is content thinking he has something. Then I will jump over the log and grab his legs.



This photo shows you a mate of mine who is no longer with us, his name is Les. Also he's the one that told his mum, when we cut the big boar open the little pig was inside him.


I remember this day, the dogs had a fair size boar, with a reasonable set of tusks and the dogs were keen to take him. I said to Les give me your cardigan, so I can throw it too him. I only had a light t-shirt on. He said I'm not too sure about this, but he took it off and give it to me. I threw it to the boar and he grabbed it and the dogs hit him instantly, I had him by the back legs and tipped him.


Les said "he's still got my bloody cardigan in his mouth and his tusks have gone through it". I handed the back-legs to another bloke that was with us. I told them you's tie it while I take the dogs to water. It was very hot and the dogs were feeling the effect.


As I was walking away I could hear Les asking the pig to let it go. I cant use the words he was using. He had one end of the cardigan in his left hand and he was slapping the pig on the head with his right. The other bloke was laughing and so was I as I walked away. I took the dogs down to a water hole, where they had a swim and cooled off.


Then I thought maybe this boar wasn't a loner he might have had a mate or two. So I decided to do a loop on the apartment of pines we were in. When I got back around to where I'd left them. Les was walking out onto the road and his hand was a mess, covered in blood. I thought at first he'd cut himself. I asked him what had happened. He said "the prick of a thing has bit my finger off". I said to Les "we'll have to clean it up quick". I grabbed some water and washed his hand, I said "we have to stop the flow of blood", so as you can see I have tied a piece of pig rope around it.


My knowledge on first aid was nil, so I tied a granny knot. I said "that's as good as a doctor could do hey Les" but he didn't smile. I said that looks so silly I'm going to take a photo of it, again he didn't smile. As I took aim with the camera, I said smile Les and the photo shows you the result. He must have wanted his good side in the photo.


Les had a problem with drink. It was standard when I picked him up to go out hunting. He would have fishing net shopping bag with a couple of bottles of beer and a flagon of plonk. We heads home to get him to the doctors, even though it was summer and hot. We had to have the windows wound up because Les could not stand the wind blowing on the exposed nerves. He was into the flagon of plonk and he reckons it was his anesthetic.


Top Gun



This photo shows us carrying a pig back to the ute. The gentleman in front was a good friend of mine, his name was Norm Milligan, he was the local tailor and he won the Queens Prize in rifle shooting. Which made him at the time the best in Australia. He was also a professional roo shooter and loved his fishing. Norm sold up and left Collie, he moved to a coastal town which is a City now called Geraldton. Roughly 700klms from where I live.


He knew how much I liked hunting and fishing and he asked me if I would move to Geraldton with my family and he would set up a pet-meat business and we will hunt for whatever was wanted in the market. Also the fishing is good and I will get a boat.


I told Norm that I could never leave Collie. Even when I went to Augusta for 3-4 weeks at Christmas, diving and fishing. I couldn't wait to get home to my dogs and back out to the bush. I was addicted and known to go out 7 days a week, now and then.With a fishing rod and reel behind my seat in the ute.


The missus used to have a shot at me now and then. I remember a few of the mates and their wives were around having a few drinks and then a couple of more. And the girls were starting to speak their mind. One said your never home ya mongrel your always out pig hunting and the other women agreed.


Then the missus say's he even dreams about the bastards. I said bullshit. She said he does. The other night he had me by the legs and he was trying to tie me up. The women laughed, their getting a bit too much of the giggle juice in them, although the mates did too. I knew how to stop their laughter, I said I can prove that's not the truth. They said how, I said I only used to tie the good ones.


Bayups



This photo shows the dogs with a boar in a farmers dam. The story starts on a Saturday night and there was a knock at the front door, when I opened it, it's a farmer who I knew real well. His name is Henry Martin and the farm he owned was about 40klms East of Collie. Also he was share farming a neighbors farm.


He told me there was a mob of pigs digging his paddocks up. I think he'd put a crop on his neighbors farm and the pigs were into that as well. He said my son would like a couple of pigs to put in a sty on his farm. I told him I would come out and pick them up before daylight in the morning. Which I did and we hit the neighbors crop just after daylight. The farm was surrounded by forest.


As we were driving around the boundary on the outside. We couldn't see the paddocks, there was strip of forest between the road and the fence. The kangaroo's were pretty thick and they were darting across the road in front of the ute and the dogs were a bit active in the back going from side to side. Then about half a dozen big male Kangaroo's came across, I all but hit them and the dogs started to scream and spin on the back.


I kept traveling, their screaming got louder. As I hit the brakes to stop, the farmer said their playing up for those boomers for sure. I said Henry they only do this for pigs. By the time I turned the ute around the dogs had covered a bit of ground. I caught up to them right where the boomers went across and Henry said I told you that's what they were playing up for. The roo's had gone to the right but the dogs turned to the left.


We jumped out of the car and it wasn't long before we heard them barking. When we got to them they had the boar you can see  in the dam. As we were driving around looking for another mob, Henry said that was a top performance. It's times like this that it makes you proud of your dogs. Like I've said before, money cannot buy the dogs.


Then I told Henry, that these two dogs are the son and grandson of a bitch roo dog that he bred, Lady. The best performing roo dog I have seen, next to my fathers Nipper.


I remember when I first heard that Henry Martin had kangaroo dog pups for sale. He had a good name as far as good dogs go. The word was three dollars for a dog and two for a bitch. A friend at the time also wanted one, he was a shearer and he used to do Henry's sheep for him. His name was Joe Murphy, so we both go out to Henry's farm.


When we pulled up Henry wasn't home. I forget which one it was but one of his three boy's, he was only young, 10 or 11 came walking over to us. I could hear all the pups in the distance. When I looked up there was 7 or 8 pups coming towards us. One has caught my eye instantly. It's like turning back the hands of time and it looks like my fathers dog Nipper. But then I realized it's a bitch and being in town in a house with no fences, they become a problem when they are in season.


But I liked the look of her that much, I thought I will take her. So I said to the young fella I'll have this bitch. He said I think my dad wants that one. I said I reckon your dad would want the red one that looks like the mother and I convinced him. Joe took a bitch and I think I ran to the car  hoping Henry wouldn't turn up.


A couple of weeks later I goes back out there. I used to hunt off his property and surrounding forests a lot. When I pulled up at the house. Henry came walking over to me and I could tell by his body stance I had some explaining to do. Especially when the greeting started with "you cunning mongrel". I said "what what, whataya mean". He said "don't you what what whataya mean me". And we both started laughing.


Actually Henry used to keep her on the farm when she came into season, the first couple of years. This took place in 1968-69. Over the next 30 years or so I lost score of how many pigs I took off Henry's property and also when his son Neil took over in the early times.   Henry Martins farm in the early days below.



Pig Tin



The boar you can see in the ute, is still alive and tied. Like I've said lb for lb there is no animal tougher. I've seen them at times throw a dog in the air with a flick of the head, or roll them along the ground effortlessly. But Buller jnr had mastered the art of taking these boars alive. Even though he received some bad wounds and came close to dying a few times, he went the distance. Twelve years of pig hunting. So there's many stories I can tell about him and some of his performances you would have to see to believe. But as I've said before, on my fathers memory this is the truth.


A fella that used to hunt with me and also lived next door had no previous experience with pigs. But after hunting maybe 18 mnths to 2yrs with me, he became real keen. This day he comes over my house and asks if I wanted to go out the bush for a run. He said we'll go out in my car, which was a little two door Escort, a family car. I had a ute, but maybe the fuel tank was in the same state as my pocket, (empty). So I agreed to go out with him. He said "put Buller on the back seat". I said "I'm not too sure about that". He said " it's no worries he can't hurt the car", so we headed off out the bush.


We were driving along a main gravel road in an area we were not allowed to be. Entry forbidden comes to mind, maybe that's why I didn't take the ute, also me being a law-biding citizen and he can speak for himself. There were lots of pigs breeding up in this bush. I looks up and there's a white vehicle coming towards us, I ducked under the dash, I said "I can't be identified", he said"what about me" and I said "there's no room under here"(joke) It turns out it's another pig hunter. Dogs hanging over the side of the ute.


As we got up the road a kilometre or so, we could see his tracks on the road going side to side, maybe looking for pig tracks or going slow for his dogs to scent.I said " we'll get out of here and go to another area", so he puts his foot down. Remember this is a two door family car and Buller jnr was on the back seat. We'd got about another 2-3klms up the road and the dog starts to turn and spin on the back seat also whinging. I said "pull up he can smell pigs". I jumped out and the dog was gone, he went up the road and to the left.


It was real good conditions open bush and I could see into the distance. As I was running the way he was going, I could see him 3 or 400yrds away. Then he turns and comes running back passed me across the road and disappeared. When I runs back to the car, the mate said "he's gone the other way". So what had happened no doubt the scent of the pig had come through the side window to him on the back seat. When we let him out, he could not get a line from where the scent come from.


About ten minutes later we were standing there waiting to hear barking. I'd looked back up the road roughly 4-500yrds from where we had come from, just in time to see Buller come back across the road and head out the other way. We jumped in the car and drove back, pulled up and we were standing there for maybe 5-10 mins and we can just  make him out barking in the distance. When we gets to him, he's got pigs bayed up at their camp. This was on the north side of the road. Our storms come in from the north and I believe he smelt those pigs from their camps.


Remember another hunter had passed with his dogs hanging over the side and drove passed here. They were not capable of scenting with the wind. There's some good hunters out there with some good dogs, but I don't think they could dream up a better performance with a dog for scent, for a start there not going to be out here in the bush, in a two door Escort family car. On my fathers memory this is the truth.


The photo below shows you Buller jnr on the left and his half brother Rebel. They both went the distance and in time I will tell you many stories of their hunting abilities.. 


Back To My Dogs



This is a photo of the two half brothers, Buller in the foreground and Rebel in the background. You can see the dogs are a bit worn out. They'd taken this boar over a long distance before I caught up with them. Buller was lb for lb the best dog I had ever owned, as far as taking a big boar alive. He was even better than his grandfather the American Pit-bull, who was my pride and joy. Also named Buller.


Maybe it was because his grandson, reigned for 12 years and the Pit-bull was maybe 3 or 4 years. Also they had a different style. The Pit-bull would lock onto the testicles and the big boar would corkscrew trying to catch up with him. Like I've said before, they would turn that fast the Pit-bull would be in the air going around in circles. When the boar started to tire, the dogs legs would be back on the ground, then he'd keep pulling sidewards, which would cause the big boars back-legs to collapse under him, then you'd have to jump in and grab his back legs. Tip him and tie him.


Which was a bit risky because the dog would be in the way as you were trying to grab the legs. Where as the grandson's technique was to grab the ear. As the boar was turning trying to hook him with his tusks, the dog would turn with him. If there was another dog , they would come in and grab the other ear. Again I would grab the back legs with no dogs in the way. As I've said before most grabbers will die young. Sometimes they need a little bit of luck and Buller junior had more than his share.


If you look back at Buller in the photo above, you can see a white scar behind his left shoulder. It was maybe one of the worst wounds I have ever seen. The boars tusks had picked him up under the belly and ripped up the length of the side of his body, tore his main shoulder muscle in half and it stopped along-side of his backbone. I was maybe 50-60klms inside the forest and I headed for home as quick as I could. I knew it wasn't life threatening, but because the skin is tight and the length of the wound, it opened up to about 4-5 inches wide.


When I got home I laid him on the back verandah. When the wife seen it she couldn't believe it. I said it's not as bad as it looks. Also I said we can't afford the Vet bill so I'm going to have a go at it myself. Don't get me wrong, if this was a threat to my dogs life, it would  not have worried me how much the Vet would have charged, I would have got a loan. Unfortunately I believe they know that, but I won't go down that track.


I filled the wound up with an antiseptic powder called Borasic. Then I got one of my finest fishing lines and proceeded to stitch the wound. I remember saying, that my first-aid knowledge was nil, when I tied a bit of pig-rope around Les finger after a boar had bit the end off. If you had seen the job I'd done stitching you would agree. Would you believe I stitched it like a spud bag, in one side,out the other back across. Through all of this the dog was not muzzled, the wife sat there stroking his head and talking to him. He accepted it without a complaint.


All of my dogs were of the same nature including the American Pit-bull. Who they all descend from. I remember when I first got the Pit-bull, there was no Veterinary Clinic in town. I used to take my dogs too two old bushman, who had stitched many kangaroo dogs. There names were Jackie Jones and Nooker Hann.


I remember walking into Jackie's place with the Pit-bull, he'd been hit three times and they all needed stitching. Jackie would put an old grey army blanket on the kitchen table. I laid the dog on the table. Jack said "I'll muzzle him", I said "I don't think you will have to Jack, try him". The first wound he stitched was in his chest, the other two were at the other end. When he was finished he said" I don't think too many dogs would let you do that". ( No charge) Nooker was the same. I'd drop them off a couple of rabbits or a couple of bottles.



This is the boar that got Buller the Pit-bull.You can see the wound in his chest, which was deeper than it was long. It looks like he's checking out the two wounds at the other end. Maybe to check how close he came, to doing the family jewels.


Rebel



This photo shows you one of the bigger pig traps the farmers use. As you can see it is on wheels. They will drive around their boundary fence and when they find a pig pad that is fresh they will dig two holes, so the wheels can drop into. And that will lower the trap to the ground. Once this mob has been trapped, they will then become trap shy. So they will move it too a different mob and reset it.


You can just make out Rebel on the left-hand side, checking the pigs out, also a friend  Barry Rainer. We used to travel maybe 6-700klms, and we would stay maybe for a week or two at a time. I never used to take my dog, we would only use the traps off the different farms. You would not meet nicer people. These farmers also run thousands of sheep. Over the years they have had many sheep dogs and  the exceptional dog becomes their pride and joy. I've known them to say it would take four or five men to replace that dog.


The farmer could have this dog on the back of his ute and he would be circling hundreds of sheep in the paddock. Some had different methods or signals and when the dog heard this, he would leave the ute and out of all the sheep if there was one fly-blown, the dog would separate it from the mob. The farmer would put a solution on it to kill the fly strike. He would drive around and the dog would repeat it.  No doubt he does the same as the pig-dog, using the wind to pick up the scent of the sheep with that problem.


This was maybe twenty years back, I was telling him about the ability of my dogs back home. He asked me if I could bring up one of the dogs with me the next time, which I did and it was Rebel. While we were staying there, they would call up other farmers on the two-way and tell them we were having a kill. Sometimes there would be half a dozen or 8 farmers. We'd also put the camp-ovens on the fire, good meals, good times.


This particular day it was late in the afternoon and we're standing around the fire drinking. I had taken up a couple of my hunting photo albums and the farmers were going through looking at the different shots of some big boars. One of the farmers had brought two Stock Agents, I think they were from Elders, also they were from Ireland and not long over here. They were pretty impressed with the photo's.


It was getting towards dark, one of them walked over to me and he said "is that dog there the one in the photo's", I said "yes". He said "he will pull those big boars on", I said " he certainly will". He said "whats he like with men". I said  " when it gets dark, don't go away from this fire to have a piss". He said "is that right". I turned my head and made like I was doing something. He went straight over to his mate and he said," he just told me, not to go away from the fire after dark if we want a piss" and I can still hear the farmers laughing. 


This photo shows you Rebel in the back of my ute. Also you can see a little net we used to catch minnows and like I've said their live bait used to catch Perch.


I remember when I took Rebel out the first day with the farmer who asked me to bring him up. His name was Viv and I know he enjoyed getting pigs as much as I did. We were driving over to a section of bush between the paddocks, it was also between his farm and one of his sons farm. I'm not too sure but I think it was roughly 15-20klms between their farms.


As we were approaching the section of bush, Viv said " every time I come across here there's signs of half a dozen pigs across my car tracks from the day before". I said " you think their staying inside this section of bush". Viv said " yes their in there alright." There was a perfect wind blowing. I said "if their in there the dog will have them". Viv said " what from the back of the ute". I said " he certainly will". I said " all we have to do is follow the outside of the bush and do a loop around it".


Like I've said once before, my dogs would always be in top gear. I could hear Rebel sucking the wind in through his nose, from inside the cab. Again like I've said before a dog likes you to talk to him and spook him. I'd put my head out the window and say look here. Standing with his feet on the side of the ute he would stretch his head as high as he could. The area we were travelling around I'm not real sure, was maybe 5 or 600 acres. We had all but completed the circle. I was thinking maybe their not in there. We were maybe 200yrds short of where we had gone in.


I thought we'd missed and no doubt Viv did to, when Rebel started to whinge and bounce around in the back of the ute. He was over the side and gone and we could hear him barking and it was because of the angle the wind was blowing, that we had to do the complete loop before we cut across the line of the wind and it brought the scent to Rebel.


Another time we were driving around the edge of the crop, which was maybe 3-400yrds wide, then there was a strip of bush maybe 100yrds wide, then another strip of crop maybe 2-300yrds wide. The farmers leave these strips of bush to prevent wind erosion. Rebel starts to whinge and spin in the back of the ute again. This time when he takes off we're on a small rising hill and we can watch Rebel disappearing across the crop which was about a foot high. He's running into the wind. I said to Viv " the pigs must be in that strip of bush between the two crops".


We were sitting in the ute and watched him disappear into the strip of bush. A bit later we watched him come out the backside and we could just make him out in the distance, going across the next strip of crop. And heading for the next line of bush. I said "Viv the pigs are way off in the distance in that other strip of bush". Because we were surrounded by crop I said "how are we going to get to there", Viv said "I'll show ya". He turned the vehicle and put his foot down and straight across his crop. He went through the line of bush and over top of his next crop. When we pulled up Rebel was barking, he had the mob of pigs and I know this impressed Viv. The same as that sheep dog impressed me. 


Rebels Habit



This photo shows you some gentlemen from the city carrying a couple of live pigs back to the ute. Their names fail me, I more so knew a friend of theirs and they were taking the pigs back to put in a sty on the farm he owned. I'm standing on a gravel road and the pigs were in the big gully you can see in the distance.


Rebel picked these pigs up from the back of the ute, while we were doing 70-80klms an hour and just passing through this particular bush. He could do this at any speed, also I've seen him pick them up from the back on a bitumen highway. I've said before there's some good young fellas hunting today with some good dogs. But there is also some bad boy's.


I don't hunt myself now, but I'm out there quite often with my camera. I've seen things that have been shot and left, a deadly sin and I know if these type of boy's were around when we were hunting and we came onto them doing this, they would have got a flogging. All the hunters of that time would have done the same.I remember an old fella once saying to me,( if it moves these young mongrels will shoot it and if it doesn't they'll chop it down.)


I'll add to this. There's more damage being done as I'm writing this, by the (white collar) or Authority. I don't believe Die-back could have done what these people have done in the next 500years. I'll stand corrected, for you's would know this is only my estimate, it could be more. Freedom of speech. I'll show you in time photo's of the damage done to the forests and waterway's and the animals that inhabit them.


I've gone off the track a bit haven't I.  I was talking about Rebel. I remember saying when I used to take my family away for the Christmas holidays for 3 or 4 weeks. I would ask different fellas that I knew and had hunted with me a little bit, if they wanted to look after my dogs while I was away. I was never short of volunteers.


This particular Christmas, Rebel has got on in life and slowed up a bit, not unlike myself. There was a lady living next door to us, who I'd known all my life and I was good friends with her brothers, her father and mother. Don and Betty Fraser. Her name was Jenny, who I paid to water the lawns and feed Rebel while we were away. There was no front fence or gate, so Jenny only had to walk around to the back of my place.


When we came home from the holidays, Jenny came over to our place and we were sitting at the table. She said you won't believe what Rebel done while you's were away. She said I was sitting in the lounge and I heard Rebel give one bark at the front door. She said when I walked out he was looking at me and wagging his tail, she said I knew he wanted something. So I said what is it mate, he turned and walked away wagging his tail and looking back at Jenny. She knew he wanted her to follow him, so she did.


He took her over and around to the back of our place. He went up the back stairs, I think Jenny said he barked again and  knew, he wanted to go inside. So she let him in and  went back home and  later  let him back out. I believe he was missing you. I don't think Jenny knew, he liked to lay in the dart room. The Frasers were bought up with kangaroo dogs and house dogs all their life, I also used to keep wild pigs in a sty on Don's little hobby farm.


Every day when I went out there to feed and water the pigs . Betty would hear my car and put the kettle on. This day as I was scooping the water out of an old bathtub, I had to lean over a wire fence, which was electrified. So I used to listen for the click to see if the power was on, also I used to tip the wire with my fingers to check. I know if I was given a choice, whether to cop a charge off this fence or pick up a tiger snake by the tail, I would have to give it some thought.


Knowing the fence was off, I leans over with just shorts on, as I puts the bucket into the water and my guts is leaning onto the wire fence, I cops the meanest charge, I remember trying to get off the fence and water going everywhere. I thought what the fff!!k happened. I realized when my brain started to click back in, I looked down towards the house, just in time to see the bottom of his legs under the fruit trees running towards the house.


When I'd finished I walked down and into the kitchen ( first-light) was standing at the sink with his back to me. I said good morning Betty how are you. My cup of tea was already poured so I sat down at the table. I hadn't spoke to him. Still with his back turned to me, no doubt he was holding back the tears. He try's to get out how ya going Jock and he can't, he bursts out laughing. When he turns around, I said " that was a near death experience". All three of us sitting there laughing.


Don and Betty are no longer with us and when you look back through life at experiences like this, you realize how much you miss them. I remember once sitting in the lounge with Don, Betty was in the kitchen. She had a little brown dog, I think he had Corgi in him. All of a sudden, he comes running into the lounge, grabs one of his toys and bolts into I think Betty's room or his toy room, I'm not sure. Back out as quick as he can,  grabs another toy and does the same, he repeats this half a dozen or 8 times. I said to Don "what's got into the dog mate I'd never seen this before". Don laughs  and say's " he's a jealous little bugger".


Betty's daughter Jenny who lived next door to us had pulled up outside and I hadn't heard the car. Don said "the daughters here with her little dog and he does it every time, he will put everyone of his toys back in his room and won't let her dog play with any of them", as I've said on my fathers memory these are true stories.     


Young and Silly



This photo shows you Rebel when he's maybe 3mnths old. We'd been walking looking for pig signs and Rebel had found this dried carcass of a freshwater turtle. I'd taken it off of him and thrown it away maybe 3 or 4 times. But right or wrong he was taking it home. The big dogs were in the ute and the way he's looking towards them, maybe he's thinking you so called good dogs missed this. He's still an awkward gangly pup, but in time he turned into a beautiful looking dog as you can see in the photo's of him when he's grown up.


I believe no matter what the dog has been bred to do, the longer he lives the better he becomes. Especially the working dog. The likes of the dog that learns to guide the blind, also farm dogs. But no matter what their trained to do, there's only a handful that become exceptional. I once read a book called I think "True Working Dogs Stories". One was of an old farmer and an old dog. It will put a lump in your throat (check it out). As I'm telling these stories a dog called Nipper comes to mind and also my father.


Rebel has got a bit of age about him now and I was thinking he has learnt every trick in the book, but I was wrong. This night I was sitting in the lounge watching TV with the wife. Rebel had developed a habit, if his water container was empty or I had forgot to feed him, he would let me know with a distinct one bark and if I didn't respond he would let me know again and again.


This particular night there was a one bark at the front door. I said to the wife "I think he wants to come in and go out to the dart room". I had a dart board set up and he liked to lay there while I put a couple of hours in on the board. I didn't let him in and sure enough that one distinct bark again. I said to the wife " I'll let him in". I got up and opened the front door, which opened inwards. Any other time he would be slipping and sliding on the lino to get out to the dart room, but he doesn't come in.


When I looked out in the dark, I could see Rebel with the light of the lounge shining on him. He was looking at me and wagging his tail, I said "what is it mate", would you believe he looks to his left to the other end of the verandah, where we had an old lounge chair that he liked to sleep on. So I turned the outside light on, and when I looked there was the little dog from next door sleeping on his bed. She was very tiny maybe weighed 6 or 7lb, her name was Tina and she was very obedient. I said her name and she jumped off immediately, Rebel ran up and jumped on his bed. I went back inside and told the wife what had happened and I said "there's no doubt he dobbed her in". When I looked outside a bit later, Tina was laying back up there with him. We used to jokingly say to people she was his girlfriend.



 This photo shows you Rebel with our oldest grandson Scotty who is 23 now. I remind you he is a descendant of the American Pit-bull. Five generations and I can honestly say they have never bit or growled at anybody. Not only that, if someone handed  me a million dollars and said you can keep this, if you can tell your dogs to savage me,  bite me or show any aggression to me. I would have to give them their million dollars back. But you can rest assure I would train the next one's to kill on command(joke)(million dollars).                                 


Memories of a Mate



This photo shows you my mate Bobby Carroll and as time does it to us all, a bit of weight has come on him and a bit of hair has come out. Bobby and myself had drifted apart a little. He had an addiction now,(Antique Bottles) from old Bush Settlements that we had come onto at times, while hunting wild pigs. If you go back to the story Memories of my Mate you will see how super fit Bobby was. Even in the photo above it would not be wise to pick on him.


The red dog in the photo is the father of Rebel and Buller jnr and the cream or biscuit coloured dog is Bobby's dog. He is only a pup and you can see by his ears and body stance, he's not real confident yet. I believe Bobby wanted him educated for his son Robert (alias Boonga).  


After a few hunts, Bobby was more than happy with his dog. Then he put something to me that I wasn't too keen on. He asked me if I would educate his oldest boy, the one they call BOONGA. I said " Bobby I will walk across broken bottles if you were in trouble to help you, but I draw the line with BOONGA." Bobby looked at me and said " we'll put him in the back of the ute". I shook my head and said "we tried that last year and the dogs wouldn't jump in the back of the ute with him and I'm definitely not having him in the front of the ute". I said "I don't want to fall out with you over this". He actually shook my hand and said "I wont hold it against ya."  He even give me a photo of him, to show there was no hard feelings.  BOONGA  (I even thought about getting a pup out of him)



Easy Hunting



Some times you can hunt all day without success and sometimes there's day's like this.  My old friend Bobby Harrison was with me and we had gone around to see another friend, his name was Selwyn Jones, better known as Taffy, who is no longer with us now. Taffy's memories will always be with us. He had a beautiful voice and could sing like a bird. Taffy loved the bush and loved hunting with roo dogs and ferrets, he was  a shearer and also worked underground in the mines.


This day we called into Taffy's to see if he wanted to come out the bush for a run. He said he would love to but he had a mate who was doing some work on his house for him. So Bobby and myself went out alone. We were only ten minutes out of town on the bitumen, we turned onto a main gravel road and hadn't gone a klm when the dogs started spinning and screaming on the back of the ute. It was good open bush and it was all over in twenty minutes. I drove the ute to where the pigs were tied up, loaded them and back on the highway home, straight to Taffy's place. This is all taking place within the hour.


It's hard to write how a Welshman talks. But I can imitate him a little bit. When he seen the pigs, he said "It's forking morvelous". That's not really swearing is it. Another thing with Taffy, which he openly admitted, was he had no sense of direction in the bush. Once he lost sight of his vehicle or the road, you could grab him and spin him once and he was lost, this is the truth.( but it was a little bit mishandled about Boonga)


GHOST  UNDERGROUND

Like I said Taffy once worked underground in the mines. He was what they called a pumper and his job was to make sure the water pumps were always running, or otherwise it would flood what was called the dips, which was the bottom of the mine and the miners would be unable to work.


While Taffy was doing his job on nightshift, there would also be a deputy. They were the only two underground in the whole of the mine, humans that is. When you think this mine was maybe 4 or 5 klms deep and maybe as many klms wide and on the average there is a tunnel every 18mtrs or 36mtrs. I ain't smart enough to work it out but there is many hundreds of klms of tunnels. So if there was something lurking in these tunnels he had many hiding spots.


Some of the old miners used to say to the young miners who were newcomers just starting, you's fellas never leave any food in the pie warmers, cause the air will take the smell into the old workings (and George will get it).


This is a clipping from the local paper.


I don't want to dob anyone in, but I'm sure Taffy had a dog called Fido. I was talking to the pumper that found the dog only yesterday the 17th of Jan 2012. He told me when the light on his helmet hit the dogs eye's, they shone like neon signs and you can imagine what that done to him. He told me as he was coming out of the mine on a little machine they call a Wagner, the dog was sitting alongside of him. As they came around a bend in the tunnel they could see daylight at the end of the tunnel, he said the dog jumped off the Wagner and ran towards the daylight. The pumper had to find him again and take him to his owner. This all takes place in the 80's.


Getting back to the pumper that first saw the ghost. I was friends with the pumper that relieved him of his shift. I used to take this fella out the bush pig-hunting, his name is Bevan Davis. He came up to my place when he knocked off and he told me that there was a bit of excitement underground last night. I said "whats happened". He told me that there had been a ghost sighted. I said "who was supposed to have seen it". He told me his name Joey Hewson. I started to laugh and said , "you believe that". Bevan said "I'm telling you Jock, he was an idiot, shaking and talking a bit strange".


I said "I'll tell you something on Joey Hewson, you cannot believe a word he say's and only half of what you actually see him do". I said "I cannot stress that enough". I said "he will pull more capers than the third monkey going up the plank towards Noah's Ark." But I couldn't convince him. I'd have liked to have seen the performance myself. Well done Joe, you deserved a job on the surface.


A lot of the miners reckoned it was a bit of fun, myself included. I remember one of the tunnels, maybe halfway to the bottom of the mine, had a Rams scull and horns hanging from the roof, with a sign saying Spook country. Another tunnel miners had stuffed rags into overalls and also hung that from the roof, it looked like someone dangling from the gallows. But like it's been said it had  effected a few miners. It stopped some of the men having early knock-offs, because they had to walk the tunnels up to the surface by themselves. I don't care who you are or how tough you are, if you are new to the under-ground scene, there are miners there that will spook you ten out of ten.


One of their main tricks to a new starter or a visitor, was when the miners were ready to fire the face, they would take them to a tunnel that had a tin stopping, which is a false wall used to direct the air to the miners. It is made of four by two timber and flat sheets of tin. While their standing there and waiting for the explosions, the experienced miner would say to them, this is a bad area in the mine, there is a lot of weight in the roof and some of the miners think we will lose it.


He's no sooner said this when the explosions start. They go off in a sequence from zero to twelve. Each time one explosion goes off, the visitor will scream every-time. The pressure from the explosion comes back through the tunnels and the noise it makes on the tin stopper where their standing is terrifying. It doesn't matter if their male or female, they will scream as loud as each other. If these visitors are men and their acting a little tough and saying their not scared, when the explosions go off the experienced miner will scream himself and fall to his knees holding his head and you can bet those fellas will do the same.


I remember another incident, we were about to fire the face. Some of the miners had gone back up the tunnels to make sure no-one was coming in to the area we were firing. While they were doing this I decided to go to the crib cabin to get a drink of water. You suffer under-ground if you've got a hang-over. When I gets up the tunnel a couple of hundred yards I was half running and the deputy who is the boss was standing there with a visitor. He was a big man maybe 6ft2 or 3, with white over-alls on as white as snow, in a black coal mine. I couldn't resist it.


The deputy was a good boss, his name was Mick Taylor and he would not interfere with any-one getting set up and there's a chance his hang-over was worse than mine. I said "Mick, Mick, Mick, what are you doing in this area, you know the weight in the roof is bad here". Mick just stands there and before he can comment, I said "I'm not staying here "and started to run again. I heard the big fella say to Mick" I don't want to take any chances". I turned my light off and stood in the dark and as each explosion went off I watched him bounce around like a big kangaroo in white over-alls. Later in the shift Mick came up to me and said "you destroyed that poor bastard, he didn't get over it". Mick is no longer with us, he died young. But it was bosses or gentlemen like him that made the job a little easier. 


Back To Pigging


You cannot get better pigs out of a sty than these and they were within 4 klms from town. I remember pulling up at the farmers house and asking him if he had seen any fresh signs of pigs. He said he hadn't. Also he said he had just came through the back gate, which led into some forest between his two farms. This didn't worry me because a lot of the time these pigs would not leave much sign. Because they where feeding out of the self-feeding bins for the cows, which had a mixture of crushed grain, that the farmer grew himself.


I was by myself and I remember opening the gate, driving through and then going back to shut it. The dogs were extra keen and jumping from side to side in the ute. They'd also try and give me a nip as I walked past. The wind was picking up from the North and bringing in a storm. When I drove off I hadn't travelled 2-300yrds when the dogs started howling and screaming on the back. They were over the side and into the wind that was coming out of a gully. They were maybe 200yrds when they cranked up barking.


When I got to them, they had maybe a dozen pigs bailed up in some logs and bushes. The boar was a fair lump and he was protecting the mob. Coming out and chasing the dogs for 30-40yrds, then he'd go back to the mob. The noise the pigs all make cackling and grunting to themselves. It really spooks the dogs and turns them on, also the hunter. I wanted as many of these as I could get,(grain fed) and my freezer was empty.


I shot the big boar and the mob scattered. I ran as quick as I could, stuck the boar and bled him, left the rifle and I could hear one of the  pigs squealing. They were about 60lb. When I took it off the dog. I knew I wouldn't have time to tie it, because the dogs would damage the next one. So I stuck that one and bled him as well. I caught up with the dogs with another one and stuck that one also. When I caught up with them the last time they were tuckered out, also I was tin fruited.


I took the last one alive as you can see in the photo. I returned to the farmers house, told him what had happened, he went and got one of his sons and they helped me load them onto the ute. The boar was in that good of condition, I showed a fella who handled a bit of meat and he swapped me with beef and sausages. Full freezer.


As I've said this is on my Fathers memory it is the truth. Would you believe it's the 21 June 2012, 5.15 in the afternoon and the wife said that smell is making my mouth water. She has got wild pork cooking and the smell is wafting to us, so hooroo I'm off.


Fat Pigs


The photo above shows the condition of the wild pig, if the feed is right. It's a fair lump of boar and he was feeding on a farmers crop. You can see the excess fat that I left on the hide. It was used for ding sausage and too much fat is no good.


I remember back in the past, I decided to go fishing for the red-fin perch with the wife and at the time three boys, the fourth had not arrived. There ages were 3, 7 and 9yrs also two dogs Rusty and Senior. I had an esky half full of water with  little fish in it that I used to catch the red-fin their called minnows and they are the number one live bait.


I went out to a spot that I once used to fish quite often. It was the back-waters of a water catchment. There was a big granite rock and you would be looking maybe ten feet down to the water. It had a flat top and it was comfortable for the boys. The two biggest boys had a hand-line each and the wife was content to sit on a blanket with the youngest one and watch the excitement when the boys hooked a perch.


Like I've said before some memories never leave you. They had landed nine perch. The two dogs were lying on the bank, now and then if we got a small perch, I would throw it to them, they would devour the lot.  They were always in top gear, thinking pig. There was a nice wind blowing and we'd been there about an hour. There was an exceptional big hill at our back, maybe 5 or 600 yards to the top.


When all of a sudden the dogs were slipping and sliding, trying to get going as quick as they could. I watched them as they disappeared out of sight getting to the top of the hill. I could just make them out barking. I said to the wife "they've got pigs". The barking stopped and as I was looking up I could see a big boar coming down the hill towards us. He knew what he was doing, he was heading for the water where he could hold the dogs off. When he got to the waters edge, he backed in leaving his head and top quarter showing out of the water.


This is all taking place 30yrds from the wife and the boys sitting on the rock. I had to run about a hundred yards to the car where my rifle was. When I returned the boar had not moved and the dogs know better than to pull him on. The rifle is a 22 with telescopic sights and I've told you before if you hit the spot, they will not close their eye's. The dogs wait for this and they seem to realize, they'll hit the boar not long after the bullet.


Too think the wife and the three boys had a ringside seat to this fight. When I pulled the boar to the bank. I said to the wife, I don't reckon we can load this into the ute. I said we'll head home and I'll get a couple of mates. She said why don't we try. I could get the ute right to him, also there was a slight mound on the ground, so I dug two holes just short of it, then reversed the car into the holes, which lowered the back almost to the ground.


Then we dragged the boar. I had one back leg and the wife had the other, the oldest boy  Dave had the tail and the second oldest Jamie had the front leg. What a battle!! inch by inch. But we did succeed. I would have liked to have had a camera. Also I can't have had a knife as I would have gutted him as well as taken his head off and made it easier to load.  I went to my sisters and brother in-laws place. Neil had a meat room also he had scales, which only went to 200lb. Neil has caught a lot of pigs in his time, not as many as me, not as big. But we both knew that these scales would not handle this pig. So we weighed the skin separate, with the head attached. Then the stomach and the carcass and it totaled 253lb.I sold the boar to a regular customer, who had two Alsatians. He  cut it into feed sizes and stored it in his freezer. The cost was ten dollars, that filled my fuel tank twice and it helped to keep me hunting and fishing.



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