Three years is a long stalk but that is how long it took to get this pig.  I have been shooting Cape Barren Geese with Chris “Rockjaw Rhodes” on Flinders Island for a number of years now.  Three years ago Rockjaw and I spotted a huge boar on a clearing which featured a shallow lagoon on which we were to hunt geese.  Being a bacon buster from way back I said that if I had the chance I would bring back my .243 and have a crack at tracking down the boar. This year, three weeks before we went to the Island to hunt geese, Rockjaw sent a text message “I think your friend is back”.  I had forgotten, but it did not take long before I got the picture, especially when I got another message with photo of tracks which exceeded the length of a shotgun cartridge by quite a bit, and were heavily indented into the ground. Rockjaw left a wallaby carcass for the pig, and when I arrived there were more tracks and the wallaby had been partly eaten.
     We hunted geese with some success Saturday morning and in the afternoon, while the rest of the party went hunting I took a quad bike and headed off to the lagoon.  The quad bike was easy to handle but Rockjaw had a little surprise for me.  He had told me most of the important directions but had forgotten to inform me of a steep drop near the end of the track.  I had a sixth sense just before I went over and began to brake as I saw the road drop away.  With my mind screaming “don’t brake too hard, don’t brake too hard” I managed, by the skin of my teeth, to drive/slide the bike down. Mental note to self “have a word to Rockjaw about the directions”. The area where the pig had been was about 700m long and 400 wide but where we had placed the wallaby it was about 200m across.  Unfortunately, the wind ran down the length of it and I felt the boar would get my scent as I entered through a narrow passage in the scrub.  I set myself up in the scrub and waited. After 4 hours I was convinced I had spooked him or he had moved on so at 8.15 pm with darkness rapidly approaching, I retired for the night.

Not for the feint hearted

All four of us were needed to lift this pig

     Sunday was another day and, after helping the crew with a few geese in the morning, I took up position early in the afternoon, determined to stay after dark. This time I quite enjoyed going down the big hill on the track. The wind was still there but much less powerful and I set up on the opposite side to minimize the scent that would be blown around the open area.  If he was in the scrub behind me, tough luck.

     The afternoon passed and it was 8.30 pm when I was jolted out of my daze when I spotted the big fellow out of the corner of my eye. I froze until he was obscured behind some bushes and moved into position where I could rest my Sako Hunter 75 on my knees. He moved into view again and about 120 metres away and I had the Leupold VX 3.5x – 10x by 50 mm scope on his monstrous shoulder quick as a flash. Boom, straight through the shoulder, a killing shot.  We both hesitated a second then he got underway.  As he approached the scrub I chambered another round but then he staggered and I knew he was done for.  He made a few more metres and then collapsed with legs and dust going everywhere.

     I ran over to follow up if necessary but the 100 grain Remington Core-Lokt had done its usual efficient job. Wow what a boar, 120 – 130kg was my guess and as big as I have shot. As darkness was approaching I quickly removed his jaw to make into a trophy and happily putted off home of the quad bike.
 Rockjaw had promised a drop of his 30 year old Ballantines if I got the pig. So when I got home I placed the jaws, the Ballantines bottle and my single cartridge in prominent position. The rest of the crew was only too happy to help me celebrate. The following day we retrieved the boar and took him to be weighed.  He came in at 170 kgs by far the largest boar I have shot.  I have seen two boars that would be larger – one on Cape York Peninsula, and the original one we saw that time three years ago.  You see he was pure black so this one wasn’t it.  Both of those boars are still on the loose…..     Sturzy

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