A trip to paradise and back!

The day dawned clear and bright, an early start getting on the motorway by 5.30am to head to Stuart's.  Arriving just in time to help put the collars on the dogs and load them into the Hilux.

John arrived and we headed up to the back of the farm. First mission was to shoot some goats so that the pigs would be drawn down from the bush for a feed at a later date.

Parking the truck, John and I headed up the closest ridge climbed the fence. We snuck up to the edge of a slip and peered over the side - sitting there under a tree was a mob of about 9 goats. Silently we edged away from the side and loaded the trusty Ruger 243 with 120grams of stopping power.

Carefully peaking back over the top I selected the Goat with the best headwear, Bang! Plastered him right in the side of the neck! Shit they all got up and bolted for the nearest cover including the one I'd shot, cursing myself I located the beast and again let one go, this time dropping him where he stood. He had a nice set of horns each about ??cm long.

The shots echoed around the gullies like there was no tomorrow, wandering back down to the hill we admired the expansive views of the Firth of Thames and the Hauraki gulf.

Once we met back up with the others we gave them a rundown on what had just transpired.

We let the hounds out and of we headed up into the Coromandel Ranges. The boys had warned me prior to us leaving that the gullies we were heading into were steep, filthy and ridden with supple-jack. They weren't kidding, this is where supple-jack was invented tight - thick and almost impossible to get through, great pig country!

We went up and then up some more. The dogs working hard trying to locate pigs. There was a bit of fresh sign about but not as much as had been seen on previous trips.

After a number of energy sapping gullies covered with supple-jack the dogs disappeared, stopping and listening for that elusive bark we continued our journey upwards.

Listen! What was that? Shit one of the dogs that never barks was singing a tune way way down, Bugger! The understatement of the day. What do we do crash back through the gullies we'd just come through or continue climbing up to an old hauler track and then run down this. A quick decision was made to go up and away from the dogs, locate the track and then to scream back down onto the grass to try and locate them. It was a very strange feeling to be actually running away from where all the action was.

Once on the track we made good time and quickly headed towards the action. Leon was there one minute and gone the next, moving like grease lightning he made to the pig first.

The dogs had a nice sized boar bailed in a wallow, Leon dispatched the pig with an expertly place knife to the heart.

One by one Stuart, John and myself arrived at the scene the dogs we unrecognizable as they were all covered from head to toe in mud, as was the pig.

Once again stories were related to each other about what we'd heard and which way we'd come.

Stuart and I gutted the pig while Leon went to recover the Pikau he had ditched on the trip down. John suggested he'd go down and bring the truck up - great idea save us a carry.

After a boil up and lunch we loaded the dogs, pig and ourselves into the truck and headed home.

Another great day in paradise with some awesome mates, roll on next weekend when we'll be back out there doing it all again.

The end.