Boar (sus aper), the male swine. The domestic hog and the wild boar of Europe, Africa, and Asia are, generally speaking, of the same species, and will breed together and produce young capable of propagating their kind, It appears that the most improved of the English and American domesticated breeds are, for the most part, largely crossed and intermixed with the Chinese and perhaps the Turkish varieties. In America, Australia, and the Polynesian group, the hog was unknown originally in a natural condition; but having been turned out everywhere by the early navigators who discovered the coasts and islands of the Pacific, be has propagated his species so rapidly that he is now everywhere abundant, both in confinement and in a state of nature. The South American forests in particular are inhabited by vast droves, which have relapsed into primitive wildness; while in the more woody parts of Virginia, the western states, and Canada, the domestic hog has become about half wild. The characteristics of the boar are the formidable recurved tusks or canine teeth, two of which proceed from the upper and two of vet more formidable dimensions from the lower jaw, with which it inflicts wounds of the most terrible description, ripping in an upward direction, and aiming especially at the soft parts, as the belly, flanks, and groin of the horse, dog, or man, which conies in his way with hostile intentions. - A singular variety of the boar is the habyroussa of the East Indian archipelago. (See Babyroussa.) The peccary of South America, which was formerly olassed with the wild boar, has been lately distinguished as an entirely separate animal. - The boar, whether wild or domestic, has far coarser bristles than the sow. and the wild animal as far exceeds the tame in that particular as in his strength, size, ferocity, and the large-ness of bis tusks.
Where the domestic animal has the free range of forest lands, in which it can feed on acorns, beech mast, and the fruit of the sweet chestnut, the flesh is proportionally valued; and it is on this account that the pork of Virginia has obtained a celebrity in America equal to that of Westphalia in Europe. No other reason tends so materially to give its superior excellence to the flesh of the wild over that of the tame hog which has been admitted in all ages. It is singular, however, that the flesh of the boar in its wild state is much superior to that of the sow; while in the domesticated animal that of the male, unless castrated, is so rank as to be uneatable. - ] hiring the middle ages the wild hoar abounded both in England and France, and hunting the boar was the most esteemed of all field sports. The boar goes to run, as it is called, in December, after which time his flesh is uneatable; the season for hunting him commences in September, when he is in his most perfect condition. A wild boar in his first year is called a pig of the saunder; the next year, a hog of the second; then, a hog-steer; in the fourth year, when he leaves the saunder, a boar; and after that a sanglier.
A boar is farrowed with his full number of teeth, which only increase in size, especially the tusks of the lower jaws, which are those with which he strikes, those of the upper jaws being used only to whet the others. Boars were hunted in Europe in two ways, either by tracking them into their holts or dens, which were then surrounded by nets or toils, and the boars driven into them, or what was called at force with dogs, when the beast was roused from his lair, and hunted with relays of hounds, until he turned to bay, when he was despatched with the boar spear or hunting sword. In England the wild boar has long been entirely extinct; in France it is still found in parts of Brittany and Normandy; and in parts of Germany, in Holstein, in Italy (especially in the Pontine marshes), and in many parts of Greece and Asia Minor, it is still abundant. While boar hunting was in its palmy force, a particular dog was cultivated for the sport, which was of great rarity and value. It appears to have been a half-bred dog, between the bloodhound and the mastiff. There was, however, a dog more or less homogeneous, known as the boar hound; the best came from Pomerania, and were one of the choicest gifts presented to crowned beads.
Boar hunting, or pig sticking, as it is there called, is still a favorite sport in British India, especially in the Deccan, where hogs abound in the reedy jungles of the plains. The hunters are mounted on Arab coursers, and pursue their game without the aid of dogs, running him to bay by the mere speed of their horses. It is said that a hog, if he gets a moderately good start, can maintain a pace for 20 or 25 minutes equal to the fastest horse with fox-hounds. The weapon is a lance of tough bamboo about 10 ft. long, with a steel head shaped like a laurel leaf, and as keen as a razor. Thns is grasped usually at about 18 inches from the butt, overhandedly, so that the shaft extends nearly horizontally backward, but with a downward inclination, the head, or blade, being in the rear of the horse's croup. When the boar charges, which he does right at the horse's fore legs, often cutting his shanks to the bone with his terrible tusks, and, if he do not wheel off in time, ripping out his intestines, the horseman, rising in his stirrups, strikes him an overhanded stab, delivered perpendicularly downward, between the shoulders, making his horse pivot to the left, on his hind legs.
Wild Boar (Sus aper).