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Hunting Wild Pigs with Dogs, Hawaiian Style

The pit bull might be perfect for hunting wild pigs. At least they are in Hawaii.

In Hawaii, the grass is always green, the palm trees always sway, and sometimes you cross paths with wild pigs on your evening jog. The scent of plumeria is intoxicating and the number of pit bulls is too high to guess.

Though they may not all be purebred, somehow the pit bulls who live in Hawaii have retained the gene that gives the gift of that famous jaw, which would make them ideal hunting companions.

If you’re a pit bull owner, you know that jaw is just an indicator of how wide their smile can be, with their tongue lolling out on the side, but if you’re a hunter on the Hawaiian Islands, you recognize only the power of that jaw and its effect on the hunt. Pit bulls, or oftentimes pit bull mutts, are the dog breed of choice for hunting wild pigs in Hawaii.

Really, the wild pig is practically the only animal next to the occasional goat to hunt out here, on Oahu at least. You can find pigs, sheep, and goats on most of the other islands, Axis deer on three, and Black-tail deer only on Kauai.

Oahu’s selection is indeed limited, but the savory Kalua pork that comes from that wild pig is well worth it. If you haven’t had it, be sure to stop at a Luau; they’ll show you how it’s done.

The hunt, however, is not something you may want to participate in, though I can see the appeal. Once captured, the pig is typically killed with a knife through the heart. Unlike the perfect aim from a safe distance, here you hold the pig until its last heartbeat.

Man, Dog, and Pig Get Intimate

What role do the dogs play, you might ask? They chase down the pig and corner him until you, the hunter, arrive to make the final kill. The pit bull can clamp down on a leg, holding him in place as you drive the knife through his back, along his shoulder, into his heart.

What about the tusks? Yes, the tusks pose a real threat to both humans and canines alike. Because the dogs typically reach the pigs first, some hunters will suit their mutts with a chest plate to offer a barrier between a tusk and a dog’s heart.  

Once that pig is down, you can almost taste that delicious Kalua pork. In the end, dead pig strapped to the back of a pick up truck, hunters proudly display their victory trophy as they drive home.

If you hunt down your own pig, you won’t have to pay for a Luau to eat it!

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Hunting Wild Pigs with Dogs, Hawaiian Style