New Prague youth encounters a surprise in the woods

By Bill Bartusek

I got a call last week from Mike Novak with some interesting news. Mike owns a home just south of Mahowald’s Motors near New Prague. As the story goes, his son was mowing the lawn when he thought he heard some unusual noises. He shut down the mower and called for their hunting dog.

The dog never came, so Mike’s son headed into the woods to investigate the noise. What he found was not what he expected. The dog was in a wrestling match with a wild animal. I’m thinking raccoon, badger or something like that. So was Mike’s son.

It turned out the dog had a large wild pig at bay near their home. His son described the pig as being dark colored with long black hair. Its ears were erect. The boy ran back to the house for the shotgun.. When he returned the pig had disappeared and the dog was ok!

A call later that day by Mike to the Department of Natural Resources confirmed his son’s findings. Apparently, the animals had been seen by others in the same area. Reportedly there are three of the wild pigs hanging out in the wooded areas about three miles south of the car dealers east of New Prague.

Mike was told to report any other sightings of the pigs to the Department of Natural Resources. These are interesting animals, but not something we want to get a foot hold in the area. Other states like Wisconsin have them. There they pose real problems as they roam the country side. They populate quickly and have no real predators besides man to speak of. As they roam the country side they scavenge for food, rooting up worms, acorns and farmer’s crops. They have been known to destroy many natural plants as well as the landscape.

I hope to have more on this later after I do some investigating.

A week of fishing

I spent last week up at the cabin north of Aitkin. The highlights of the trip included catching a huge snapping turtle - over 35 pounds while sunfishing. We also caught a large northern pike that swallowed a big sunfish that Brenda was reeling in. The big fish never got hooked and finally spit the sunfish out, but swam into the landing net as it left. That was neat!

Most of the state remains very dry, so be careful as you travel and use extra caution with your fires.

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