There are cases where wild animals are so numerous and destructive that extraordinary measures have to be taken for protection from their ravages, but these are very rare. I remember having once to wage a war of extermination against a colony of pigs that had taken possession of some jungle lands near Maharjnugger, a village on the Koosee. I had a deal of indigo growing on cleared patches at intervals in the jungles, and there the pigs would root and revel in spite of watchmen, till at last I was forced in sheer self-defence to begin a crusade against them. We got a line of elephants, and two or three friends came to assist, and in one day, and round one village only, we shot sixty-three full grown pigs. The villagers must have killed and carried away nearly double that number of young and wounded. That was a very extreme case, and in a pure jungle country; but in settled districts like Tirhoot and Chumparun the weaker sex should always be spared, and a close season for winged game should be insisted on. To the credit of the planters be it said, that this necessity is quite recognised; but every pot-bellied native who can beg, borrow, or steal a gun, or in any way procure one, is constantly on the look out for a pot shot at some unlucky hen-partridge or quail. A whole village will turn out to compass the destruction of some wretched sow that may have shewn her bristles outside the jungle in the daytime.
In districts where cultivated land is scarce and population scattered, it is almost impossible to enjoy pig-sticking. The breaks of open land between the jungles are too small and narrow to afford galloping space, and though you turn the pig out of one patch of jungle, he immediately finds safe shelter in the next. On the banks of some of the large rivers, however, such as the Gunduch and the Bagmuttee, there are vast stretches of undulating sand, crossed at intervals by narrow creeks, and spotted by patches of close, thick jungle. Here the grey tusker takes up his abode with his harem. When once you turn him out from his lair, there is grand hunting room before he can reach the distant patch of jungle to which he directs his flight. In some parts the jowah (a plant not unlike broom in appearance) is so thick, that even the elephants can scarcely force their way through, but as a rule the beating is pretty easy, and one is almost sure of a find.
Kuderent jungle.—Charged by a pig.—The biter bit.—’Mac’ after the big boar.—The horse for pig-sticking.—The line of beaters.—The boar breaks.—’Away! Away!’—First spear.—Pig-sticking at Peeprah.—The old ‘lungra’ or cripple.—A boar at bay.—Hurrah for pig-sticking!