Kauai wild boar hunter Diedrich Prigge Jr.

One of Kauai’s all-time great wild boar hunters was Diedrich Prigge Jr. (1906-1980), the son of German immigrant and longtime Kauai schoolteacher Diedrich Prigge Sr. and Hannah Kaai Prigge of Anahola, Kauai.

Prigge earned his living as a Kokee forest ranger and land agent, and in his free time he hunted wild pigs and collected boar tusks and jaws, saving only the best jaws and tusks for his collection.

By the mid-1930s he’d killed about 300 boars, and many more by the time his hunting days were over later in life.

He hunted with a Savage 30-30 rifle, but he also killed his prey with a filed- down cane-knife and even caught many wild pigs alive with his bare hands.

There was the time he shot a boar at a distance of one foot with his rifle touching the forehead of the boar, and on another occasion, he killed a boar running past him with his hunting knife and almost broke his wrist in the process.

He’d hear his hunting dogs in the distance, howling and barking, holding a boar at bay until he’d arrive by fighting his way through underbrush and jumping over fallen logs, often in mountainous terrain and off the beaten path.

And, many a time, he saw his best hunting dogs badly injured or killed by a boar’s terrible tusks before he had a chance to rescue them.

The biggest boar he shot weighed 260 pounds and measured 6 feet from snout to tail, with tusks measuring over 8 inches long.

Also of note is his ascent of Kalalau Valley to Kokee with Army Captain Walter Ricker on Oct. 30, 1942 — a feat impossible to accomplish nowadays, since staghorn fern has obliterated all trails between Kokee and Kalalau Valley.

Diedrich Prigge Jr. was survived by his wife, schoolteacher Violet Victorino Prigge, son Diedrich III, daughter Beverly Brun and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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