“You’ve got raccoon problems? I killed one at my house with an arrow. Right through the chest.” This comment from a hunter staying at my B&B Cache Creek Inn last night. I had complained that a raccoon – or some other critter – had eaten two of my ducks in the last week. Nick lives in Walnut Creek. He and I both keep poultry and he was telling me about his encounter with a raccoon who had been after both his hens and his dog.
“You hunt with a bow and arrow?”
“Yes, that’s what I’m using to hunt wild boars up in the hills in the BLM land.” He pointed out the trail he planned taking, asking me to note his whereabouts in case he didn’t return home by 11 p.m. The “three ponds” trail takes off from the high bridge on highway 16. I had been on this trail myself, only going as far as the first pond.
“This is my first boar hunt, to be honest,” he said as he ate lunch at my kitchen counter. “I got interested after reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”
“…but I thought Michael Pollan was a vegetarian?”
“Oh no. He describes going on a boar hunt in your area. These pigs are special. They are descendants of pigs brought over by Italians decades ago. Those pigs escaped and bred with the wild pigs, resulting in a very flavorful pig.”
I was intrigued and decided I would have to read this book. Nick set out for an evening hunt, with a head lamp and down vest, plus bright orange hunters’ gear and his bow and arrow. The head lamp was important, as the moon is in the third quarter and doesn’t rise until after midnight. I spoke with him when he returned about 7 pm. “No pig, but lots of beautiful countryside and deer.”
He is getting up before dawn again tomorrow morning and coming back for a hearty breakfast around 9 a.m. Originally Nick had planned to stay at the Cache Creek Casino but decided our B&B was a better choice: closer to the hills and more peaceful. As I write, coyotes are howling and the milky way is spangled over the sky.