Monday, January 26, 2009

Babi Hutan in Pensiangan

NST Online

Boar hunting made easy
By : Roy Goh

PENSIANGAN: Gone are the days when wild boar hunting meant hours of walking into deep jungle to look for the animals.

These days, all one needs are dogs, a spear and a borrowed four-wheel drive.

Murut hunter Paul Distu says finding boar meat for the table is becoming easier with the changing landscape in this far-flung constituency.

Wild boar hunts today begin from the roadside, especially with the completion of the 140km Sapulut-Kalabakan road.

The gravel road is the last part of the tarred 450km link between Kota Kinabalu and Tawau. It will be 130km shorter than the present tarred 580km link via Ranau and Sandakan.

Distu, in his 30s, said most hunters used pick-up trucks, sometimes borrowed with the promise to the owner of a share of meat, that would be driven with the dogs in the back.

"Once the dogs pick up a scent, we set up camp by the road and release them into the forest.

"If the pack find its target, they will chase it down until the prey is cornered. Once that happens, the dogs will bark continuously and we move in to spear the animal," said Distu when met by the roadside near Tataluan recently.

"If we are lucky, we catch them not too far into the bushes.

"But it is quite common these days for our dogs to wander for hours into the forest and not find anything."

Distu said the change in hunting terrain had also been brought about by the gazetting of forests as reserves.

His relative, Jack Sangau, said the Murut respected the law but reminded the authorities that hunting was not a hobby but a necessity for the community.

"Our community out here in the rural areas depends on wild meat for protein. Unlike people in urban areas, we do not have sources of protein that can be bought right off the shelf in supermarkets," said the farmer.

"What's worse is that people blame us for for the depletion of animals in the jungles.

"Our forefathers hunted for thousands of years and still the animals roamed the forests.

"The blame should lie on the loggers and planters, not us."

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