The last person to pick me up hitch- hiking to Airlie Beach was Scott. He had three big dogs in the back of his truck… Turned out he’d just been Wild Pig Hunting in the Sugar Cane Fields… I asked Scott, if next time I could join him. Scott was true to his word and took me Wild Pig Hunting between Makay and Proserpine, on Australia’s East Coast. In the Pitch Black Night… The three main hunters were Katie, Dacota and Chipsy, his three brave dogs. 🙂Katie, the mother, in the dark night, looked a bit like Harry Potters’ dog form of Sirius Black; she had an impressive curved back, a long black snout, a killer look, wild disorganised fur and a lovely slight Pig Smell perfume… 🙂
At first I was a little afraid of Katie…
After a moment of observation, I soon understood that Katie’s heart was just as pure as Serious Blacks’. She is such a sweet dog. As soon as I started patting her head she’d push her whole body towards me, asking for more affection…
Living on Gili Air island for so long, in Indonesia, where dogs are not quiet welcome, I forgot how loyal a dog can be and how good that loyalty can feel… Her two pups, Dakota and Chipsy were like “Dingy and Dingo”. A funny pair of wobbling, over excited, completely unaware of danger puppies. After putting the GPS collars around the dogs necks, it felt like the time had come, to start the Pig Hunt.
Adrenaline was rushing through my body, combined with a pinch of uncertainty, liters of excitement and off course… Fear. 🙂 WAW! Super nice! I felt bloody ALIVE!
My trucker friend Pieter, had told me the wild pigs can grow up to 200 Kilo and the only way to get away from them is to run up a tree. They can easily outrun dogs. I gave the sugar cane field a thorough examination. Bottom line, there are no threes in a sugar cane field! I heard the little voice of reason whisper in my head: “There is NO WAY to outrun the Wild Pigs here… What are you doing here??” Okidoki… 🙂 Then, I remembered this story I’d heard: When you see a pig, just run straight and then take a quick turn. The pigs can’t turn as quick as a human, the story said. Well, I’ve asked Scott if its true or not, he ‘s been chased by wild pigs several times and apparently their turning skills are pretty good! Ha Ha Are you following? 🙂
Then Scott told me, in a very strong Australian accent: “Julie, you just sit in the cAR, we drive around.” What a relief! OUF!! Oh my God, that sounds lovely!! Ha Ha Off we went through the darkness…
How does Wild Pig Hunting work? The truck drives around In the sugar cane fields. He releases the dogs from their cages and places them on the back metal plate, Scott’s dogs have GPS transmitters, so he can trace their path. Katie, mama dog, places her snout in the wind, as soon as she smells a pig, she jumps off and races through the sugar cane fields. You can see the power, feel the hunt and her determination to get to her target. She goes straight for the pig if she can and barks on it or, grabs it until Scott arrives and he puts a bullet in the pig… AWTCH! I know…
Cruel, you think? Actually its a solution to a major problem. Pigs reproduce so fast, up to 12 piglets at a time. You do the count if Scott wasn’t around… The pigs destroy the sugar cane fields. A few years back, the farmer that owns the sugar cane field, had no harvest at all! The farmers’ previous hunter only caught 2 pigs that year… He thought that was good… Scott caught 60 Pigs the first day he came to the field! This year, thanks to Scott and his dogs, the farmer will have a nice harvest. ❤
Whats done with the pigs? Well lovely readers, thats where I need your help! Unfortunately they don’t do anything with them… The meat is not very good. Sometimes he takes a small pig home… The rest just gets tossed away… Any ideas?
Unfortunately and luckily that night we didn’t catch any pigs. I think I’d have flipped out to see him put a bullet in that pig. I’m kind of a nature- animal lover. I loved the hunt and the excitement, but I’m sure I’d have enjoyed a little less, the part where he shoots the pig and the blood starts poring out .. I have to go back to see it ones though and shoot that gun off ones 🙂 Ha Ha. Make my own opinion…
Its funny sometimes in life, how you think you’re gonna freak out at the sighting of your first shark. When you see it, that fear just transforms into an mesmerising combination of fascination, intrigue and yes, a little bit of fear. The truth is, without that fear, there would be no excitement. Get the picture? 🙂 Life is beautiful and Full of Magic!
We did collect Scott’s infrared camera and ended up catching a MASSIVE pig on camera! The Pig walked down the alley, just 2 hours before we arrived, it must have weight 150 kilo for sure, said Scott!
What I loved the most about this hunt in the pitch black night, in the middle of the Australian bush, was the many many jumping Wallabies, keeping us company and Scott’s stories about his years Pig Hunting. One of my favorite stories, was the one about: “Ruby, The Little Red Bitch”. That’s how Scott talked about her. Ruby seemed to be the best dog he’d had over the years. It was astonishing to observe the loyalty that had evolved into of this man- dog relationship. He talked about her as a companion. She was the kind of dog, that would run out into the sugar cane fields around September, when the cane is not that high and you can see the pig families crossing. That time of the year, hunting is particularly fun, because the Pigs can’t hide in the Cane. Ruby would run straight into the fields at a family of Wild Pigs, she’d jump over the little pigs and go straight for the biggest one. BANG!
One day, she’d attacked a massive 100Kilo pig and had hooked on straight on the Pig’s snout. The Pig was trying to shake her off. Scott described the scene so well… He said: “It was like watching a flag wiggle of a stick… At a car race…” Up Down, Up down, Up Down, … Except it was Ruby, wiggling off a massive Wild Pig’s snout! Imagine the scene! Ha Ha
Scott says: “Better to be out here in the field, then out drinking… My dogs need the run anyway… lovely Scott. 22 years old…”
He did tell me “confidentially”, that some Pig Hunting nights , turn into a night out drinking and occasionally the hunt continues at dusk the next day, after clubbing… 🙂 He He With often as a result waking up with killed pigs on the truck, but no recollection of how they got there… Off course, 🙂 waking up with some “Pig Hunt War Scars”. 🙂
While I was walking back into Airlie Beach’s party scene that night. I felt so lucky not to be part of it. I felt so grateful for meeting Scott while hitch- hiking and thanked mother earth for this lovely evening full of “Out of the Ordinary” tourism sigh seeings. Scott wants to take me to see the Croc’s and the Sharks while deep see fishing… Stay tuned for more crazy Australian stories ❤
Lets be Happy and make the best of what we have.