The morning sun was just starting to lighten the sky as I tiptoed to the top of the bluff where I was going to set up and glass the surrounding hills. I moved from rock to rock and quietly stood at the very top and was about to put down my bow and pack when I heard movement. As I peaked over the edge of the ledge I was sitting on, I could see a small herd of javelina feeding through the brush. Grunting and browsing through the brush, I slipped down behind them and followed them as the moved through the brush with the wind in their face.
For the next hour and a half, I stalked the herd as they moved over the next couple of hills. I passed up several marginal shots in the 20-25 yard range while I waited for something a little bit closer. Something closer never came. Cactus and palo verde trees kept this little herd safe and before I knew it, one of them circled around and winded me. After the sound of pounding hooves subsided, I was left alone with the sound of the wind rustling through the dry desert.
The beauty of shooting a stickbow is that the hunt becomes very intimate and personal, with the hunter being forced to close the distance between himself and his quarry. No looking through a scope over hundreds of yards across a canyon. No sites to rely on. No triggers. Nothing mechanical. Being in that close on a herd of wild animals is truly a thing of beauty and even though I did not loose and arrow, I feel grateful to be a part of the desert and have a front row seat to viewing God’s creation.