Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA
Newspaper Page Text
SHOOTING PIGS ALONG THE COLORADO GEORGE W. FUGARD, WELL KNOWN THROUGHOUT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AS AN ENTERTAINING MANUFACTURER OF FICTION, TELLS HOW HE HUNTS THE WILD PIG ALONG THE COLORADO RIVER BELOW YUMA. The San Diego Union produces the following entertaining piece of fiction founded on fact which is too good to be lost: Georgp Fugard, a veteran hunter who used to know the ways of the big game of Lower California better than any one, and who has many friends in San Diego, has been having an imense amount of fun with the wild hogs in the Verde Colorado country, below Yuma. In a letter to a friend he writes: "Those who want their deer can have them. For me, I will take the hogs. They are the gamest things, and afford the finest sport of any animals I have ever hunted, and dur ing my life I have taken a day with nearly all of them. "The place where we had our fun is just on the international line, across from the Imperial Settlements, A SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA PALM DRIVE. and on the Yuma side of the river. As near as I can find out, the hogs were turned loose originally. They are much larger than the Mexican peccaries, some of the boars that we killed during our stay weighing nearly 400 pounds. I have some tushes that are large enough for walking stick handles. "These hogs travel in fair-sized droves, not usually as many as the peccaries, but they are every bit as fierce, and if they come after you there, is only one thing to do, and that is to kill off every one of them or run. There are no trees in that country, and the sport is as exciting as anyone cares to have. "The method of hunting them in the Lower Colorado country is an original one, and I believe it Is not pursued elsewhere. The hogs run into the tules and lie there all day. There is only one good way to rout them out, and that is to send in muz zled dogs. These will turn out a drove of pigs in short order. IMPERIAL PRESS Why Dogs Are Muzzled. "You may wonder why the dogs arc muzzled. It is a necessary pre caution. The muzzles keep them from catching hold of the hogs. If the dogs were jaw-free, they would hold the drove in the tules and there would be a desperate fight there that would end in our losing the dogs and getting no hogs. Hounds, would be no good for this kind of hunting because they have not the grit to keep on rooting at a pig and worrying him as the bulldogs do. A hound will do well enough for trailing purposes, but we never have any difficulty in loca : ting a drove of hogs, because the motions of the tule show where they are. "The method of procedure is to get on a rise of land above the tule beds and look about until we see signs of pigs. Usually it is no great distance we have to go after them. When the proper place is reached my partner and I run for the high ground, and send in the muzzled bulldogs. There is a big roar for a while, and then the drove is sure to break cover for the high ground. There is where we will get our shooting. "I use a 30-30 rifle, and find it just the gun for the work. If the dogs are close behind the pigs, rooting and worrying them so they keep turn ing and snapping all the time, our work is easier, and the hogs do not spoil so much pork. If they have the time the band will stop and kill every wounded one, and that cannibalistic peculiarity is taken advantage of by a hard-pressed hunter. When a drove is coming on, they are oblivious to everything but getting away from the dogs, and we sometimes kill a dozen or two before they get past us. If it is a small band, we will get them before they are out of range, though usually some run away. "The best part of the sport is that not a pound of meat is wasted, nor withstanding the slaughter we some times make. The country is full r i miners who have not the dogs nor the time to get their own fresh meat, and every night there used to come sev eral of them or their agents to our camp after all the fresh meat we had. I do not believe a pound of the fifty odd pigs we killed was wasted. Meat is Excellent. "The meat is excellent. I think it 1p quite ns fine as the best domestic pig I ever tasted. The hogs live on tule roots and similar food, taking enough exercise to keep their flesh firm and in good condition. "Our trip did not r,ost us anything worth mentioning. The hogs paid for our rifles, for our ammunition and for our camp expenses. I cannot imagine an outing that would appeal to a sportsman more than this one, but most people cannot appreciate the amount of snort to be had in that little understood country. There is one thing down there that proves a great drawback to us, and it will be responsible for my losing a good deal of fun there. That is the mosquitoes. They are the largest and most fero cious I have ever seen. I believe they must get practice drilling through the thick sides of the hoes. It is a fact that they had me looking as if I had smallpox. We had not nets or other nmvi<=ion<* for mo«ou'toes, and in fact did not think of them when we went into the country. "During the trip. I had several close calls, one in particular that I will rot soon foreet. It was one of the times when Mark Garnett and I had become separated by a rise of land and the dogs turned out a big drove of nJgrs. Tf there had been two of us I would have had no trouble, for my nartner could have turned on theni; But. alone as I was. the doers could not krep the attention of pll the hng<*. and the free ones swerved the drove *>t me. T nponpd fir° on them at about a hundred yards, and when mv rifle was empty T banged away with my revolver until I had crammed a few more cartridges into the magazine of the Winchester. Then I took that up and blazed away. I shot pretty wild, + no. but the nnncinai thing: that was in my mind at that time was to turn drove of nigs,and count the dead 'nn D s pfterwards.***! wanted to do my "bo^tiTig into them with the animals the oth^r way. There were too many bristling snouts and too many long tushes confrnutine me to make it pleasant. I finally held them by crippling two or three, and while the rest were tearing the hurt ones to ni e oes. I made my escaoe: but when T came back I found eleven nigs Iving around where I had been. A'-tific'ai Trees to Climb. "Garnett made a suggestion that day which is better than one would think unless he was acquainted with the country. The scheme was to bring in a lot of four by four poles with cross pieces in them and set +fcpm nn in the hn% country \<n^o. are no trees to climb, and the poles would be a great convenience, though I do not doubt that the hogs would soon have them cut in two. "Another time the hogs killed a horse under -me. I forget how many of them I got while they were rip n'n" +]-tfk nnnr hri'te'° IpP"? lin, hut ■ '* was a good many. The horse finally fell, and I managed to get out without injury, though the experience was too narrow a shave to be pleasant. "Hogs often get a burro from the miners, and they usually eat it. too, though I hardly think they kill it for that purpose. Usually they get mad at it. They do not eat each other except in times when they are crazed with anger. A hog when he is mad is the maddest thing I ever saw. His hair all turns the wrong way. he curls his lips back and shows those nasty long tushes, and is the very in carnation of the devil. Hogs do not know any such thing as quit when they eet into a fight, and a man has to kill the last one of them, or else get out of their way. Their mode of attack is to rush with head lowered and then rip up the flesh with their long tushes when at close range. The wound these tushes can inflict is a frightful one. "Down farther in Mexico they have the collared peccaries, and these, too, are wicked customers, though they are not a third the size of the Col orado pigs. Peccaries are about the same in their habits, though they run In bigger droves as a rule. "I have one bulldog bitch, which Is the best animal for routing out a pig that I ever owned. She is only a young thing now — not over a year — and I do not believe there is a stiip of skin three inches square on her body that has not a tush mark on it. She will tackle anything, and when I send her into the tules, the pigs come out in short order." Good Reports from Imperial. The San Diego Tribune of May 1 publishes the following report of what is being done in the Imperial Set tlements: Frank Mertzman and Mr. Mayers have returned from a trip to the Im perial country. Mr. Mertzman says that they passed Engineer Richards of the San Diego-Eastern and party in the Carisso Creek canyon Tuesday. They were busily engaged in running a second survey line. Mr. Richards thought that he would be detained for seven or eight days in that lo cality. Mr. Richards has a daughter who is in poor health with him in the hope that she will be benefitted by the pure xtmosphere of the mountains. She is not doing very well but appears to be better since leaving her home in Los Angeles. Mr. Mertzman and Mr. Mayers left here on the 14th of April, driving and going by the way of Carisso. Mr. Mertzman says that he would advise travelers who like comfort to go by the way of Jacum'ba instead. They oassed the surveying party near Blue Lake and .again at Imperial. Mr. Mertzman said that they did not see vuy Southern Pacific surveyors work- Ing in that country. There was some thing doing on the survey of the line from Flowing Wells to Imperial and fit was stated that construction work will begin at once. A Fine Country. Mr. Mertzman says that it is a fine country and that he wishes that every croaker who has talked of San Diego having no back country could be compelled to make the trip so that he would have to eat his words. "Of course," he added, "it is now tribu tary to Los Angeles, but when the Diego-Eastern is built it will not be so. We £*aw some of the finest hay and grain crops that I have ever laid my eyes on. We saw some hay that will cut at the least calculation five tons to the acre. That is pretty heavy, but it is a fact. Wherever there is water th.»re is luxuriant vege tation. Imperial Improvements. "There is a gentleman at Imperial who is going to build an ice plant and he says that he will start the work at once. He has purchased machinery and has it on hand. The Imperial Land Company is building a brick store forty by eighty feet in which they will sell agricultural implements, drugs and general merchandise. There is also talk of a two-story hotel, al though it has not materialized to any definite degree as yet. Development Work. "The injunction suit which pre vented the irrigators from using the Carter River has been dissolved and the whole country appears prosper ous. It is my opinion that the best soil is near Blue Lake and East Side. The men are clearing off the town site at Blue Lake. There are forty or fifty at work and they are pushing it through. The Weather All Right. "The weather was fine. It has not gotten very warm as yet. There was a little disagreeable wind on the trip. We were told at Imperial that it was the strongest for two years past. We drove through snow at Warner'3 ranch as we were going out. Gen erally speaking, the weather is all right. San Diegans in the Country. "We met Alda Ferris and wife at Diamond Lake. They were having lumber hauled from! Flowing Wells to build a small residence about six miles north of the lake in which they will live while on the desert. We also met Judge Mossholder and party hav ing a good time roughing it." Mother — "There 'were two apples in the cupboard, Tommy, and now there is only one. How's that?" Tommy (who sees no way of escape) — "Well, ma, it was so dark in there I didn't see the other."— Glasgow Evening Times.