January 19, 2009

Doggie Bushcraft II -- Making a Pig of Yourself

Last week someone must have shot a feral pig, of which more below.

Maybe after he (?) butchered it, he decided to make a gift to the scavengers of the head, guts, and hide.

Only instead of taking them way up on the national forest, he dumped them on an uninhabited stretch of county road about a mile from my house.

OK idea, poor execution.

Five days ago, M. took Shelby the ninja-collie on a walk up that same road, spotted the pig's head, and turned around. Too late: Shelby had the scent.

This morning Shelby disappeared. First I drove the Forest Service road up to her favorite old elk ribcage, but she was not there. Hmmm, I thought, better check the pig.

And there she was on the bank beside the road, happily chewing the hide. I drove up, she came over wagging her tail ("The car service is here."), and I loaded her into the Jeep Liberty. Doggie bushcraft strikes again.

Because it was a warm day, we decided to go look at hawks on the prairie. We saw a kestrel, numerous red-tails, and a couple of harriers, although I expected to see more hawks perched in the old cottonwood trees along the East Huerfano Road than I did.

Somewhere between Pueblo Reservoir and home, she quietly barfed about a double handful of pig parts into the back of the Liberty, managing to hit corners of M.'s daypack and the spotting-scope case. Later she brought up more on the front porch. Then she went to bed.

Eyes bigger than stomach? That saying was written for a dog.

The feral-I-assume pig's hide was solid black. I remember driving to work in about 2000, nearing the south entrance to the Pueblo Reservoir State Wildlife Area, and seeing a large black dog standing beside Colorado 96. But when I flashed by at 60 mph, I realized that it was not a dog but a pig. Do they tend to be black?

I was told back then by a Division of Wildlife employee that there are some feral pigs in the area, but apparently not many. These draft regulations (PDF) show them as being legal game all year around.

Other scavengers have removed this pig's gut pile in the last two days, but I think that I should drive up there in the old CJ-5 (no carpeting), remove the head and hide, and put them ... somewhere, so that Shelby will not keep going back.

Update: I did "disappear" the pig's head and hide on Tuesday the 20th. The gut pile was already gone.


Steve Bodio said...

Do you know dogs in elk?

Feral pigs come in many colors but tend to revert to blackish. If you want to eat one get a younger one-- I'll forward a note from Matt Miller.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Yes, I remember "Dogs in Elk" well. Hilarious.

There was quite a bit of fat on the hide, and I am sure that it is what made Shelby sick -- too rich for her.

Cat Urbigkit said...

I once had a county deputy pick up my adolescent livestock guard dog down the road, and give her a ride home, only to have her puke pronghorn antelope carcass all over the back seat. I thought it was fitting - leave them dogs alone.

Holly Heyser said...

Cats are so much easier. They keep their pheasant-head collection in a tidy pile and don't regurgitate so much as a feather - at least not where I can see it.

Nice tale!

Heather Houlahan said...

Puts me to mind of the Great Pig-Head Revenge of 1998.

Wherein the roasted heads of the two swine that served as Saturday-night dinner for the assembled multitudes at a search and rescue conference had subsequent nocturnal incarnations wired to the truck grills and sharing the tents and cigarettes of various attendees, who may or may not have been members of our sister unit from West Virginia, and may or may not have been themselves implicated in some tampering with tent flies earlier in the festivities.

Alcohol may have been involved. Not that I'm committing on that, either, mind.

But as we drove away Sunday afternoon, round and round the cloverleaf to get back onto the highway, there was this ... smell.

"How the **ck did those hillbillies hide that goddamn pig's head in this van?!"

Ah. Right inside the German shepherd. Brilliant. Find a willing pork-mule and pay her in product.

I never did get the grease out of the carpet. That van always smelled faintly of musty luau.

Nowadays my guys disappear into the hayfield, and return from a different direction, each brandishing a deer leg. I do not know which neighbor is dumping along the property line. The crafty beasts cover their tracks.

I don't mind them eating the legs, but would rather they not be so well-aged when they drag them home.

Oh -- the wild pigs that scared the pee out me in Mississippi were black. And huge.

Chas S. Clifton said...


That's wonderful. And what is it about pig heads? M. and I briefly considered wiring this one to the gate of a certain presumptuous hobby-ranch owner.