Today was the first group hunt of the year with the "52" Big Game Hunting Association. The morning was supposed to be spent analyzing the fresh tracks and preparing to hunt. Instead we spent the morning clearing away trees and branches and repairing huge, impassable ruts in the access roads. Our area experienced several serious rainstorms this fall and many of our best areas were completely washed out. With the hard work done, and a good lunch break we set up in five positions surrounding a 2.5km by 1.5km block of mixed hardwoods with some traditionally productive briar patches. While walking to my designated location, I jumped 2 does which bolted out of our hunting block. Not a good start, I thought. I set up on their trail rather than my normal spot 100 meters further down the river bed. This would turn out to be a great decision.
Our best tracker, and one of our senior members entered the block on the southern end and I figured it would be at least an hour before they were close enough to jump any game near me. 10 minutes into the hunt, I experienced the most heart stopping 10 seconds of hunting in many years. I heard a large animal bounding through the briars and dry leaves. I drew my weapon and about 4 seconds after the first sound, a huge boar appeared. I found him in the scope, released the safety, and began squeezing the trigger. My gun boomed as he bounded off the side of the river bed and my bullet struck home in mid air. He hit the ground with a tremendous thud! I immediately chambered another round in case he began to run. He made an attempt to raise up and I fired a finishing shot to his head. I quickly reloaded with 1 more round and focused on this hulking monster on the ground. I tried to see of he was still breathing, but was unable to because my pounding heart was making the scope bounce! I waited about a minute and approached cautiously. When I got close, It was clear that my second shot was true and he had expired instantly! I called the kill into our leader and we began the process of hauling him out of the woods. This involved cutting a 150 meter long trail for a mini 4x4 with a crane, and pulling out about 100 feet of winch cable to get him out of the river bed. We hauled him to the ice cold mountain river, finished field dressing him, washed out the body, and cleaned all the innards for Motsu-Nabe (soup) later this week (liver, heart, kidneys, stomach, chitterlings, and spleen).
This boar was estimated by our association as weighing 25 Kann (about 94kg, or 207Lbs). As you can see by his white cheeks, he is an older boar and is locally called "HooJiro" or "White Cheeks". They are reputed to be quite aggressive, and to attack when confronted or injured! Thanks to Federal Premium I did not have to find out! BTW, The Japanese name for the Great White Shark is "HooJiro-Zame" or "White Cheeks Shark" and these wild boar have the same temperament!
Now with only 2 days of hunting so far, I have already harvested the "double" that the big game association expects from all our members! I have been quite lucky this year!
We will de-bone this hog Tuesday after work, so please stop by and give us a hand!
See you in the Yama!