A hunting client is never going to come across the world to hunt a feral wild pig, but, if he or she is already here hunting other game then it’s a quality bonus species to target. A big boar is a trophy worth spending some time stalking, as these old veterans are cunning, tough and cantankerous. A worthy adversary.
Pig hunting with dogs is a hugely popular outdoors pursuit in New Zealand, but in my opinion this way of securing a pig for a client is more about the dogs experiencing excitement and the client tagging along trying to keep up with the chase. It is also a ‘dog’s choice’ hunt where the pig grabbed is the one the dog thought appropriate, not the big one the client wanted. The best way for a visiting client to enjoy a boar hunt is to employ the traditional deer hunter,’ spot and stalk’ technique.
Poronui has no wild pigs, but clients hunting deer on sister property Glazebrook are almost certain to see a lot of pigs. Amongst the healthy population living there are some truly big boars. These are Marlborough, northern South Island pigs descended from a range of liberations. The primarily black colouration with tan trotters seems to indicate Berkshire ancestry rather than Tamworth ancestry which occurs further south. I have visited Glazebrook several times over the years and seen a lot of pigs, mostly black with a few spotted ones and blue ones thrown into the mix. I have seen some very good boars, and been lucky enough to shoot the best one of those seen. This monster, went well over two hundred pounds, had good hooks and an impressive winter cape.
Big boar success without dogs is often opportunistic, and the bagging of the big boar fitted well into that pattern. I had shot a couple of smaller pigs for food and while cleaning then up to carry out, heard the sound of squealing and grunting on the other side of the valley. Looking up I observed a mob of a dozen pigs heading around to thick cover. A quad bike away in the distance had probably disturbed them and they were fleeing for safety. Standing much taller than all of the pigs was a gigantic black boar, who arrogantly swaggered his way along at the back of the group. Seizing on the opportunity presented I leaned my rifle against a tree and successfully dropped the boar with one shot. The photograph shows what I saw when I walked up to him. He is as big as they get in this region and a rare trophy in his own right because of a boar’s wary nature. What makes Glazebrook unique for client pig-hunting is that there are a lot of pigs, the country is relatively open, and the owners do not allow pig dogs on the property so the animals are quieter than elsewhere in the country.