(Addendum - contrary to what we were informed by The Citizen newspaper, hunt saboteurs have contacted us to say the head was found by a local resident and her child whilst walking the dog.)
Friends of the Boar were contacted by The Forester for comment, which went like this:
Dear George [Henderson],
Attached are 3 images for you.
Earlier this year I witnessed an organised dog hunt with an FC ranger. This practice has been ongoing for maybe 2 years now. Heads of deer are placed in cages somewhere in the public forest estate. Dogs are then trained to scent the carcass and find it, somewhat like drag hunting for foxhounds.
Friends of the Boar have been alerted in the past by members of the public have been alarmed when finding such horrendous sights as a head of an animal in a cage.
Friends of the Boar know that the FC have been laying out dead deer for the wild boar at high chairs for many years now too, enticing the boar so they get shot. One such deer was photographed and became an embarassment for Defra and Forestry Research, who blamed it on a researcher who should have known better. This was when DEFRA were using remote trail cams to study the effectiveness of non-species-specific-contraception delivery devices spaced around the forest in about 2009.
Meat left like this can be sources of disease which can be eaten by boar and spread to humans who eat the meat.
The images I send you are from 2013. I have been told by a reputable source close to the FC that this was done by Forestry Commission rangers, who regularly take heads of boar to either use for dog hunts, or make a skull from by boiling off the flesh, and/or sell to trophy dealers.
The men in the images were a film crew for BBC Springwatch who I was showing around. The gash to the stomach was to prevent gas bloating and to allow quick access to the carcass by scavangers such as the boar or foxes.
Please copyright the images with ©David J Slater
All the best,
Friends of the Boar
The final story was published in the Gloucester Citizen paper and went like this:
The head of a wild boar has been found nailed to a tree in the Forest of Dean.
It has been found nailed to a tree near Blakeney Hill Reservoir.