Saddle up the Hoi ho and lets go...
There is no better way to pig hunt than from the back of a good horse and there are not many bush horses better than the ones bred by Billy Maaka and his family in the East Coast.
We arrived early one morning to meet up with Pauli and Stacey, both keen hunters and with riding skills that made me feel nervous at my ability to both keep up and potentially remain in the saddle.
Pauli was basically born in the saddle and seemed more at home on horseback than walking. Your riding Mum's horse called Gigi mentioned Pauli as we attempted to corral them up. "Acting like with buggers this morning" he said as the two horses thundered past us at a full gallop right into and straight out of the pen before we got anywhere near the gate.
This could be a comedy series I thought as I envisioned myself holding on to a wild bucking bronco, they'll quieten down laughed Pauli as he saw me looking on with wide eyes.
With saddles on these beautiful big horses now acted more like lambs and it was almost time for the hunting to start. The one great thing when your on horseback is even the down time is an adventure, crossing rivers and forging our own path gave me a whole new respect for both the horses and these fellas that are brought up riding them.
Pauli and I chatted away as we rode along on our big East Coast taxis. The first hour seemed to glide by and I caught myself thinking that it would almost be a shame to spoil the serenity by catching a pig. The dogs had been cruising along with us for so long it took me by surprise when I looked around to find them gone, "down that gut somewhere" Pauli casually mentioned after seeing me looking around. "Been down there a while now" he added and before I even replied the barking started.
As I looked around for a game trail or ridge to race down on foot Pauli laughed and indicated I should just hold on and before I could even think of my riding skills or life insurance we were off slipping and sliding down perched aboard our two horses. I was holding on and as casual as you like Pauli leaned back with a huge grin as we hit an almost sheer cliff and said " kick her and keep following me, we'll make a Coastie out of you yet!"
It wasn't long before we arrived and with only 50 odd meters to go to the bail up I slid out of the saddle. I arrived to the sight of 2 dogs bailing hard and one big angry sow. Shes fat and barren so lets take her Pauli told me. I snuck in and with a quick call to the dogs to get outside she was clear for the shot.
Beautiful said Pauli as he cruised in, not a mark on her and perfect for my boil up.
Now on any normal hunt the carry out would gobble up hours and traditionally with one good pig in the bag we would call it quits. Pauli's suggestion that we had two horses and may as well put a pig on each had me looking forward to #2 and within minutes we were loaded up and back in the saddle.
I hadn't even got a sweat up and as we rode out of the gut Pauli looked back with a grin and just about read my mind with his comment " cant beat a good horse when your pig hunting."
Watch the FULL ADVENTURE RIGHT here
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