Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wildboar tracking in the night

                                                       Vilma The Hero this night                                                  

Late Monday evening.
I just closed my eyes and was about to sleep when the phone rang.
What´s happening ? Somebody dying or what? The clock was around 23:30 in the evening/night.
I jumped up and answered the phone. It was my friend Mike. He sounded very calm and relaxed so that was good I thought. Then he said he needed a dog now to track a wounded wild boar. His brother just shot a pig running in to the woods. A lot of blood in the beginning but it started to get difficult so they needed a dog for this job.
Yes sure what could I say. I had to wake up 06:00 in the morning to go to work next day but so what.
They always help any time and this was a good opportunity for me and my dog also. In 10 minutes we were in the car heading for the job. A 20 minute car drive from home.

Now I arrived at the crime scene. Mike his son and brother was ready waiting for me.
I covered my Wachtel dog Vilma with a protection dress for dogs to avoid bad wounds if boar attacking her. I also attached a tracking line on her to make sure she didn´t run away from us following the tracks or maybe wrong pigs.

The report from Fredrik shooting on the pig was that it was 5 wildboars out in the field.
One Mother pig and 4 smaller most likely her piglets . He shot one of the smaller and it felt like a good shot. All pigs running away after the shot . The shot pig also run as they do even with a good shot sometimes. He could see a lot of light colored blood where he hit the pig and it was blood in the tracks moving towards the thick wood. He was pretty sure it was a good shot where it should be in the shoulder where u penetrate the lungs at least or maybe the heart. This is a good and safe shot to make sure the pig falls dead on the spot or within a close distance.
But when he came to the wood and the blood tracks started to fade it was time to call in a dog he felt.
A very wise decision this time.

Now it was time to find this poor animal. We headed for the tracks and in to the woods we walked.
My dog Vilma is not used to this kind of work. She use to go out with me or my friends when we have shot a pig and it´s dead laying close by and give her a chance track training towards the dead pig.
I more or less thought so this time also. But I was so wrong.

We stared to walk and showing Vilma the tracks with blood in. She got very excited and showed great interest in the tracks and followed it very nice. You could see that she also tracked in the air and not only the tracks on the ground. Sometimes she started to go to another direction and we thought she wasn´t concentrated enough. But she felt the smell and didn´t need to follow the ground tracks all the time. Very good and flexible but we for sure didn´t want to miss the blood tracks on the ground.
It was still snow on the most of the ground making it pretty simple but not everywhere.

After just a few hundred metres Vilma started to get very excited and barking and pulling very hard.
Now we thought we were going to find the dead pig. Very good we thought. But no.
We could see that the pig had layed down for a while and the started to walk again. We were probably very close to the pig and when it felt our presence it had to move on again the poor creature.

We walked through some rough stony and bushy terrain but also some open fields and crossed some muddy creeks with soft ice on top . It was very moist and wet this night and we all got kind of very wet when this was all over.

We think we got very close to the pig a few times during this tracking when the dog started to get excited from time to time. She did a very nice work all the way.

We pretty soon started to understand this wasn´t the perfect deadly hit we hoped for.
We should have found the pig much earlier by now. The tracks showed that the pig might have lost a leg though. The shot seemed to have missed any vital organs killing it fast enough.
After tracking for about 1,5 hour , less blood and the pig tracks seemed longer as it speeded away from us we started to get frustrated and thinking what to do.
We also ended outside the hunting ground where we are allowed to hunt and in to the neighboring grounds. Not feeling good about that but they new the neighbors well though. I hoped. The clock was 02:00 in the morning and we didn´t want to call and wake anybody for this if we didn´t need.

Anyway we decided to move on as long as it takes. It was tough and we started to get tired but now we started to see signs that the pig started to move in circles more and more and looking for shelter under the vegetation. Now we had been out for about 2,5 hour tracking the pig.

Vilma started to get excited again. We were now out on a half opened field with bushes and tree islands with dens fir trees giving good shelter for the pig.
The track was moving towards the dens fir island. You couldn´t see anything.
Then Vilma started to bark very wild and loud . We understood then that the pig was there.
Two seconds later the pig run out from there and to the next dens tree island.
You could really feel the heart beating hard now and gasping for air. You didn´t know where the pig would show up and if it was going to attack.

After a wild circus for a few minutes we new where the pig ended up. I kept Vilma in leash a little bit away from the pig. We all pointed flash lights against where the pig was and tried to spot it. Mike moved towards the hiding and finally got a chance for the final kill shot. Success !
The pig was finally dead . The pain and suffering was over.
We had now been out for 3 hours. We started at midnight and now it was 03:00.
We now could see that the poor animal had been shot in one of the front legs. The hit leg was only hanging in a few threads by now. The shot was only a few inches away from a perfect shot but not unfortunately . This happens sometimes but not often and when it does u need to make sure finishing the job one way or the other and we did. Very happy and proud we did.
For sure we gave Vilma a little time with her price . She barked very excited and didn´t want to move away from the pig. I hope she felt she did a very good job this night.
She got a lot of encouragement from all of us. I know she understood and I think this experience made her a much better and dedicated wild boar tracker and hunter for the future.

Now it was the fun job left to get the pig back home from the woods.
Only a 40 minutes walk back dragging the 40 kg pig. Lucky it was .

It was a sad start with the shot and the injured pig but we all did a great work finishing it the best possible way.

Thanks to the guys hard work and Vilma the hero of the night.
Without her help we wouldn´t have made it.

1,5 hour sleep this night only but it was worth it for sure !!