Wild Boar Hunting New Zealand
Wild Boar (Sus scrofa)
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Artiodactyla
- Family: Suidae
- Genus: Sus
- Species: S. scrofa
Captain Cook's liberation of pigs (Sus scrofa) in New Zealand, while not the earliest release, was probably the first successful release.
Wild black pigs became known as Captain Cookers. They are today widespread throughout New Zealand though noticeably absent from a few areas. There are now, however,a variety of shapes and colours in wild pig populations due to the influence of many domestic breeds. New Zealand has a large population of pigs, a combination of feral, Russians and blues.
Wild Boar Description
Wild boars can reach up to 440 lb (200 kg) (with unverified reports of heavier individuals) for adult males, and can be up to 6 feet (1.8 m) long.
If surprised or cornered they may become aggressive - particularly a sow with her piglets - and if attacked will defend themselves vigorously with their tusks.
The difference between the wild and domestic animals is largely a matter of perception; both are usually described as Sus scrofa, and domestic pigs quite readily become feral. The characterisation of populations as wild, feral or domestic and pig or boar is usually decided by where the animals are encountered and what is known of their history. In New Zealand for example, wild pigs are known as "Captain Cookers" from their supposed descent from liberations and gifts to Maori by explorer Captain James Cook in the 1770s.
One characteristic by which domestic breed and wild animals are differentiated is coats. Wild animals almost always have thick, short bristly coats ranging in colour from brown through grey to black. A prominent ridge of hair matching the spine is also common, giving rise to the name razorback in the southern United States. The tail is usually short and straight. Wild animals tend also to have longer legs than domestic breeds and a longer and narrower head and snout.
Wild Boar Hunting
A full sized wild boar is a large strong animal armed with sharp tusks which defends itself strongly; so hunting has often been a test of bravery.
Currently wild boars are hunted both for their meat and to mitigate the damage they cause to crops and forests. Generally dogs are used, to track and subdue their quarry, which is then despatched using a knife, rifle or bow. In several countries such hunting is a popular recreation, known as "pig hunting" in Australia and New Zealand, and "hog hunting" in the South of the United States. But be forewarned: it requires great stamina to run up and down the mountains after the dogs. Once contained by the dogs, the hunter finishes the pursuit with a camera, knife or gun. Brave Kiwis prefer using a knife!
Developing a fair and simple method to score wild boars focused was placed on the most basic and most popular characteristics that all hunters look for in a trophy or "record book" wild boar. These two attributes are body weight and tusk size. In New Zealand Wild Boar's can weigh up-to 300 plus pounds.
After a gestation period of 20 weeks, a single kid is born. The kid is fully grown at an age of three years. It is rumored that in farming areas, male chamois will occasionally mate with goats and produce sterile hybrids, but no such event has ever been scientifically recorded.
Wild Boar hunting is a very popular past time in New Zealand and can be hunted all year round in any weather.