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Pig-Sticking

PIG-STICKING, or HOG-HUNTING, the chase of the wild boar, as a sport, on horseback with the spear. The chase on foot was common among ancient peoples, and in central Europe has lasted to the present day, although, on account of the introduction of fire-arms, the spear has gradually become an auxiliary weapon, used to give the coup de grdce to a wounded animal. The modern sport is the direct descendant of bearspearing which was popular in Bengal until the beginning of the 19th century, when the bears had become so scarce that wild pigs were substituted as the quarry. The weapon used by the Bengalese was a short, heavy, broad-bladed javelin. British officers introduced the spear or lance and this has become the recognized method of hunting wild pigs in India. The season for hunting in northern India, the present headquarters of the sport, is from February to July. The best horses should be quick and not too big. Two kinds of weapon are used. The long, or underhand, spear, weighing from two to three pounds, has a light, tough bamboo shaft, from seven to eight feet long^ armed with a small steel head of varying shape. This spear is held in the hand about two-thirds the distance from the point, with the knuckles turned down and the thumb along the shaft! The short, or jobbing, spear is from six to six and a half feet long, and somewhat heavier than the longer weapon. It is grasped near the butt, with the thumb up. Although easier to handle in the jungle, it permits the nearer approach of the boar and is therefore more dangerous to man and mount.

Having arrived at the bush-grown or marshland haunt of the pigs, the quarry is " reared," i.e. chased out of its cover, by a long line of beaters, usually under the command of a mounted shikari. Sometimes dogs and guns loaded with small shot are used to induce an animal to break cover. The mounted sportsmen, placed on the edge of the cover, attack the pig as soon as it appears, the honour of " first spear," or " spear of honour," i.e. the thrust that first draws blood, being much coveted. As a startled or angry wild boar is a fast runner and a desperate fighter the pig-sticker must possess a good eye, a steady hand, a firm seat, a cool head and a courageous heart.- For these reasons the military authorities encourage the sport, which is for the most part carried on by the tent clubs of the larger Indian stations.

The following technical terms are used. "Frank," a boar enclosure. I how," the tamarisk, a common cover for boars. Jink (of the boar), to turn sharply to one side. " Nullah " a dry water-course. " To pig," to hunt the boar. " Pug," the boar s footprint. ' Pugging," tracking the boar. " Ride to hog," to hunt the boar. " Rootings," marks of the pig's snout in the ground. Sanglier " (or " singular "), a boar that has separated trom the sounder. " Sounder," a family of wild swine. Squeaker, a pig under three years. " Tusker," a full-grown boar.

See Pig-Sticking or Hog-Hunting, by R. S. S. Baden-Powell (London, 1889).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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