My “First Pig”
We set out late morning on a miserable day, after no success on the first hunt I was more than keen to see some action. After discovering someone else had stolen our plan A we moved on to plan B – we aren’t avid planners so this took a few Wangan bakery pies (BEST PIES EVER) to come up with a plan B but none the less we got one. So there we were in the picturesque Far North Queensland rainforest (my arse!) in typical rainforest weather, no the rain in rainforest is no coincidence. We just stopped the car to let the dogs out of the cage and they took off straight away nose to the ground and into the scrub. After a few minutes of silence waiting for a bark Lachlan let off a whistle to call them back when we heard the bail. So off we went down the road until Lachlan disappeared into what has got to be the thickest rainforest I have ever seen.
The few moments that followed where defiantly my defining ones. There I was staring at the hole I’d seen my boyfriend disappear into, wearing tight 3/4 cargo pants, admittedly picked for arse roundness factor rather than hunting appropriate factor, one of his hunting shirts and crocs, yes crocs, pretty pink flowery ones mind you, and here I was contemplating running in after him. Towards a feral pig, that was probably a little bit pissed off having been interrupted having its lunch by a team of rude dogs, never having seen one up close and having no idea what to do once I got there – so naturally I thought “well if you don’t go in, he will think you’re a pussy,” and went in after him.
So there I am running through the picturesque FNQ rainforest ( again – a load of bullshit) at the speed of light – and by running I mean stumbling (stealthily of course) and by speed of light I mean one of those really annoying ones that flicks on and off – and I was getting caught up on everything. Within the first 20 meters I had learnt the hard way not grab anything, I had thorns sticking out of everywhere and I couldn’t see more than 3 metres in front of me, let alone Lachlan, I had no idea where the car was and I couldn’t see where I had just come from, all I could hear was the dogs barking so I made my way towards the barks and praying to every hunting god they didn’t stop.
I eventually got there, the rainforest was so thick even 5 metres away from him I could barely make out the blue on his shirt. I called out to let him know I was there and the first thing he asks is “Are you ok?,” he is the one face to face with a less than happy feral pig and he asks if I am ok?! I wasn’t all the great to tell the truth, but at that point I was more concerned about him, so I called back that I was all good and climbed up on to a fallen tree to try and see better. I hear a bit more of a struggle and then Lachlan pipes up again “hey babe, did you bring the spear?” it was this point I realised how utterly weaponless I was – I had just ran into the rainforest with the intention of meeting a feral pig without any sort of weapon, let alone a spear. I didn’t even think to bring a knife and he is hoping that I’ve brought a spear, what spear? I wasn’t aware we even had one – needless to say “No,” was my reply. “Ok babe, well I have to go back to the car and get the spear, you stay here with the dogs,” he calls back calm as ever, like we are having a late morning brunch and he is going to get a scone, he then adds, equally as calm “but stay where you are babe, because is pissed the f*** off!” and then all I can hear is him crashing through the rainforest, I assume in the direction of the car to get the infamous spear.
So there I am crouching on a fallen tree listening to the dogs bailing a pig that is “pissed the f*** off!” with no weapon to speak of. Which was all well and good until I hear the pig break further into the scrub, the dogs pull it up for it to make another break towards me, crouching on a tree, weaponless and it’s pissed the f*** off… What am I supposed to do if it gets to me – throw my hat at it? Jump up and down? Sing to it softly to calm it down? Should I try a strip tease? Luckily the dogs pull it up 5 meters before I have to cue the sexy music, and my fallen tree is still a safe vantage point to sit and wait for Lachlan to return with his spear. After 10 minutes I decide to start passing the time by pulling all of the spikes out of my hands, dogs still bailing, and I was thinking about how relaxing pig hunting would be if the dogs where just a little bit quieter as well as deciding between roast or steak for dinner. After about 30 minutes I am starting to wonder if he is ever coming back when I hear him crashing through the scrub brandishing his infamous spear. “hey babe, you ok?” he is breathing pretty heavy now “yeah,” I answer from my perch, “alright, well you wait there, I’ll get it and then you can come over alright,” this of course is fine by me in my weaponless state. So I stand up on my tree and watch the flashes of blue as he goes in and brings down the pig.
After a fair bit of commotion the dogs stop barking and Lachlan calls me in. So I finally relinquish my perch on the fallen tree and go in to see what I’ve just spent the last 45minutes listening the dogs bark at 5 metres away, and in my extensive pig hunting experience (which is nada) this thing is huge and there is Lachlan puffed as ever with his spear in hand standing over it and he says with a victorious smile “good first pig babe, good work!” is he kidding?! I literally just sat on a tree contemplating what we are going to have for dinner and giving myself a rainforest manicure as he has run back to the car got the spear and run back through thick scrub and brought down a sizeable “pissed the f*** off” boar with a spear, and he is saying its my “First Pig” – I may not have much experience but I’m pretty sure you have to kill it to claim it. None the less he assures me I am wrong and by sitting on a tree I have in fact contributed to its death and therefore it is my first pig. Not only that, but it is a decent first pig estimated around 85kg dressed – at the time I had no idea what this meant and I assumed he didn’t know pigs don’t wear clothes, but he could be delirious from all the running he has done so I chose to let it slide – we cleaned it up and I posed for the photos with my “first pig” then we set out back to the car.
Lachlan being used to crashing through the scrub is hard to keep up with and I was quickly reduced to army crawling to keep up. About halfway out my cheek starts to sting, but I keep going trying ignore it and we finally made it back to the track. Lachlan runs up to get the car (because sitting on a tree is hard work and he doesn’t want me to have to walk all 200m to the car – yeah I’m spoilt) as I fall unceremoniously arse over tit out of the scrub. At this point the sting on my face is on fire but I don’t want Lachlan to think Im a pussy so I got in the car and joined in his excited re-run of the last hour, hearing his commentary is insightful, his part in the whole thing sounds a hell of a lot more interesting than sitting on a log – but he is still talking about pigs that wear clothes “weirdo”. Ill admit at this stage I was in a lot of pain and all I really wanted to do was wail for sympathy, but now I have a tough pig hunter reputation to up-hold so I suck it up and settle for saying “babe, pretty sure I have been stung by stinging tree on the face,” to which he replies after a moments pause “Nah babe, would’t be stinging tree… You would be in tears if its stinging tree! It’s just burning vine, I got some on my hand, ignore it, it’ll go away soon.”
Twenty four excruciating hours later a lot of consideration had gone into amputating my face and taking up a career in running the Australian labour party. I was in pain and I was willing to do anything to get rid of it – I do believe I may have even likened it to labour once or twice. So I put the question out there to my Facebook friends and was bombarded with advice – I quickly realised there where a few things that I wasn’t willing to do to get rid of it, some people need serious help! Among the countless suggestions of getting someone to pee on my face there was a suggestion from a friend of mine to use wax… I settled for duct tape, turns out it really does fix everything. I have never been so happy ripping anything off my face. And so with sweet relief my first hunting experience was over, it was nothing short of interesting even sitting on a log for most off it, but despite everything – even the stinging tree – I was addicted and I couldn’t wait to get back out there and do it again, maybe even bring one down myself, my man by my side and duct tape in my pocket.