The other evening I noticed Jack out on the lawn nibbling away at a forepaw. I went out to find he had some quills in it, as well as a couple in his nose. I got the pliers and pulled them. He didn't care much for the process at all, but was a very good boy and let me pull 'em. I put the dogs inside, got a rifle, and walked the place looking for the culprit, thinking that from the quill size it must be a young one. Couldn't find it. Finding a porky in tall, fully leafed trees is almost impossible,
The next morning Jack found another quill in that same paw and we did the deed again. He was even less happy about this one as it seemed very sore and tender. But we got it out and he forgives me.
Later in the day I took a walk with the dogs and the 77/22, figuring it was pretty futile but worth a try. Lo and behold there it was high in a cottonwood, clinging to a limb. A big one. Not wanting a porky falling into or on my dogs I took them back to the house and came back to do the sanction. (My "official" porky gun is the fine little CZ 527 in .223. But this time I took the Ruger 77/22— the one I just put a Leupold 4x on.) I wanted a head shot so there wouldn't be any thrashing around and dropping quills. Porkies are easy to kill and with an eye shot this one was dead before hitting the ground.
I hate to kill 'em but it has to be done. The damage they can do to a dog is just too much to put up with. This was a very big female, maybe the biggest I've seen here. 25-30 pounds and fat and healthy with pretty well-worn teeth. I checked around for young ones but couldn't see any— which doesn't mean they weren't there.
Jack is fine. I just hope he learned something.