A Tale of Pig Wrestling

The previous post concerned how my defensive handgun would fare against javelina and wild boar.  Long time reader augustr had a request.

“I seem to remember a story where you were hunting in a thicket and came up against a hog. NO link?”

I thought that the post had been lost, but our friend knirirr was kind enough to suggest web.archive.org, otherwise known as the Wayback Machine.  It took some digging but I found an archived version dated .

There are some embarrassing mistakes in the essay.   The one that is truly unforgivable is that I confuse javelina with wild boar, and even misspell the word.  “…torn to shreds as the havelina furiously tried to throw me off.”  My only excuse is that I had only been to Texas that once, and I had heard people mention javelina.  I just never bothered to ask if they were different from wild boar.

At any rate, those who are interested can read about the day I used up all of the luck God allotted me for my entire life.

Handguns Against Nature

In a previous post I spoke about a woman who had been attacked by a pack of javelina in a suburban setting(I erroneously said she had been attacked by wild pigs at first, now corrected.)   I also mentioned that I accompany my dogs when I let them out into the yard to make sure that they are not attacked by wildlife.

This prompted long time reader knirirr to ask a question …

“Do you know what the effectiveness of the sort of handgun you usually carry (9mm?) is against wild pigs, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Against wild pigs?  Not very effective at all.  Against javelina?  Pretty darn effective!

The gun I usually carry for self defense is a Beretta PX4 Storm compact.  It is chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge.

If the make and model don’t mean much, then don’t let it bother you.  Just keep in mind that it is a modern semi-auto handgun, using medium powered ammunition, and it has been optimized to be carried while concealed by making it smaller than a standard handgun.  The barrel and grip are both shortened a bit.  Each magazine of ammunition holds 15 rounds, and I always carry a spare magazine.

The woman in the article I mention above was attacked by javelina, which are pig-like animals native to North America.  They have really nasty and sharp tusks that they can use to tear someone up, but they aren’t very big.  The average size for an adult is about 45 to 90 pounds (20 to 40 kg). For comparison, that means most smaller adults weigh as much as a bulldog while the larger weighs as much as a Doberman.

Except, of course, the javelina have tusks that are sharper and longer than the teeth of dogs.  They also run in packs of up to 40 individuals, with about 20 animals being the most common.

Another piggy menace is wild hogs, also referred to as razorbacks or feral pigs.  They are considerably larger than javelina, weighing in anywhere between 100 to 400 pounds (45 to 180 kg), with an average around 200 pounds (90 kg).   They are so dangerous that for thousands of years hunting them has been a mark of extreme bravery, and specialized weapons were developed to bring home the bacon without the hunter being ripped apart by the prey.

Continue reading

“Nature, Red In Booth Tooth And Claw!”

I’ve done my fair share of backwoods backpacking in my youth.    I didn’t exactly go where no man has gone before, but I did walk without fear where it would have probably taken a few months for someone to stumble across my remains if I had broken a leg.

Let me just say that people who have never been out in the wild are fucking stupid when it comes to the animals who live there.  Case in point is this story from a few years ago of a woman who was badly injured during a javelina attack while walking her dogs in a suburban neighborhood.  And how did these notoriously wary beasts lose their natural fear of man?  Because the neighbors were feeding the hogs, probably because they thought they were just so cute and cuddly.

Like I said, fucking stupid.

Got dogs?  I do!  Love em’ to death!  Mainly because they love me back.

They are both about 50 pounds (22 kilos).  Not small, no.  Even so, I go out with them every single time I let them into the yard to water the bushes.  Why?  Because there are coyotes about!  You can hear them yipping and howling in the wee hours of the night if they should happen to catch and kill something.

What would one obese man who is in advanced middle age do if three or four coyotes should hop the fence and be in the yard when I and my beloved dogs should venture forth one fine morning?  Shoot them, obviously.  I am always armed if it is legal to be armed, after all.

So my dogs are medium sized, and cannot be snatched up by a coyote on the run.  What about people with smaller beasts?

You would have to be some sort of quick draw artist, as well as one fine shot, to be able to gun down fast moving threats on the fly as they close in on your fuzzy darlings.  Most likely the predator would maim or kill the dog even if you were a modern shootist.

Thanks to the Southern Rockies Nature Blog, we have been given a heads up to he CoyoteVest, armor for your itty bitty pooch!

Don’t laugh!  It was designed by someone who lost their dog to a coyote attack.

What is it with that forest of brightly colored plastic spikes?  Keeps eagles and other raptors from swooping down and using their talons to sever the spine of the puppy.  Makes the lapdog look bigger too.

This really isn’t anything new.  Modern hunting dogs that go after very dangerous game, such as the aforementioned wild hogs, can be outfitted with kevlar vests to keep them from becoming eviscerated by the razorbacks.

And who can forget the scene from Conan the Barbarian (1982) where some wardogs kill Conan’s father?

If you happen to own small dogs and you live where you can hear the howl of the coyote, you might think of armoring up the pooch.  But don’t go unarmed in case the predators decide your pets are hard targets, while you look all soft and ready for the fang.

“In Texas It’s Always Hot, Dry, Sunny, Not A Cloud In The Sky.”

The quote above comes from actress Piper Perabo.  I assume she was referring to west Texas, as that is the only place in the state where that description fits.

She is wrong about there never being any clouds, though.  We get a few here and there.  This was the view out of the door of my shack last evening as the sun was going down.

(Click for bigger.)

I sometimes hear people around here complaining about the lack of green, how it is always brown.  I suppose they just never look up.

Where’s The BEEF?

My job requires frequent stays in Austin, Texas, the capital city of the state.  The hotel I favor is across the street from Donn’s, a local BBQ restaurant.  Not the best BBQ joint in the world, but convenient and oh so filling.

I like the three meat platter.

(Click for bigger.)

Any BBQ fan in the world will swear up and down that you also need pickles and bread, an essential component of any BBQ meal.  Why aren’t they in the picture?  Because they are free for the taking at the service counter.  Get what you want. Load up, even.  If you are looking to make some meat-and-pickle sandwiches back in your hotel room, no one will bat an eye.  But needful as they are, pickles and bread aren’t considered to be worthy of taking up space with the good stuff.

They have good breakfast food.  Here is one of their breakfast specials featuring brisket-and-potato tacos.

Sorry for the small pic.  It came from the restaurant website.

Still no bread or pickles.  Again, they are there if you want them.  There just isn’t any reason to waste space in the frame for such a basic component of a real, honest to goodness BBQ meal.  Not when there is barely room for the delicious meat and side dishes, that is.

A recent article on Vice wonders why Brooklyn, New York BBQ is taking over the world.  Below is the headlining picture from the article.

(Click for bigger.)

Do you know what this picture really needs?  A whole lot more bread and pickles on that tray to fill in all that empty space around the meager portion of meat.

(Hat tip to Glenn.)

This Sounds Vomitable

(Click for bigger.)

Strawberry and lemon flavored beer.  Limited edition, but still.

I have to admit that I didn’t try this odd concoction, as I am not a beer drinker, and so it may well be the most delightful and refreshing beer there ever was.  I freely admit that I am not brave enough to start with this particular brew.

For those readers who do not hail from the United States, or who live in the US where the product is not available, let me assure you that it is a real beverage and not some parody.

God bless America!

End Of An Era

Below is the trailer for the 1973 movie Serpico, and it has a line or two about a gun that the main character is buying.

The gun that the hero hippy cop was buying was a Browning Hi Power, and the guy doing the selling certainly seems to be impressed the firepower it commands.

“Takes a 14 shot clip!  You expecting an army?”

Not exactly accurate.  The magazine at the time held 13 rounds of 9mm Parabellum, with one in the chamber.  Fourteen total, not 14 in the magazine.

Still, consider the times.  Police forces at the time were wedded to revolvers, six rounds in the cylinder and then one had to go through a long reloading process.  To most Americans in the 1960’s and 1970’s, the only autoloaders that existed in their minds were 1911‘s.  Seven round magazines, and then you were out.  The Hi Power must have seemed like a monster on steroids.

Originally designed by famed firearms inventor John Moses Browning, the same guy who invented the aforementioned 1911, the Hi Power was not put into production until 1935, nine years after his death.  It was the most advanced production handgun on the planet at that time, and for decades afterwards, and just about every military wanted something like the Hi Power.

People discussing the merits of the Hi Power like to say that at least 50 armies across the world adopted the gun as their primary sidearm, and that is certainly true.  But what is usually not mentioned is how the design was essentially stolen by at least a few countries.

Make an internal change or two and claim that it is a completely different design entirely.  The Warsaw Pact countries are famous for this, with Hungary being the one that spent the least effort to cover their tracks.  Canada looked to the Hi Power when they were thinking of developing a Magnum autoloader for their military, simply making the design larger and more robust to handle the massive stress caused by firing an incredibly powerful round. Such piracy of the design is a sure sign of how iconic and useful it has been through the years.

Alas, all things must come to an end.  The Browning website states that Hi Power production has ceased.  The guns waiting to be sold will last for some time to come, and the massive numbers already out in the world, will mean that examples of the gun will not become scarce for the rest of my life.  Still, I can’t help becoming a bit maudlin when I consider the end of such a favored warhorse.