Hunting

Hunting Adventures: Tales of Wild Boar Hunting in Sweden

"I love wild boar hunting in Sweden but not because I have a successful record. On the contrary, it would be fair to say I have tried many times with varying degrees of action and typically achieved little. But, I really enjoy the waiting game in nature, being both present and aware. In the following article, I would like to share two of my wild boar hunting memories, illustrating both success and failure:"

My first successful wild boar hunt took place close to Markaryd in the south of Sweden, during the summer of 2012. I was with Andreas, Rune and Jesper – three good friends of mine. We drew numbers to determine who would sit in which tower that evening. I was allocated tower no. 4, which apparently was not a good draw, but my luck turned when Jesper, out of kindness, asked if I wanted to switch with him as he’d drawn the same seat as the night before. So we switched.

“I took the shot – and the boar ran.”

We were sitting out in the towers at about 9pm and I was next to a feeding station, which is a rather normal way of hunting for wild boar in Sweden. After sitting still in the tower for an hour or two, a wild boar came out of the woods in front of me – far from the feeding station. This was the first wild boar I had seen in nature (while hunting at least) and I was stunned. It walked a little, then looked up and ran towards me.

I had to double – then triple – check that it was a male boar (as Rune had outlined earlier on in the evening we were only hunting for males). Suddenly, it stopped with the broadside open and looked over its left shoulder directly towards me. He was huge!

I took the shot – and the boar ran. First he ran a couple of meters to the right of me and then to the left into the forest, where I could not see him. However, I could see the treetops moving as he collided furiously with the trees. After a few moments, the tree tops stood still and there were no more movements in the forest. I kept my breath, amazed by the experience.

10 minutes later Rune showed up, he’d been sitting within shouting distance of me. He went directly towards the spot where I had shot the boar, but could not find any blood. I was absolutely sure it had been a perfect bullet – but this made me wonder. After what felt like forever, though was probably just a few moments, Rune found some blood spots – but only a few, which worried me.

“After a few moments of dog barking versus boar grunting, the boar got away.”

I came down from the tower. Both of us had loaded weapons, Rune with his shotgun and slug bullet, and me with my rifle. We had both heard enough stories of hurt angry wild boars so we took on the task rather respectfully. We walked slowly towards the forest – and there, just by a tree, lay the enormous beast and (at this point) by far the largest game animal I had shot. We looked at him for a while to ensure he was lying still and then we approached.

He was indeed a good sized wild boar of approximately 100 kg. As I gutted the animal I saw that the bullet was perfect, but it hadn’t actually left the animal. This only testified the toughness of the wild boar and also explained why we hadn’t found a lot of blood earlier. It was a perfect hunting experience!

The other story that comes to my mind takes place at my uncle Morten’s hunting grounds in Sweden, close to Pjätteryd, during the winter of 2016. I was there with with Morten and our friend Per – and as always, we settled who got to sit in which tower with a game of Yatzy. I ended up with the ‘Family Tower’ so called because of its large size.

We sat out in the most beautiful January evening, with an almost full moon and only a few clouds. I had a perfect view towards a large field covered in snow and a feeding station about 60-70 meters from me. It was as breathtaking as it was exciting – maybe a wild boar would appear this evening.

“For me, wild boar hunting is true hunting.”

After having been out for maybe an hour and a half, two smaller boars came out of the forest to feast. It was a perfect situation. I took all the time I needed and shot at one when the broadside was open. Nonetheless, both wild boars ran. I knew the toughness of these animals, but I was still a little unsure because they ran. I guess this is always the case until one has found the animal.

After waiting some 5-10 minutes I went to the spot and identified pieces of blood; however not the type of blood I had hoped for. It was more like pieces of meat, which can be a bad sign of a miss. Furthermore, the blood looked quite old due to the cold weather, which had turned it into a fixed texture. Then Morten and Per arrived with Sif, the hunting dog, and an intense search began.

It was maybe just before midnight at this point but, thanks to the moon and snow, the landscape was quite lit up. We quickly identified a blood trail and followed it until Sif almost came into fight with the boar. After a few moments of dog barking versus boar grunting, the boar got away. It was worrying at the time and Morten yelled Sif a few times to get her back from the boar; however, in hindsight, the smaller sized boar was not that dangerous for Sif after all.

We were too focused on the wellbeing of Sif to notice the direction of the boar, so we lost it again and then spent quite some time searching in the wrong place. This was not something we have done before – searching for a hurt wild boar in the middle of the night.

Half an hour later we had almost lost hope; however, we decided to give it one last chance and went back to where we first found the blood trail. This paid off and we were back on track of the angry boar. We followed the blood for some time before we let Sif go to chase the boar into the dark. And we were right in doing so, for just a short while after we heard her barking and we went straight to find the hurt boar lying a few hundred meters from us; hurt, but not dead. After briefly discussing what to do, I was able to finish the job with a knife – and so, a bad situation ended a little better.

Later I found out that my optics were off, which partly explained the bad shot, approximately 15 cm lower than I thought on 100 meters, combined with human error. This reminded me to continuously keep my gear in good condition – to avoid situations like this. Even though one can never guarantee success, one has to take responsibility of keeping their gear in good condition.

Wild boar hunting is, for me, true hunting and very exciting due to the joy of being in nature and the thrill of successfully hunting an animal. It all comes together for me, and each experience, including the wait, is magic – whether it includes frozen nights through night time or warmer days in the morning. The joy of being in the nature is a purpose in itself.

‘Knæk og bræk’ to all hunters!

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