Sunday, February 9, 2014

Hunting Season 2013: Day 15

Two days later it was Baron and I again, just heading out for a few hours in the afternoon. It was windy today as well, really gusting. On days like this you have to be really careful, or really lucky, to be in the right place in regards to your prey. Of course the upside is that it's so loud they can't hear you coming, but the downside is that you can't hear them moving either. I say advantage humans since scents are coming from everywhere meaning the prey is just giving up about picking out exactly where threats are, and you take away their sense of sound (one place they have another huge advantage over you). That leaves sight, where we humans do fairly well, and then brains. Imagining where the prey will be, and what they'll be doing, what they will do, well we're pretty good at that.

Anyway, on windy days like this, Baron picks up tons of scent on the ridge. He often stops, and I can almost see him processing the information. He picks out the boar, then starts trying to gauge how close they are, how many, and then which direction he should head (if they are close). After around 30 minutes of walking, I saw him pick up fresh scent. 2 minutes or so later of following him downhill and to the right, I could smell them too. Baron was carefully and quietly picking his approach, so I copied him, staying just above and behind him. 

Finally he stopped at point, looking forward, then looked at me. It's the signal that they're in that direction for sure, and close. I looked forward, and saw for the first time, boar sleeping. There was one very large female, with 4 small boar sleeping around her. They were out in the open, no cover whatsoever, but while I wanted the large female, I couldn't tell which end was the front or back. The boar were just over 30 meters away. I saw one small boar get up halfway and look in our direction. In moments he would sound the alarm, and all the boar would be up and moving. Since he was a nice target (and I wasn't sure I wanted to carry a 70-80kg sow out solo) I popped off a shot at him. 

Baron flew in after the boar who were now pouring downhill in various states of disorientation, but luckily he picked out the boar I had hit, baying it for a second as it tried to run, then grabbing it. I flew to him, and put the end of the shotgun right up on the boar, picked my timing, and fired the second shot. I saw the boar putting a little nibble on Baron as I moved toward them, and didn't want it to get a bite in. They have insanely powerful jaws, and the last thing we need is Baron getting injured. We put the boar in a stream below, and went after more boar, but it began pouring rain, and we got soaked. Luckily it was a fairly warm day for January, but by the time we got to the car there was not a dry spot on my body. I switched into another pair of clothes, we picked up the gutted boar, and headed home. The boar was just under 30kg.

So, 8 boar on 15 outings.

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