Friday, 26 October 2012

Feeding Bushpig

The bushveld has just now started its drastic transformation from a dry, almost empty space, frequented by fires and wind transported waves of dust to the blossoming lush habitat captured in the many images that all the travel journals depict. 

Rain has arrived and the promise of abundance is ever more present. For most herbivores and omnivores the pantry has however not yet been fully unpacked and they still take full advantage of rich nutrient sources like the pile of sour unprocessed maize strategically placed by a hunter like myself.  This specific bait was visited by no less than 3 separate sounders in the same night but it’s this imposing Boar that captures my interest most. His confidence and surety of presence is a trusty sign that he will be a capable adversary for both hunter and hounds.  Physical identifications of his gender are the pronounced warts on his snout – absent in the sow on his left. Although his size is larger, this we find is often not the norm with sows regularly weighing more than the boars – field dressed.

One morning in the future the keen hounds will be de-coupled onto the scent track, and should this brute be brought to bay and felled by a hunter, it will no doubt be memorable and most challenging.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Training days for Xosha Bushveld Hound pups involves following the astute lead of the adult hounds. 

The humans do the initial labor of finding the clear trace of a feline and then pass the baton over to the adult hounds to investigate if sufficient scent deposits are apparent and in sufficient quantities to allow for fixed trailing. Always it’s the search for tracks and weeks can go by spent without any profit for the invested hours driving and hiking. But when a good track is found the atmosphere is loaded with possibility and positivism.
8 months plus is the entry age for the Bushveld hounds into the initiation and a hound won’t be considered trained until at least his/her 3rd season. All the emphasis is placed on scent tracking and always the quarry is left in the tree to shrewdly lay scent deposits for another day. 
True ‘catch & release’ and not possible by any other hunting means than over Hounds.