Pig Sticking in India during the British Rule...

Discussion in 'Hunting Asia & Middle East' started by monish, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

    Sep 3, 2009
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    Pig Sticking in India

    Hunting Pigs with spears

    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 grace to a wounded animal. The modern sport is the direct descendant of bear spearing 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.

    Pig Sticking Club, India

    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 station.

    Hunting Pigs with spears

    Prince of Wales after his Pig hunt

    In India, pigsticking was popular among the Maharajas, and with British officers during Victorian and Edwardian times. According to the 1911 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, it was encouraged by military authorities as good training because "a startled or angry wild boar is ... a desperate fighter [and therefore] the pig-sticker must possess a good eye, a steady hand, a firm seat, a cool head and a courageous heart." Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scouting movement wrote a book on the subject. In Lessons from the Varsity of Life he says that "I never took the usual leave to the hills in hot weather because I could not tear myself away from the sport." To those who condemned it, he said "Try it before you judge. See how the horse enjoys it, see how the boar himself, mad with rage, rushes wholeheartedly into the scrap, see how you, with your temper thoroughly roused, enjoy the opportunity of wreaking it to the full. Yes, hog-hunting is a brutal sport—and yet I loved it, as I loved also the fine old fellow I fought against." Michael Rosenthal quotes him as saying "Not only is pig-sticking the most exciting and enjoyable sport for both the man and horse as well, but I really believe that the boar enjoys it too."

    Pig spear hunting in India

    Spear head

    The following technical terms are used. "Frank," a boar enclosure. "Jhow," 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 from the "sounder." "Sounder," a family of wild swine. "Squeaker," a pig under three years. "Tusker," a full-grown boar.

    In some countries this sport is still very passionately pursued.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 1, 2016

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