The following guest post is written by Michael Redkey about his javelina hunt. Javelina, the slang term for a collared peccary, is extremely prevalent in southern US states, especially Texas.
Thank you Michael for your contribution,
Did you know that there are Old World and New World families of pigs? Wild boar, for instance, is native to Northern and Central Europe, while the Javelina is native to the Americas. The Javelina, however, pulled the short straw for scrawniness and has a twangy Texas accent.
The South Texas brush country is home to a large majority of this particular species of the peccary family. That being said, they are not always welcome around these parts. Despite their small size and poor vision, they are pests to homeowners and ranch owners, alike.
“Nothing my dog can’t handle!”
Javelinas have sharp tusks and are completely capable of fatally injuring any dog- so, keep your pets away from them.
“Well, my fence will keep them out and these sprinklers will scare them off!”
Alas, javelinas root for their food and will destroy any obstacles in their way; so, your fence and sprinkler system have met their match and, boy, is the gap underneath your house a great new home! Being pigs, they love all food, which is why you should pack up any edibles and avoid the temptation to feed them.
All Season Pass to Hog Heaven
Rejoice! As long as you have a Texas hunting license, these guys are in season year-round so, there’s no waiting game. They are relatively easy to hunt and are a great entry point for amateur/young sportsmen. Plan your hunt for the colder seasons early in the morning or late at night, as these pigs adapt to the heat by becoming entirely nocturnal.
Here’s where I come in. My First Javelina Hunt:
As a little boy in Texas, nothing was cooler than my camouflage sheets. Hunting was in my blood, but the opportunity never came until a few years ago when I was invited to a friend’s ranch in Cotulla, Texas. A quick drive south from San Antonio and I find myself in the semi-arid ranch country immersed in, you guessed it, brush. We hop off the highway, trail a few dirt roads, and finally pull up to a dusty cabin. As the sun was beginning to dip behind the horizon it was high time to suit up.
What does it take to effectively kill this New World creature? Don’t pack your 12 gauge stuffed with slugs because these pigs only weigh from 44 to 88 pounds. A .270 with a walnut stock and a matte black .30-06 were our flavors of choice- more than enough for the job.
Automatic deer feeders were scattered throughout the ranch property. These were like McDonald’s for javelina: on every block and practically free food. The deer feed being consumed by javelina is a prime example of why they are nuisance. Since it was nearing suppertime, we honed in on our first feeder location.
The truck’s tires crunched the gravel as we slowly neared our waypoint. Our eyes became slits that cautiously surveyed the approaching feeder only meters away.
Wild, but Casual
As a fellow wild animal, the javelina effortlessly blends into the woody environment it resides in and will flee when startled. As a fellow wild pig, the javelina lacks the grace, stealth, and senses that many game animals possess. This results in an enjoyable hunting experience where challenge is only a garnishing.
There’s No Going Back Now
And there they were- fulfilling their reputation as predictable foodies, six javelinas, two adults and four piglets, mindlessly flicking their snouts about the ground and munching away at deer feed. With 150 meters between me and the pack, the chances of missing were very evident. I planted my feet and rested the butt snugly against my shoulder with the barrel towards the earth below me. Wind brushed my ear and I slowly raised the .30-06 until the scope met my eye. I laid the crosshairs over the front thigh of the largest of the pack, inhaled, exhaled, and squeezed the cold, metallic trigger.
After the kick, shock, and anticipation, I saw the body lying lifelessly and alone on the ground. A long breath left my chest as the realization of success came in.
“Easy as that!” My friend slapped my back and smiled. After a few pictures with my trophy, we called it a day.
Earning My Camo
What a fantastic introduction to hunting! Whether it’s you or your child’s first time, hunting javelina in the South Texas brush country is an essential first step to becoming a practiced sportsman.
Michael Redkey works with CamoTrading.com an online retailer of sweet camo gear for the home. Michael grew up in Texas and hogs were his gateway to the hunting world.