PROF. CHARLES A. KOFOID AND
MRS. PRUDENCE W. KOFOID
ir : f
A Complete Account for Sportsmen ;
CAPTAIN R. S. S. ^BADEN-POWELL,
\Tfh Hussars ; < Assist. Milit. Sec., South. Africa.
Author of "Reconnaissance and Scouting," "Cavalry Instruction,"
Dum spiro, spearo" Old Shikari.
ILLUSTRATED BY THE AUTHOR.
HARRISON & SONS, 59, PALL MALL,
to i\t <^umt ano D.B.J}. i\t ^rinxc of
(All rights reserved.")
HARRISON AND SONS
PRINTERS IN ORDINARY TO HER MAJESTY,
ST. MARTIN'S LANE, LONDON,
BY KIND PERMISSION
His ROYAL HIGHNESS
THE DUKE OF CONNAUGHT
K.G., K.T., K.P., G. C.S.I.,
FIRST PRINCE OF ROYAL BLOOD
WHO HAS TAKEN A
PIGSTICKING, a sport second to none and invaluable to
our prestige and supremacy in India, deserves, what it
has not had for years, a book to itself.
The perusal of the following account will, I hope,
prove of interest to both civilians and soldiers who have
enjoyed this form of hunting whilst serving in India, and
also to other travellers and sportsmen who have not yet
These pages have been written with the full and lively
memories of an exceptionally happy personal experience
of the sport, fresh in my mind. Yet I must crave
indulgence for many shortcomings, on the ground that
professional work leaves me barely time to revise the
proof sheets, or to sketch the scenes vividly remembered.
My thanks are due to the following gentlemen who
have generously, and at no little expenditure of time
and trouble, afforded me their valued assistance in
collecting information relative to Pigsticking :
Lord William Beresford, V.C. ; C. Brookes, Esq. ;
F. Carlisle, Esq. ; A. Chapman, Esq. ; Surgeon-Major
Gaye ; A. Hills, Esq.; Major Hogg; Colonel Hore ;
Major Jeffrey (Connaught Rangers) ; Captain Keir
(R.H.A.) ; F. Le Marchand, Esq. ; J. M'Leod, Esq. ;
Colonel Mylne (B.S.C.) ; Colonel Pollok; W. Richardson,
Esq. ; N. S. Symons, Esq. ; and many other sportsmen.
R. S. S. B.-P.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
INTRODUCTION. THE NATURE OF PIG-
CHAPTER I. PIGSTICKING INTRODUCED.
1. Ancient boarhunting ... ... ... ... ... ... i
2. Origin of pigsticking ... ... ... ... ... ... i
3. Modern pigsticking ... ... ... ... ... ... 2
CHAPTER II. AS A SCHOOL.
4. For civilians ... ... 4
5. For soldiers ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 7
CHAPTER III. THE NATIVE VIEW.
6. A boon to natives 12
CHAPTER IV. THE GOVERNMENT VIEW.
7. Government encouragement 14
CHAPTER V. COMPARISONS.
8. Compared with foxhunting 16
CHAPTER VI. WHAT IT IS.
9. The sport defined 21
Vlll TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PART I. PIG.
CHAPTER VII. POINTS OF PIG.
10. General character 25
n. Varieties 27
12. Signs of age , 28
13. Size 29
14. Height ... 30
15. Tushes 31
16. Sows 31
17. Barren sows ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 32
CHAPTER VIII. HAUNTS OF PIG.
18. Haunts of pig 35
19. Reasons guiding selection 38
20. Preserves for pig 40
CHAPTER IX. "REARING" PIG.
21. Beating cover ... ... ... ... ... "... ... 43
22. Canal jungles ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 45
23. Impassable covers 47
24. Grass plains 48
25. Prickly pear 49
26. Marking down ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 49
27. Pugging 52
CHAPTER X. SEASON FOR HUNTING.
28. Weather and crops 60
29. Statistics 61
TABLE OF CONTENTS. ix
PART II. WHAT YOU HAVE TO CONTEND
CHAPTER XL POWERS OF PIG.
30. Craftiness 65
31. Speed ... 66
32. Cunning 67
33. Jinking 68
34. Ferocity ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 70
35. Use of tushes 77
36. Gameness 83
CHAPTER XII. WEAPONS.
37. Long spear
38. Short spear 9
39. Comparative merits 90
40. Spearheads 92
41. Spear shafts 95
42. Fitting the head 95
CHAPTER XIIL DIFFICULTIES OF GROUND.
43. The ground itself ... 97
44. Fences ... 102
45. Rivers 104
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
PART III. ANIMAL ALLIES.
CHAPTER XIV. HORSES.
46. Their share in the sport in
47. Points of a pigsticker 116
48. The Arab 116
49. TheWaler 117
50. The Cape 118
51. The country-bred 119
52. Purchasing ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 121
53. Making a pigsticker 123
54. Bitting and saddling* 127
55. Veterinary notes ... : 129
CHAPTER XV. DOGS.
56. Their use for pigsticking 132
PART IV. HOW TO SUCCEED AS A PIG-
CHAPTER XVI. SELECTION OF LOCALITIES.
57- India ... 137
58. Africa 146
59. Australia... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 148
60. Sandwich Islands 149
61. Mexico, &c 151
TABLE OF CONTENTS. xi
CHAPTER XVII. LIVING IN CAMP.
62. Camp life 152
63. Camp equipment ... ... ... ... ... ... 154
64. Clothes 156
65. Saddlery 157
66. Diversions in camp 158
67. Preserving trophies 160
68. Surgical notes 163
CHAPTER XVIII. RIDING TO PIG.
69. " A good man to pig " ... 166
70. Waiting '. 168
71. Riding to pig 174
72. First spear i/9
73. Spearing... ... 185
74. Carrying the spear 187
75. Falling 188
76. Throwing the spear 189
77. Receiving a charge I9 1
78. Pigsticking in crops 195
79. Attacking on foot ... 196
80. Pigsticking rules ... 200
81. Pigsticking cup competitions ... 201
82. The Kadir Cup and winners ... 202
83. The Ganges Cup and winners ... ... ... ... 204
84. The other Cups ...206
List of Tent Clubs . ... 210
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Triumph! Frontispiece.
2. Our Grandfathers at it 4
3. First Spear 21
4. A Native Landseer 26
5. Haunts of Pig 35
6. Straight for him an Eviction 39
7. Rearing Pig 43
8. A Wily Jink .' 68
9. The European Concert 71
10. Paying Toll 75
11. The Enemy Wins ... ... ... ... ... ... 80
12. The Duke of Connaught pigsticking 85
13. Tobogganing on sheet rock ... ... ... ... ... 97
14. Oh, what a Surprise ! ... ... ... ... ... ... 100
15. The Gallery 103
16. A Regular Fizzer 122
17. "Beetle" 132
1 8. A Tent Club , 136
19. The Hoghunter's Cup 153
20. First Spear a Race 166
21. Unity and Disunity 188
22. Shall I? 193
23 Attack on Foot 199
24. The 1884 Kadir Cup ... ... ... ... ... ... 202
25. Corpus apri defero 208
THE NATURE OF PIGSTICKING.
PIGSTICKING OR HOGHUNTING.
I. "Pigsticking," according to Bengal, or "Hog-
hunting," according to Bombay phraseology, is, in
its primitive form, the most general and ancient sport in
existence. I hesitate, however, to bore my reader with
its history from the year I, as he can trace this in all
the detail he desires in histories, cyclopaedias, natural
history books, classic inscriptions, Egyptian hiero-
glyphics, and, probably, cuneiform records. In Ancient
Britain as in Ancient Egypt, in Europe as in Asia or
Africa, boars from time immemorial have been hunted
by men on foot armed with spears and aided by dogs,
just as they are hunted to this day in Africa by the
natives, in Germany by the nobles, in Albania by the
peasants, and in New Zealand by the sheep farmers.
2. Origin of pigsticking. The modern form of
pigsticking now in vogue in India is, however, of
more recent origin. Like foxhunting in England,
which only gained its regular standing as such on the
decrease of stags little more than a century ago, pig-
sticking, as now practised in India, became recognised
only at the beginning of this century as the substitute
for bearsticking, which had till then been the most
popular sport of Bengal. The bear was hunted by
2 PIGSTICKING OR HOGHUNTING.
mounted sportsmen armed with a short, heavy, broad-
bladed spear which was thrown a la javelin ; but bears
became scarce, and the bearhunters took to spearing
pig in the same way, and soon found that in the latter
beast they had a foe more worthy of their steel. In
order to lend an additional interest to the proceedings
it became usual to get up a sweepstake before starting to
ride a boar, which was won by him who first succeeded in
throwing his spear so that it stuck fairly into the boar's
body ; and to avoid mistakes each man's spear was de-
corated with ribbons of different colour. The eventual
death of the pig was not in those days an important
3. Modern pigsticking. The more modern con-
ditions of pigsticking may be briefly described thus :
A beat is organised and the hunters are posted in
parties of three or four at points of vantage along the
edge of the jungle or cover. On a boar breaking cover
the party nearest to it starts to ride it, each man racing
to be first to come up with and spear the hog thereby
winning the honours of the run. The " first spear" won
it remains for the party to unite their efforts to repel the
attacks of the boar, and finally to overcome and kill
him with their spears, which are retained in the hand
throughout the encounter.
To the uninitiated, the term " pigsticking " conveys
but a very feeble idea of the nature and qualities of the
pursuit, which, were they more widely known, would
prove attractive to a more extended circle of sportsmen
than at present. Moreover in many Indian stations
Tent Clubs have had but a struggling and unsuccessful
career, simply owing to the fact that their supporters
have been ignorant of the best ways of finding and
PIGSTICKING INTRODUCED. 3
hunting their game ; also it very often happens that a
district, swarms with pig and is perfectly " rideable," but
that the sportsmen inhabiting it do not recognise these
facts through a common want of knowledge of the nature
of the sport and its management. For these reasons,
therefore, I have endeavoured in the following pages
to bring into more general notice the components that
go to make pigsticking the sport it is, and in doing so 1
have grouped them under the following heads, viz. :
I. The quality of the quarry.
II. The dangers and obstacles that intervene in his
III. The animal allies of the sportsman.
IV. The secrets of success.
AS A SCHOOL.
4. In laying before the reader the following
notes on the " premier sport of India " I must begin
by asking the attention of elders in authority in India to
the fact that "pigsticking" is not the mere waste of time
that many of them appear to deem it to be ; and of
those of the younger generation to the fact that under
the veil of so unattractive a name lies a wealth of sport.
. Civil. To the civil authorities I would make a special
appeal. They would do well to study the following
paragraph taken from the "Times of India": "Con-
sidering that the Government expects officers of the
Army and the Civil Service to be good horsemen, it is
very hard to feel that the finest enjoyment and instruc-
tion on horseback in the world, viz., a race after a good
boar with a fight at the end of it, should receive not only
such scant encouragement from those in power, but that
apparently there should be actual discouragement shown
behind the scenes." In confirmation of this several
civilians of high standing in India have informed me
that an officer of the Indian Civil Service cannot perform
his duties thoroughly or adequately if he is unable to
ride ; for instance, a Civil officer ought to make a practice
and a point of visiting the different outlying villages and
localities of his district at unexpected times ; making
himself personally acquainted with the headmen and
AS A SCHOOL. ' 5
others, dispensing with the usual intermediate agency of
the irrepressible babu or chuprassie ; that he should ride
about and see things for himself, not trusting entirely
to reports ; and he should endeavour to -make himself
personally known to and looked up to by all classes. A
man who is a votary of pigsticking could not but carry
out all these hints. Many a young man of those who
pass annually the examination for the Indian Civil
Service does not know a horse from a cow, and yet on
joining his district is expected and ought to ride about
as if trained to it from his youth up. Polo and pig-
sticking are the very best riding schools for beginners,
and though both are common in India, the latter, as it
can be enjoyed in out stations where only "two or
three are gathered together," will generally be the school
for necessary horsemanship most open to civilians.
On becoming a pigsticker the pursuit of sport will
take the young " civilian " to covers in all corners of his
district ; he will of necessity be brought into personal
contact with all classes of natives of his district at
unexpected times, and differently than when on his
periodical and ceremonious tours of inspection ; he will
see for himself the state of crops, irrigation, cattle, etc.,
etc. ; and, if a successful sportsman, he will win by his
prowess a standing in the estimation of all native classes
higher than any that could be obtained by a stay-at-
home " clerk-in-an-office young man."
An admiration of physical courage is inherent in every
race, and among the less civilised peoples such prowess
is looked on as a necessary qualification in any conquer-
ing or governing race. When hunting in the interior
of South-West Africa, the late Surveyor-General of
Ordnance (Hon. Guy Dawnay) was recognised by the
6 PIGSTICKING OR HOGHUNTING.
natives as a wise and friendly councillor, but his prime
claim on their confidence and respect was his reputation
as " the man who fought the monkey " ; due to the fact
that with his bare fists he fought and defeated a savage
chimpanzee ; and all the natives accepted him in con-
sequence as a born ruler of men.
Every out-of-the-way performance on the part of an
Englishman in field sports is regarded by the natives
of Hindustan with a stunned wonder and admiration ;
and even by Shikaris and jungle tribes as indicating a
proper prowess in the dominant race.
Even among the Baboos a feat of daring may be
regarded as a mad freak, but inwardly it is taken to be a
proof that the Englishman is of a different and superior
order of beings, of an order indeed which occasionally
they suspect is not. unconnected with the devil, but none
the less irresistible on that account In the Allahabad
district a few years back a Secretary to Government
joined in a pigsticking party ; the boar had been
brought to bay and the Secretary was on the point of
rushing in at him with a final attack, when a leading
native squire who was present begged him not to, " Un
logon ko chor-do" he said, " yih un ka kdm hai t dp kakdm
kalam kai, balan ka nahin " (" Leave it to the others, it
is their business, your work is with the pen, not with
the spear ") ; but when, to his surprise, he saw the lord
of the pen go in and win in best form with the spear, his
veneration became thenceforward unlimited and fixed on
a firmer basis than ever.
It is, perhaps, unnecessary to remind the reader that,
as any business man in India will allow, hard physical
exercise enables an European to get through office work
in half the time that is necessary for those who remain
AS A SCHOOL. 7
" soft " in condition from too scanty an allowance of
active out-door movement.
Small wonder, then, that the question is asked Why
is the sport still occasionally frowned at by those at
the head of Civil Service affairs? May they study all
accounts of this noble sport, then enjoy the sport itself,
and so turn to reforming their ways and those of the
Civil Service generally !
5. Military. To the military authorities no hints
need be given, because the excellence of the sport
as a means of training and developing the desired
talents and powers in an officer, is now-a-days pro-
perly recognised by all competent heads. Sir Arthur
Cunynghame, in common with such authorities as Sir
John Malcolm, Colonel Ord, Sir Lionel Smith, and
others, states that " Pigsticking is most useful for
developing the attributes so necessary in a soldier, viz.,
eye, hand, a firm seat, courage, and activity."
We English are apt to comfort ourselves with the
reflection that in the event of an European war the
smallness of our cavalry force will be compensated for
by its superior qualities of dash and horsemanship.
The French and Germans are well aware of this fact,
and have spared no pains to bring their own, already
well horsed and well equipped, cavalry to an equal
standard in these desirable points. To attain this result
their main efforts are devoted to imbuing first of all the
officers with the desired qualities. Abroad, military
tournaments, races, paper chases, etc., are instituted by
government for the encouragement of riding on the
part of officers, and facilities are given them of obtain-
ing well-bred chargers, and foxhounds are kept at the
larger garrisons in Germany.
8 PIGSTICKING OR HOGHUNTING.
Our British government, on the contrary, gives officers
no inducement or aid to become good men in the field,
possibly because they recognise the fact that as long as
foxhunting exists in England the natural inborn love of
the sport will keep the young officer up to the mark,
probably also because it does not look round and see
that its neighbours are drawing up to us in our strong
points, and that to keep ahead in the race for perfection
some aid should be given to our officers in still further
developing their talents. Much might be done, as
various writers have suggested, in the way of a liberal
expansion of the system of taking horses from the ranks,
by employing officers' hunters as troop horses for the
summer months, by utilising young officers as rough-
riders, etc., etc. But a great stride in the right direction
would be gained, and one that could not be followed by
any other nation, were the sport of India placed on
a firm and certain basis, and young officers sent to that
country for at least two years out of the first five of their
service, during which every facility would be given them
for practising polo, pigsticking, shooting, and stalking,
and their concomitant arts of woodcraft and camp life.
Not infrequently does it happen that a cavalry officer
or one of that rapidly increasing " arm " mounted rifles
wins for himself the reputation of being a smart leader
on a field-day ground, and yet completely and con-
spicuously fails when put to the real test of actual cam-
paigning in a strange country. He is capable of putting
bodies of troops through most intricate movements in
good order on a level parade, but once on unknown,
wild, or broken country he is all at sea. He does not
possess by nature, or has not developed by practice, the
power of taking in at a glance the peculiarities of the
AS A SCHOOL. 9
terrain and making the best uses of them, nor of
recognising his opportunities and seizing them with dash
and determination ; two of the most useful acquirements
in a cavalry leader. These are the two faculties that
are particularly developed in pigsticking.
Apart from the fact that any hardy exercise conduces
much to the training and formation of a soldier, pig-
sticking tends to give a man what is called a " stalker's
eye," but which, par excellence, is the soldier's eye. It
teaches him to keep looking about him both near and
far, so that by practice he gets to notice objects in
the far distance almost before an ordinary man can
distinguish them even when pointed .out to him. In
difficulties of ground he will learn to keep a look-out to
the front and not only see his way over present ob-
stacles but also the best line to take when these have
been successfully disposed of. The habit of looking for
and noticing the smallest signs of pig teach a man to
note and carry in his mind those little marks by which
he can often obtain important information, and will
always get the country more or less mapped into his
brain by a succession of insignificant signs and land-
marks, the value of which can be duly appreciated when
he has once had to perform a reconnaissance by night ; or
to work through an unknown country in time of hostilities.
The hunting-field has been described by the best
authorities as the training school for the cavalry officer,
and, without doubt, hoghunting, which in India takes
the place of foxhunting, is not one whit the less useful
for that purpose ; for on a minor scale it possesses many
of the requirements of cavalry service. To excel in
either, in addition to the necessary preliminary qualifica-
tions of being a good rider and skilled in the use of one's
io PIGSTICKING OR HOGHUNTING.
weapons, one must have acquired the art of getting over
the ground by the shortest way, and must be ever on the
look-out for opportunity, and ready to seize it when
it occurs and make the best of it, to the extent of one's
gifts of dash and determination ; in a word one must have
matured not only the " pluck " which brings a man into
a desperate situation, but that " nerve " which enables
him to carry the crisis to a successful issue.
How many a man from sheer neglect to look about
him, or from want of an eye for a country, will make
for his goal by quite a roundabout course, whether it be
across a hunting country or on the battle-field, and
finally, on coming within distance of his object, hesitates
to commit himself to the attack, anticipating the occur-
rence of a better opening which probably after all does
not present itself. In both pigsticking and war these
failings are common, and their antidotes are in both
The dash and keenness, the pluck and determination,
that are invaluable in the one are as equally important
in the other.
General Gilbert used to say that a good hoghunter
could not be a bad soldier, and in himself he fully bore
out this axiom. The description of him at Sobraon
paints in equally true colours many a good sportsman
on more modern fields of battle
" He on his good steed erect appears
As when he met the boar,
But now a worthier foe inspires,
A deadlier game his skill requires."
David Johnston describes hoghunting as "the most
entertaining, noble, and manly of all sports ; the best
school for young cavalry officers. They learn to ride
AS A SCHOOL. ii
and to manage their horses so as to encounter any diffi-
culties they may meet with, in going through unknown
countries, better from one day's keen hoghunting than
from a year's exercise with their regiment." Major H.
Shakespear, another proved soldier and sportsman, says
in his " Wild Sports of India," apropos of pigsticking,
" The training that makes a sportsman makes a soldier ;
it gives him endurance and it gives him an eye for a
country and a familiarity with danger."
THE NATIVE VIEW.
6. In addition to the foregoing advantages derivable
from pigsticking it directly benefits the peasantry of
the districts in which it is carried out.
Many people are to be found, as in all such questions,
who think otherwise, but take the real feelings (if you
can) of the people most interested, namely, the agricul-
turists, and it will generally appear that they look with
favour upon the maintenance of a sport which draws so
well-paying a visitation on to their village.
Their best looking country-bred horses are then sold
at good prices ; their forage is bought ; and a large
proportion of the men and boys receive ample pay for
beating the jungle ; their bullocks and carts are hired for
the carriage of the tents and camp paraphernalia. One
pigsticking meet is as good as three market days to the
village in whose neighbourhood it takes place. Then
again the peasants are brought into more frequent,
pleasant, and profitable contact with Europeans, and get
to look upon them as friends and honest employers, in-
stead of dreading their appearance, as mere taxgatherers
or magistrates riding about levying fines, and inflicting
punishment. The Englishman, whether civilian or mili-
tary, thereby becomes better acquainted with the natures,
customs, and interests of the people over whom he is
THE NATIVE VIEW. 13
placed ; and naturally regards them with kindlier feel-
ings. In both respects mutual advantages result, and
governor and governed are brought into relations of a
personal and friendly character of the utmost value to
our hold on India.
THE GOVERNMENT VIEW.
7. How then can the authorities aid in so useful
a cause as is the encouragement of pigsticking ?
The well-being of the sport in an Indian district
generally rests to a great degree in the hands of the