Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Baden-Powell of Gilwell.

Pigsticking; or, Hoghunting: a complete account for sportsmen, and others online

. (page 10 of 14)
Online LibraryRobert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Baden-Powell of GilwellPigsticking; or, Hoghunting: a complete account for sportsmen, and others → online text (page 10 of 14)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

mark. Messrs. Hills, Fergusson, and Malcolm are the
leading sportsmen.

In Bombay Presidency and the Nizam of Hyderabad's
dominions, are the famed Deccan Districts of Poona,
Aurungabad, Hyderabad, Julna, Ellichpore, Sholapore,
Nagpore, Ahmedabad, Ahmednuggur, etc. The Poona
Tent Club was in its prime some thirty years ago, and
numbered among its leaders General Holland, Colonel
Harris, General Hogg of Siroor, and many other well-
known spears ; but the march of civilisation has cut up
its somewhat limited country with railways, etc., and
driven out the pig.

The " Nuggur " hunt at that time also held a high
position, supported by such sportsmen as Sir F. Sowter,
Messrs. Cameron, Rawlinson, etc. ; but its country has
of late years been over improved, from a pigsticker's
point of view. General Forster, with " Tom " Gibbon,
and Oliver Probyn made the last good bag there many
years ago (viz., eleven boar in the Katney Ghat). But
there are, on the other hand, fresh tracts of country
opened up in which good hunting can yet be had. Dr.
Gaye, with one friend, lately killed no less than fourteen
good boar (some of 35 inches, none less than 32 inches)
on the Leena.

The sportsmen of Sholapore have recently revived the
old club, with every prospect of great success.

The Ahmedabad Tent Club's books date back to
1857, and show a steadily increasing record of sport.
Colonels Le Geyt, Pottinger, and Hancock won their
spurs with this hunt, and Dr. Boustead will long be
remembered for the exceptionally big boars he usually
brought to bag.


In Madras there is not much pigsticking country.
In Assam and Burmah, as in many other parts, pig
is plentiful, but the ground impassable. On the Brah-
mapootra the pig are abundant, in fairly open country,
but as it consists for the most part of paddy fields, the
ground is only passable in dry weather, and is then so
hard, slippery, and fissured, that it is unrideable even to
men like Colonel Pollok, accustomed to cotton soil.

The churs of the Brahmapootra are favourite resorts of
pig, and much good sport has been got among them.

Expenses. In these days of cheap and rapid travel,
India and its hunting grounds lie at no great expense
or distance from the sportsman in England.

Twenty days' journey will land him in Bombay, with
a return ticket by P. and O. Line, extending over six
months, for II5/. The railway fare thence to an up-
country district would be from 3/. to io/. Cost of board,
lodging, and servants about i6/. per month, and each
horse's keep about I/, per month.

Indian hotels are, as a rule, to be avoided, being dear
and dirty. At all large stations there are good resi-
dential clubs, and at small stations there are small
government rest houses, or dak bungalows. Thus the
actual expenses of travelling, living, and servants for five
months (i.e., three and a half months of actual sport)
would easily be covered by 2$o/. Besides the P. and
O. line of steamers, there are several others, such
as the British India, Austrian Lloyds, Compagnie
Nationale de Navigation, Anchor, Hull, and Rubattino,
the latter being recommended for cheapness.

The best time to go out, as far as the sport itself is
concerned, is March, returning in July (see table on p.
62, 29, Chapter X). This happily fits in well with



sporting ties in England, since it comes between hunting
and the autumn shooting.

The selection beforehand of the district to which he
intends to go for sport should be an important item in
his preparations. Towards this end a concise account
of the different Tent Clubs is given in the Appendix, but
the sportsman should satisfy himself by writing to the
secretary before he finally decides on any particular one.
The sport of each club varies from year to year.

If the sportsman has a friend in that part of India he
will do well to instruct him to procure him the requisite
number of horses by the date of his arrival.

Boots and breeches, and all saddlery and spear heads
should be taken out from England ; all other articles can
be obtained just as well on the spot.

58. Africa. In North Africa pigsticking may be
got in Morocco, round about Tangier. Sir Drummond
Hay, the late British Resident, has done an immense
amount on behalf of the sport, but it is feared that since
his departure the protection he had obtained for the pig
of the district will lapse.

However, Messrs. Green, Herbert White, and Brookes,
who are keen and successful sportsmen, will doubtless do
a great deal towards keeping the sport up to the mark.
The natives of the country, from the Sherif of Wazan
downwards, are very keen, and therefore make excellent
beaters, but the danger is that their keenness may lead
them into shooting the pig as they used to do before Sir
Drummond Hay obtained the right of preserving. The
country is chiefly low scrub bush, and the boar are fast
and plucky, and very large, one of 40 inches having
been killed. Meets are held about once a month during
the winter for three days at a time.


Forwood Brothers' steamers run to Tangier, and nu-
merous lines run to Gibraltar, whence communication with
Tangier is easy. A return ticket costs I5/. Good
horses for the work can be hired on the spot or bought
for 2O/. The sportsman should take his own spears.
There is a good hotel, " Villa de France," kept by
M. Beuzeaud, a local sportsman. Living, js. a day.

North East Africa offers good pigsticking in the
Somali country near Zaila. This is best reached from
Aden. A place called Uhdhawadivi, some 25 miles
from Zaila, is best for sport, and the country is open and
pig plentiful and plucky. See "Field," i/th November,

South Africa. In South Africa good sport was
procurable a few years ago some 70 miles to the
westward of Pretoria, in the Transvaal. Sir Arthur
Cunynghame, an old hand at the game in India, com-
pares the African sport most favourably with that of Asia.
There are two kinds of pig to be met with in South
Africa, viz., the Bush Hog (Cheiropotamus Africanus),
called by the Dutch the Bosch Vark, and the Wart Hog,
so called from the peculiar excrescences on the sides of
his face. The wart hog stands nearly as high as the
Indian pig, but is more hairy and of a lighter and redder
colour. He has a shorter neck and heavier head. His
upper tushes are larger than the lower, being about 9
inches long and very massive ; the lower tushes are
much like those of the Indian boar but not so curved.
Wart hogs are, however, very uncommon now in
civilised parts, in fact I know only of one place
where they still exist, a certain farm tract near Harri-
smith, in the Orange Free State. In the interior wilds
they are common enough, and a sportsman taking a

L 2


horse and spear with him should have good sport,
especially as they are to be met with out in the open by

59. Australia. Pig exist in some parts of Australia
and New Zealand, but chiefly in unrideable country.
There are parts of Australia, however, where pig can be
found and ridden.

The Hon. Harold Finch-Hatton, in his interesting
book " Advance Australia ! " describes the sport he got
in Queensland, by which it would appear that the pig
there are quite as able to run and to fight as those of
Ir dia, and the ground is apparently no less " interesting,"
being overgrown with long grass in which the trunks of
fallen trees lie hid in large numbers. From his book I
cannot help extracting the following strange adven-
ture :

" The author and his brother had ridden and killed
a boar, when they discovered that Mr. Rice, the third
man of their party, was missing. However, before long,
a ' coolie ' from the ridges away to the right, about a
quarter of a mile off, told us of his whereabouts. We
set off, and when we came up we found Rice standing
with a broken spear in his hand, examining the carcase
of a still more enormous boar than the one my brother
had killed. He had run him for about three-quarters of
a mile, and in trying to spear him he had broken his
spear, leaving only about 5 feet of the shaft. A little
further on the boar had ' bailed up ' on the top of a
ridge, and stood with his legs wide apart and the foam
dropping from his huge tusks, and looking altogether
such a discouraging sight that nothing would induce
Rice's horse to go near him. Whereupon he coolly got
off and grasping the remains of his spear walked


straight at the boar without, as he afterwards said, the
slightest notion of what either he or the animal was
going to do. Of course the boar charged, and as the
brute came at him Rice slung the spear at him with all
his force and with infinite precision. It entered the
animal's chest and he ran right on to it, driving it into
his heart and falling dead on the spot. It was a most
miraculous escape for Rice, for if he had not killed the
boar it is pretty certain the boar would have killed him."

Pighunting in New Zealand is described by Sir
George Baden-Powell in his book " New Homes for the
Old Country " : u The pig was found by the first settlers,
in the beginning of this century, in large numbers and
already wild in many parts of the country, although it
had only been introduced by Captain Cook and the
earlier navigators. It is, by many, believed to prey
upon lambs and is therefore warred against. It is still

very common, inhabiting the thick scrubs owing

to the nature of the country, the pigs are only to be got
at on foot. Two good dogs are used to find and bail
him up ; and he is then put an end to by means of a
strong dog kept in hand for the purpose, or by the use

of spears, or by aid of gun or pistol The boars

frequently have very formidable tushes and the sows
bite severely."

60. Sandwich Islands. I am indebted to W. H.
Purvis, Esq., of Kukuihaele, Hawaii, for the following
account :

" I have grand sport pigsticking in the island of
Hawaii. We find pig in a rolling country, with good
turf going, plenty of dead stumps, and trunks of trees
destroyed by the cattle an entirely wild country. The
pig are a wild breed, indigenous, but probably crossed


with tame pig. The boars are very heavy, short in the
legs on the plains, but leaner and quicker up the moun-
tains. No measurements have as yet been taken, but
the approximate weight of a good boar is 400 Ibs. I have
tushes of loj inches, but have seen them larger. The
wild pig seldom visit plantations or cultivation. As a
rule we go out three spears together, with a few natives
mounted our method being to ride in a well-extended
line of a quarter to half a mile across the country, until a
boar is sighted, usually found asleep under a log or bank.
All ride for him when started ; our endeavour is to head
him off any sheltering bush in the neighbourhood. The
spear we use is a bayonet or leaf head (from Toulon) on a
male bamboo shaft (from India). I was the first to begin
the sport 1881 but had no personal experience, and
was greatly in need of a good book on the sport. We
first used green coffee plant shafts, with heads made by
the local blacksmith. An average day, out for a few
hours, always gave two or three boars. I have got as
many as 13 pig in a few hours, 7 to my own spear. I
never got within striking distance without the pig
charging. They are particularly fierce and cunning.
Occasionally they charge before they are chased at all.
On one occasion in trying to turn a sow for my fox
terriers to come up to, she charged and seized my toe in
her mouth, letting go only when the dogs attacked her
in rear. We never take dogs out spearing as they get in
the way of the horses. We do take them when we go
pigshooting in the thick bush. My fox terrier * Mika,'
great at pig, met his fate by one blow from a pig which cut
his throat right through to the neck-bone, as cleanly as if
cut with a razor. The horses we use, which are usually
from 14 to 15 hands, are island bred of a race originally


introduced by Vancouver, probably Mustangs crossed
by good imported sires from Australia and America. The
horses grow quite keen in the sport, one I used always
with snaffle-bit now gets so excited on seeing a pig that I
lose all control, his one endeavour being to come to
close quarters. In old days, natives, taught originally by
Spaniards from America, were great adepts at lassoing
pig from horseback. In regard to season, one goes out
pigsticking equally well all the year round.

61. North Mexico. Another form ofpighunting is
practised in Northern Mexico, where good sport is to be
had in riding after Peccary pig and roping (lassoing)

In Germany, Belgium, Austria, Russia, Albania, and
Switzerland, boar exist, but almost entirely in forests or
unrideable country. The most likely places are in the
neighbourhood of Creuznach, Wiesbaden, Coblentz, but
no pigsticking proper has been carried out at these
places as far as I am aware.




62. Camp Life. Every station near which pig
are to be found has its Tent Club. This is an associa-
tion of the sportsmen of the place for carrying out
the preservation of the pig, and successful hunting.

A Master and Committee are usually appointed to
conduct the affairs of the club, the Master being also
secretary and treasurer.

The club possesses a mess tent, utensils, and servants,
also a head Shikari with perhaps some assistants. Once
a week a meet is held at a place appointed by the Master
after consultation with the Shikaris. The mess is set up
there and beaters engaged. The members send their
own tents and horses, and make their own way out
to the rendezvous on the evening previous to the hunt.

The following rules are similar to those regulating
most Tent Clubs :

1. The affairs of the club to be managed by a Com-
mittee consisting of three members, including the Master,
to be elected as vacancies occur.

2. The Committee are responsible for the general
management of the club, and it is their duty to arrange
for meets as often as sport can be procured.

3. The tent club book to be circulated among the
members before every hunt. Thursday to be the club


4. Any gentleman desirous of joining should send his
name to the Master.

5. Members stating their intention of going out
and not going to be charged expenses for that day
at the discretion of the Committee. A member coming
out without giving warning is liable to a fine of I R., at
the discretion of the Committee.

6. For each meet, in the absence of the Master, the
Committee shall appoint a member to transact the
business for the day, and his arrangements, as regards
placing the spears, the number to ride each pig, beating,
etc., must be adhered to. He shall also be responsible
for seeing the coolies paid.

7. A general meeting shall be held at the beginning
and close of each hunting season for inspection of
accounts, etc.

8. Beaters will be paid for by a charge (which will be
settled by the Committee) against all members present ;
but extra expenses, such as presents to men cut by pigs,
etc., shall be paid by the fund.

9. Other tent clubs and regiments wishing to have a
day in the tent club district may be entertained as the
Committee may decide. If they are entertained as
guests a general charge will be made against all the
members of the> club for the expenses of the meet.

10. That no member of the tent club go out pig-
sticking without sanction from the Committee, so that
other members may join if they choose.

The amount of entrance fee and subscription of course
varies according to the size of club, distance and nature
of covers, and extent of pig preserving done and renting
of jungle.

For the assistance of those intending to start or form


clubs a quotation of the subscriptions of a few existing
clubs might be useful.

In the Calcutta Club, three gold mohurs (48 Rs.) is the
subscription for the season, the fund so raised pays
the current expenses of the club, e.g., hire of elephants
and beaters, pay of Shikaris, carriage of mess, etc.

The cost of messing is divided among those who mess
at each meet.

In the Muttra Club a monthly subscription of 12 Rs.
pays current expenses ; messing being divided among
those present at each meet.

In the Meerut Club there is an entrance fee of one
gold mohur (16 Rs.),and a subscription of 20 Rs. for the

With this the club pays for beaters, Shikaris, tents,
carriages, tolls, use of dak bungalows, etc. Each member
present at a meet pays 2 Rs. a day for food, also a share
of the aggregate expense of wine and servants.

In the Delhi Tent Club the entrance donations for
hunting members are 5 Rs. ; subscription for hunting
members 2 Rs. monthly ; non-hunting members I R.
monthly ; non-resident members, monthly subscription
I R. ; hunting members during off season I R.

63. Camp Equipment. Scores of books now exist
on Indian sport which give with great completeness
the best hints for camping in that country, I will, there-
fore, only venture to give a few of the points that will be
found useful by the pigsticker.

Mr. Sanderson, in his book, says:

" Roughing it when there is no necessity, and there
seldom is, now-a-days, in India, is a mistake which only
the inexperienced fall into.


"A great principle in camping out to be borne in
mind is that the sportsman should make himself and his
followers as comfortable as possible.

" Small tents rather than large. Night fires to wind-
ward. Sleep 3 feet off the ground, and use mosquito
curtains. Change wet clothes. Smoke in a mist as a
preventive against fever."

These hints, may, with advantage, be followed by
every sportsman.

Camping out can always, in India, be done with a
certain amount of comfort, but particularly by pig-
stickers, because, as a rule,' their sport takes them in
rideable countries where bullock waggons (hackeries)
can move, carrying their equipage.

The secret of getting a great amount of willing work
out of your servants in camp is to pay some attention to
their comfort as well as your own and their wants in
this respect are very small. A small shelter tent, an
extra ekka (country pony cart) for their goods and
chattels, and a trifling money allowance for every day
spent in camp are quite sufficient to make a pigsticking
expedition welcome to them. At the same time it does
not pay by any means to pamper them.

Mr. Sanderson recommends small tents ; that is be-
cause small tents are easily carried, do not require an
extra staff of men to pitch them, and when properly
arranged are quite as cool and comfortable as large ones.

Tents can be procured in India far better than in
England. Cawnpore is the best place for getting them.
A tent for a pigsticking camp must have a double fly
or roof to keep out the sun ; in fact it is all the better
to have a treble fly, or some blankets spread over the


The " Cabul " is a very convenient little tent, measur-
ing 6 feet by 8 feet interior floor space, weighing (with
pegs and poles) 80 Ibs., price 75 Rs.

The " Field Officer's Cabul " is a larger size of the
same, measuring 12 feet by 12 feet, weighing from 120
to 160 Ibs. Price, 100 Rs.

These tents can be fitted for hot weather work with
a tattle or screen of damp khus grass in place of the door,
and, having a ridge pole, can have a small punkah swung
from it.

The " Swiss Cottage " is the tent which I prefer to all
others. It is 12 feet square, with a bath room attached,
and a verandah in front, and eaves at the sides (useful
for shelter of saddlery, etc.). Both side walls may be
made of tatties with windows let in, and a good punkah
can be swung from the ridge pole. This tent weighs
140 Ibs., and costs 180 Rs.

A small thermantidote for pumping cool air into the
tent is worth the outlay of 50 Rs.

A folding arm-chair, camp table, bed, washhand-stand,
tub, camp lamp, etc., are of course required.

Should you be going into camp where there is no
mess provided, leave the selection of cooking utensils,
etc., to your cook. He knows best what he requires
(wonderfully little, as a rule), and to attempt to fit him
out with cooking pots after your own heart would prob-
ably bring about similar results to those of the experi-
ment of supplying coolies with wheelbarrows for making
a railway : they filled their barrows, and then carried
them on their heads as they had been accustomed to do
with their baskets.

64. Clothes. With regard to clothes the follow-
ing are usually worn : A well-fitted pith solar topee


(and see that it is pith and not paper), with tapes to tie it
on with. A Norfolk jacket of homespun or other light and
cool texture, with a pad made to button on outside, as a
protection for the whole of the spine from the sun ; have
it fitted with button holes and buttons on both sides in
front, so that it can be buttoned open, and held to the
body by a waist-band, leaving your chest open to the
air. The jacket should be* grey or other non-conspicuous
colour in order not to catch the pig's eye ; in many
clubs white coats are particularly forbidden on this

Spurs should be of the very shortest, because in riding
through jungle, etc., one's feet are frequently caught and
pulled round by bushes in such a way that the spurs, if
long, are liable to score the horse, and long spurs are
liable to trip one when tackling a boar on foot.

A hunting knife, secured in its sheath by a spring,
should hang behind the hip from your belt for self-
defence in case of being left dismounted, without spear,
in the presence of an angry boar.

A policeman's whistle (audible two miles) is also a
useful appendage for calling up coolies when you have
killed, or are badly hurt, or for directing the line of
beaters when to advance or when to halt in cover.

Light cords and brown butcher boots.

65. Saddlery. Saddlery should be taken out from

There is no worse economy than to buy cheap infe-
rior saddlery, and good saddlery is not obtainable in

Light hunting saddles with a narrower tree than that
usual for an English horse. The ordinary double and
single bridles, breastplates, etc. It is advisable to take


also spare girths and stirrup leathers, as well as English

All the best London saddlers now understand what
kind of saddlery is required for India, but as far as my
experience goes, none of them can beat Sowter, of the

Good saddlery will always fetch its value when put
up for sale in India.

66. Diversions in Camp. In the hot weather the
hunting hours are from early dawn up till about
nine o'clock in the morning, and in the evening from
five till dark, the rest of the day being passed in your
tent sketching, dozing, and reading, with occasional
" goes " of claret cup, etc. If you prefer not to waste
this time altogether, it is a good practice to take a few
books and dictionary of any foreign language you may
wish to be learning. A certain amount of work is also
got through in the way of preserving heads, etc., of the
pig killed that morning, but this is usually the work of
Shikaris or a man taken out for the purpose. A rook
rifle is a useful addition to your camp equipment.

The evenings in camp are not, as a rule long, and
they are made much shorter where there are men ready
to make things lively with a song or two. The following
are samples of what is popular in this line, and many
more are to be found in the back numbers of the
" Oriental Sporting Magazine."

Non-musical men should remember that they are
perfectly able to learn the words of a song, and that a
recitation is far more acceptable than a badly sung song,
and forms a pleasing variety in an evening's programme
of music.

Two popular songs begin as follows :



A. W. Cruickshank.

" Over the valley, over the level,
Through the dak jungle, ride like the devil.
Hark, forward ! A boar ! Away we go,
Sit down and ride straight : Tally ho !

Chorus Over the valley, etc.

" He's a true bred one none 'of your jinking,
Straight across country, no time for thinking.
There's water in front ! there's a boar as well !
So damn the nullah, and ride like hell.

Chorus Over the valley, etc "


Air ' Bonnie Dundee.'

" We've eaten our dinner, we've drunk to our fill,

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 12 13 14

Online LibraryRobert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell Baden-Powell of GilwellPigsticking; or, Hoghunting: a complete account for sportsmen, and others → online text (page 10 of 14)