For many hunters, a record boar is an object of desire. Extraordinary boar weight does not guarantee record tusks though. The most tusk-impressive boars can be found in the south-eastern areas of Poland.
When going through old archive hunting magazines, you can often find a report of shooting a grand boar with medal tusks. Nowadays, grand boars are being encountered as well, however, the size of tusks does not necessarily correspond with an overall weight of a specimen. Unfortunately, huge amount of easily accessible food does not result in bigger upper or under tusks. When we have a look at the top places of record tusks, it turns out that they come from the boars shot mainly along south-eastern border of our country.
Rychcice – tusks of all times
Tusks obtained at the manor of a nobleman Juliusz Bielski in Rychcice held world record title for almost 50 years. They were dethroned by tusks obtained by Teodor Zivkov in 1986 in Bulgaria. Currently, tusks from Rychcice are at the 4th place of all the trophies in Europe and still hold the first place among the Polish trophies. Similarly to many medal trophies won in Poland, also the history of this trophy is shrouded in mystery.
It is said that a boar appeared at the manor of a nobleman Bielski during rutting time in 1928. At that time, one of forest rangers reported to the forester Adam Kozlowski that he had seen traces of a grand boar. Relying on those traces, a group of foresters had determined precise location of the boar and they embarked on a hunting expedition on the same day. Adam Bielski, the son of the nobleman and the person responsible for the property also took part in that expedition.
Young manager was standing at the initial traces whilst foresters were following the litter. When dogs were let out, they immediately found boars who started to approach young Bielski. After the round up was completed, it turned out that Adam Bielski had shot two grown pigs of the sounder which in no way resembled the grand boar. Young hunter could not endure the extreme tension and when the sounder approached towards him, he shot two specimen which appeared at the first line. After a while, when echo sound was already deep in the forest and hunter was convinced that there was nothing else in the litter, the boar who would be called by those foresters ‘Fat’ came to the front line.
They had been looking for the Fat for more than two years. Even Juliusz Bielski himself laid an ambush a few times but with no luck. It seemed that the boar was far more clever than the hunters. During the winter of 1930, the boar settled itself in forest backwoods where much food was available thank to oak trees. When its traces had been found and that success was reported to Bielski, yet another three-day hunting expedition was arranged between 17th and 19th December. The boar was traced in a small raspberry field surrounded by young spruce trees. Juliusz Bielski stood in the front line whereas his son – in the wing. It was allowed to shoot only at the Fat. As soon as a round up began, a sounder of boars abandoned the raspberry field and swaggered past the line of shooters but they – according to the arrangements – refrained from shooting. It was only when half of the litter passed that the beaters found the traces of the boar and started to clamour. No shot was taken though. After the litter passed, it turned out that the Fat passed along the hunters too, but the proximity of the beaters did not allow to take a safe shot.
Spring of 1931 finally came. Hunters were still looking for the boar. A few high seats were built and a small corn field was created as well but none of those actions brought any demanded results. The boar did not want to prey on them despite an easy access to food.
In the summer of 1931, one of the farmers from a small village located near Bukowiec knocked on the door of the office of the forester Adam Kozlowski. The forester asked him why he had paid him a visit and he replied “none of you will ever shoot the Fat” as apparently the boar had been found on that morning in the woods shot at his back with a rifle. The forester was eager to know where the tusks were for which he was ready to pay a vast sum of money. The farmer did not know that but promised to find out and bring the trophy. In the evening of the same day, the trophy was delivered back to Adam Kozlowski, however, one of the under tusks was broken into five pieces. He immediately took the tusks to the manor and showed them to Adam Bielski. He did not hesitate to contact his father who went to Rychcice on the following day to examine and buy the trophy which later on was glued together to silver by a goldsmith from Lviv.
The forester was still uneasy about the shooting of the boar and could not believe it was done by an accidental poacher. The case was resolved shortly before the war when at the beginning of September Adam Kozlowski gathered all the forest guards to speak to them for the last time in free Poland. Surprisingly enough, they started to discuss the Fat and related stories. The forester asked his comrades whether he would ever know the truth: who and how shot his dream boar. One of his fellows named Bułaciuk stood up and told everyone the story of hunting for the grand boar. He laid an ambush many times but there was always something wrong – it was either the wind that interrupted or the wrong position of the animal. Bułaciuk decided even to buy a rifle as he was afraid that he would not be able to kill the boar instantly using bullets only. He went to Lviv to obtain an old broken rifle with a grand caliber and 7 bullets. A few days later, he sat himself on one of the oak trees close to the potato field where the Fat used to seek food. Around midnight the boar arrived. The forester took the shot but instead of falling to the ground, the boar ran away from the field. Bułaciuk would hear the boar running away for quite a long time which made him aware that the shot was missed. On the following day, he learnt that as a matter of fact the shot had been well aimed when the tusks were already at forester’s hands. Leaning backwards he told the forester: “You have your memories, I have a cartridge case which killed the greatest boar in the world and Bielski has its tusks. He has the most, but deserves the least…”
Unfortunately, only better and worse copies of those tusks remained. The original trophy was lost during the war together with other precious trophies that belonged to Juliusz Bielski. For the sake of their safety, he decided to hide them in his apartment in Warsaw. They were all buried during the Warsaw Uprising.
Kolohóry – lost tusks
Unfortunately, the history of this impressive trophy won by Zygmunt Walukiewicz in 1924 is unknown and the tusks themselves were lost during the last war. What we know though, is that the trophy was presented at an international trophy exhibition in Berlin in 1937, where it was thoroughly assessed and priced at 142.2 CIC points which placed it on the second place in the world trophies just after the trophy from Rychcice. Today, it is still on the 19th place among the best trophies in Europe.
Łuków – Santa Claus gift
The third boar from the top list of Polish trophies was shot at the collective hunting that took place on the 5th December 1980 in the forests of forestry ‘Korwin’ that belonged to the forest district Łuków. There were not many boars at those times so shooting any specimen was quite an achievement among many hunting associations. On that remarkable day, a young forester with little previous experience as a hunter was lucky enough to do that.
During the last round up, numerous sounder, which was being pushed and barked at by the beaters, rushed towards the front line of hunters. The forester, who was standing at the wing, noticed out of the corner of his eye that a huge boar was leaving past the sideways of the litter. After the animal had been struck, it was still moving for about 100 metres until it was attacked by dogs and finally shot by Andrzej Decka. In this way, the young hunter became the master of that hunt and tusks weighing 123 kg were priced by an international committee in Plovdiv in 1981 at 142 CIC points which makes them 3rd trophy in Poland and 20th among the best in Europe.
Hołubla – gift trophy
During the rutting time in 1967, Władysław Skoczylas was invited by a forest inspector of the forest district Hołubla to take part in a hunting expedition for bucks. Hunters were sitting at one of the beetroot fields at Duma site close to the village Korytniki by the River San, where grand boars had been observed for quite a few days. While the hunters were watching the area, they noticed a grand boar that was rooting at a nearby meadow. Although a few bucks were roaring in front of the high seats, the forest inspector let his friend shoot with no idea of how great the trophy could have been. Władysław Skoczylas had been setting out for quite a long before he took a shot as he was waiting for the better position of the boar and also had to control his emotions. After he had taken the shot, both friends came to the animal that was lying on the meadow and realised it was a real giant with impressive tusks. The boar weighing nearly 250 kg was shot with a 9mm bullet from the distance of more than 180 footsteps. Its tusk was priced during the international exhibition of hunting trophies in Budapest in 1971 at 140.85 CIC points and was awarded Grand Prix of that exhibition. Currently it is placed 4th in Poland and 26th in Europe.
Brzegi Dolne – boar from under an arm
After an exploration of the hunting district in the area of Brzegi Dolne in the Bieszczady Mountains in June 1963, Ryszard Buziewicz realised that there were some traces of a huge boar at one of the potato fields. He went for a hunting expedition four times and also tried to lay an ambush but it did not bring any results – the boar simply disappeared. Unfortunately, job duties and an urgent conference did not allow him to stay longer at the hunting ground. On the last day of the four-day hunting expedition, Ryszard Buziewicz did not decide to go again for the hunt but eventually his fellow persuaded him to hunt again together one more time.
Around midnight, they heard the sound of a buck at a distance. It was clear to an experienced hunter that someone or something was approaching the field. Indeed, they saw a grayish boar head after a few minutes. The hunter caught it with a telescope but the animal immediately disappeared from the open space as if it had known that it was in danger. After a while, it turned out the boar was rushing towards the hunter who had little time to think it over so he just pulled the duvet, took the rifle with his left hand, slipped the rifle butt under his arm and decided to wait for the boar in such an awkward position. When the boar stopped just at the distance of half the metre from the hunter, the shot was taken.
The boar weighted 218 kg after evisceration and his tusks were priced at 140.60 CIC points which makes them hold the 5th position in the Polish catalogue of hunting trophies and 27th in Europe.
Międzyrzec – Christmas gift
The boar had been known to many hunters. It had been seen in a few areas of Lubelskie forest districts like Międzyrzec Podlaski, Radzyń and Biała Podlaska but thank to its shrewdness, the animal managed to escape from hunters and their shots. At bright moonlit nights, it would never stay in the forest but was strolling through fields far from high seats and uphills. On many occasions, it would seek food just next to farms and enclosures. It used to overnight at fields where peasants had left some muckheap. The boar was not afraid of hunters, dogs and farmers – especially the farmers suffered significantly from the harm done at their fields. It was not even attracted by any patch or bait station and gave a wide berth to corn field barriers. It was said to cock a snook at everyone.
Jerzy Golbiak also met it a few times. On one occasion, he followed boar traces which led from the woods to the huge muckheap situated approximately 500 metres from the village but the hunter was unlucky as it turned out he had left his rifle in the car. After he walked yet another 50 metres, he noticed a giant boar overlooking from the muckheap. Another opportunity to catch the giant was at the collective hunting but the boar made one more lucky escape as the hunter did not manage to load his rifle on time. During the third encounter, the bullets aimed at the boar were stopped by a thick tree trunk. The animal escaped unscathed.
Finally, the second day of Christmas came. During the inspection of the hunting ground, Jerzy Golbiak turned to a side road. Due to the fall of fresh snow and snowdrift it was not easy to reach a small field in the middle of the forest where he used to leave corn throughout the year. On his way to the site, he spotted fresh traces of a giant boar which might have been going round the bait station to check whether he could lean towards it safely. The hunter saw the beast on the periphery of the station – finally the bullet 300 Winchester Magnum reached the animal. Tusks of this incredible boar which weighed 147 kg were priced by an international committee at the exhibition in Poznan in 2003 at 140.05 CIC points which ranked them 7th in Poland.
Dębica – ghost boar
The majority of the described boars had their own story to be told. In some hunting associations legends were told, boars were given names and many attempts were made to outwit them but there were also specimen which nobody heard about and shooting them was sheer luck. This is what happened on 21 November 1976 during a hunting expedition organised by hunting association ‘Odyniec’ from Dębica.
According to the lucky hunter Stanislaw Tomasiewicz, a huge boar stood out of the litter that was being rounded up at the slope of a hill. Perhaps the boar followed one of the sounders which had mating time within the area of that hunting association. Despite his great astonishment resulting from the encounter of such a giant, the hunter took two shots from a double-barreled gun which later on turned out to be well aimed. After the litter had passed, the shooter and the hunters followed the boar which was found by the dogs about one kilometer away. It was estimated that the first bullet had reached the flesh and the other had come through the shoulder blade and was stuck under the skin. Hence, no blood drop was seen.
The tusks were priced at an exhibition in České Budějovice at 140 CIC points and are ranked 8th in Poland and 30th in Europe. Interestingly enough, one of the visitors at the hunting trophy exhibition “Łowiectwo – Natura – Cywilizacja” organised in Krakow in 1993 made an attempt to buy those tusks. Despite an attractive price, Stanislaw Tomasiewicz did not decide to sell his trophy and is lucky to have it until present day.