Arizona Javelina Hunt…

Javelina Country

It felt as if I had just fallen asleep from our New Years celebration, when my alarm told me to pull my aching body from bed. Most of my gear had been sorted and packed the day before, so once the coffee was made and the truck was loaded, I drove to meet my good friend Austin and head up to the high country in search of Arizona’s javelina.  Javelina are a strange animal by all accounts and everyone has a different description of what type of animal they actually are, but for all practical purposes, they look like a hairy pig. Most of their lives are spent in a herd and can be found rooting around the cactus filled hillsides of Arizona. The best time to glass up these animals is during the morning or evenings when the javelina are in search of the warm sun to heat their bodies. After setting up camp and gathering firewood for a cold evening, we geared up and spent the rest of our afternoon until dark hunkered down behind the lenses of our binoculars searching for their little camouflaged bodies, but to no avail. As the sun went down, the temperatures plummeted. Most years, evening temps stay in the low 30s, but an unusual cold snap kept our nighttime temp in the teens which can make for a long night in a tent.

Hunting Camp

Morning came quickly and we wasted no time in brewing coffee and putting on the extra layers to combat the freezing temperatures.  Once we were situated and glassing the surrounding hills, Austin wasted no time in spotting a herd slowly working their way across the hillside. A plan was hatched, wind calculated, obstructions noted and we made our way slowly and somewhat quietly through the prickly southwestern foliage. Over and over again, we would stop and check our progress and each time doubts would creep into my mind about our plan and its execution, but in our final approach, my ears heard the unmistakable sound of rooting javelina slowly working towards us.

Nothing beats a quality cup of coffee...

With patience and persistence, both of us were able to work into a position for shots and I was able to find a quartering away pass through shot on a mid-size boar. Mortally wounded he made his way a dozen yards away and expired. Austin also placed a quality shot on another male who put up a tough fight until another arrow put him down for good.  As we posed for a self timed picture, it really began to sink in that this truly was an amazing experience to double up on javelina out of the same herd on the second day of the season.

Arizona Javelina 2011

Camp was broken quickly and meat, hides, and skulls were carefully packed away. Rumbling our way out of the back country, it is tough not to be thankful for such a quality hunt. The last two years had seen probably 15-20 days in the field searching for these little buggers and I was unable to connect even though the opportunities were there.  So the completion of a hunt and goal is extremely rewarding. Phone calls were made and the wives are happy we will not be “wasting” any more weekends on pig hunting, at least until we get tags again and can go back and wander around Arizona.

Good times...

15 Responses to “Arizona Javelina Hunt…”

  1. azwanderings

    Thanks WFF. I have not heard great things about the meat, but I cubed everything up and am going to put it in a chili I think. I will give you a report on how things go.

    Ben

    Reply
  2. Bruce

    What a great hunt and it’s funny when things work out in the field sometimes it sounds like one of those TV hunts. Great post looking forward to the next adventure.

    Bruce

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Bruce. It is amazing how even though everything seems to be going wrong a hunt can still turn out great. Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to getting out again and having some more stories.

      Ben

      Reply
  3. Benny

    Congrats on the successful hunt Ben. An outstanding hunt for sure, and with bows no less.

    Benny

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Thanks Benny. As I was telling someone earlier, I was almost ready to hang up the bow, but ultimately it was an unbelievable feeling to finally connect on a Arizona javelina. Take care.

      Ben

      Reply
  4. Stephanie

    Congratulations on the double score! Very impressive with a bow. Is that a Jet Boil French Press? If so, I need to look into that! -stephanie

    Reply
  5. azwanderings

    Stephanie,

    Thanks for the kind words. The Jet Boil French Press is the best thing since sliced bread. I used to take those cold starbucks drinks in a cooler so I could get my caffeine fix. The JBFP really does the trick now. Warm and caffeine in the cold north, it’s the best of both worlds. I highly recommend one.

    Ben

    Reply
  6. azwanderings

    Me too Rohan. The meat on these little guys is pretty potent so I am going to try out a couple different recipes on them. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.

    Ben

    Reply
  7. kmurray

    Those little buggers sure look like they would be a challenge so I really think it’s great you guys doubled! Congrats again!

    Reply
  8. azwanderings

    Thanks Kari. It was tough for me to finally get connected on one of them. Luckily my buddy is the expert and put us right into the center of the herd. Doubles is tough beat. Thanks again.

    Ben

    Reply
  9. Matt Smythe

    Great photos and report! Congrats on the double, especially cool with traditional gear. I’ll be writing soon about shooting the recurves and longbows last week. Short story – I’m totally hooked.
    Matt

    Reply
  10. azwanderings

    Looking forward to it. It’s alot like fly fishing where once you start it become all consuming. Good luck…

    Ben

    Reply
  11. Graham

    This is a cool post I stumbled
    Upon – I’m trying to locate a good spot to hunt these javilina but am coming up empty handed – I’m in the Phoenix valley area – any way you’d be willing to share where you guys went? This is an older post so hoping you get it and great pics and story!!!

    Reply

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