View Full Version : Hunting Javelina w/Handguns...

Stephen A. Camp
May 22, 2004, 12:13 AM
Hello. If you live in far south Texas or in a southwestern state where javalina can be found and you hunt, you truly owe it to yourself to try taking one or two with a handgun. It is a hoot.

I was fortunate enough to get to hunt on a ranch with a fellow who was a master shot and a tireless reloader, though he worked mainly with Thompson-Center Contenders and Ruger .44 Magnums. (His carry gun was a .45 1911.) It was just north of Edinburg and crawling with javelina (snakes, ticks, fleas, and thorns, too).

These little things get around 30 to 35-lbs I'd estimate, but are tougher than their size would indicate. A .22 magnum might be "enough," but I'd only go for brain shots if using one.

I used 9mm and .45 ACP and my buddies primarily used .45 ACP's. Ammunition used over the years in 9mm included Corbon 124-gr. XTP +P, Corbon 124-gr. GDHP +P, Triton 125-gr. Hi Vel JHP +P, a 124-gr. XTP handloaded to 1244 ft/sec, Corbon 115-gr. JHP +P, and Triton 135-gr. Quik Shoks. In .45 ACP, ammo was Federal 230-gr. HydraShok, 230-gr. Golden Saber, Corbon 165-gr. JHP +P, Corbon 185-gr. JHP +P, Federal "Personal Defense" 165-gr. HydraShok, and Winchester Ranger 230-gr. SXT.

The only load that was consistently lacking was the Federal 165-gr. PD load. For reasons I do not understand, the little "pigs" were never staggered, even with good hits. They'd run when hit and require a second shot. With any and all of the other rounds, a good hit resulted in their at least dropping to the ground for a few seconds before regaining their footing and running a few yards. They are worthy little adversaries.

I'd practice shooting at coffee saucer size targets at 25 to 35 yards. I could almost always ooch around and get that close, often considerably closer. They have a strip right at the shoulder. Put your bullets in the stripe or foreward of it. It looks like it's way too far forward, but trust me, it is not. The vitals are in this area.

Each of these CZ-75's were used on the "devil pigs."

While we only used 9mm or .45 ACP on our hunts, I think expanding loads in .38 Super, .357 Magnum, and up would be fine. "Honest" hand-loaded .44 Specials and .45 Colt should work very well, too, I'd think.

I did not hunt javelina with this .45 Colt S&W Mountain Gun I've owned for several years, but I believe it would be a good choice.

The SIG P210's accounted for one or two as well.

The .45 ACP was used with fine success with all ammo tried except the Federal 165-gr. mentioned previously.

I have never seen creatures so infested with fleas, jumping damned things that are more than happy to "come aboard" when you're cleaning the animal. That in itself has to be done to be appreciated and you'll never look at guacamole quite the same way again. Hahahahha!

For 3 years after three separate hunts, I cleaned my kills and honestly tried to eat it. The first time I tried cooking it inside (big mistake), the wife thought the sewer had backed up. I tried barbequing it; you cannot get enough BBQ sauce to mask the taste....or I couldn't, anyway! Tried doing a ham in the smoker. Neither of us could eat more than a few bites. My wife took one bite I recall and left the table. She has more manners than me; I finally just spit the last bite out. Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches do cleanse the pallet pretty well. The final year that I got to hunt them, I promised the wife I wouldn't bring near so many home. Hahahhahahaha! I kept my promise and only brought three. This year I had a secret weapon. A close friend knew a Hispanic lady who said she knew how to prepare them. She'd make us tamales out of the javelina for a reasonable price. She did and you could eat them; it was better not to eat anything at all for the whole day before trying, though. Anyway, I eventually happened to have some Hispanic men working on a sprinkler system and I thought to ask "Benjamin" if he had ever eatten javelina. He replied that he had and that he really liked it. I gave him all I had.

This average javelina was taken with a SIG P210 using a Hornady 124-gr. XTP handload. (The females have a musk gland on the rear of the back that's hidden by bristles. Do NOT mess with it. It has to be experienced to be "appreciated.")

Now you might like 'em, but just be advised that the rule about "eatting what you shoot" is not always necessary.

They are a peach to hunt and make neat little trophies. Despite their fierce appearance, they are not vicious, but they will damned sure defend themselves if you get them cornered or don't show proper respect when one's down, but not out. I certainly do not "blame" them for such.

Used a Browning Hi Power on more than a few of the little critters.

If you get the chance, try hunting them with a handgun. I think you'll be hooked.

This one was popped with the P210....


May 22, 2004, 12:25 AM
Mr. Camp,

Thank you for another informative ,excellent write up!
Great Pics!
I really want to do this sometime.


Stephen A. Camp
May 22, 2004, 12:28 AM
Hello, sir. You are most welcome. I hope you get to as I really do think you'll have a fine time.


May 23, 2004, 10:53 AM
Great post - looks like fun to me. I'd have to try 10mm on one of them critters!

Nice pics also.


Hi-Power Hobbit
June 25, 2004, 09:10 PM
Help! All the pictures are little boxes with X's. Am I missing something? Maybe I don't have the format. Is there a link to them? Love the description of the hunt. Really would like to try it sometime. Plan to handgun for feral hogs in GA soon.


Stephen A. Camp
June 25, 2004, 09:20 PM
Hello. Sometimes right-clicking the red x and then selecting "view image" will open the pictures. Sometimes certain pictures are "temporarily not available" at Imagestation but will show back up later on. Perhaps you can see the pictures via the link below:



Long Path
June 26, 2004, 08:47 AM
Steve, I'm glad you told the whole of it: I have never seen creatures so infested with fleas, jumping damned things that are more than happy to "come aboard" when you're cleaning the animal. (The females have a musk gland on the rear of the back that's hidden by bristles. Do NOT mess with it. It has to be experienced to be "appreciated.")
I do eat what I shoot, generally, and I have to say: after having shot, cleaned, and eaten 3 of these things, I'm about done with Javelina. :)

I did find, though, that they make a pretty darned good green chile stew, when simmered in a crock pot with some potatoes and such. :)

My main problem with the Javelina is that it's a LOT of work for very little meat. Your'e just not going to get any meat from the front half of the animal-- all of the meat on one is in the haunches and backstrap. The hair is as tough as boar's hair (they are both swine, if not both pigs), and will dull a sharp knife by the end of your cleaning. Gawd he'p you if you try it (as I have done) with a dull knife! They stink. There's just no other way to put it. That sebacious gland on the back is just plain stanky! Don't touch it.

Let me reiterate: Don't touch it!

Try, if possible, to take and clean the javelina in cooler weather. My first two, it was unseasonably warm even for S. TX in November, and was about 90 degrees. As it was my wife's first hunt ever, she was almost turned from ever hunting again. :D

My first two were taken at the same time on a deer hunt in north Uvalde County, TX. I had been stalking deer with a Springfield '03 sporter, but when I saw a herd of javelina moving down the trail, I set down my rifle, took my Colt Officer's Model Special 6" heavy barrel .38 special from its flap holster, and set to stalking them. I got to about 20 yards, picked out the biggest, and shot her broadside, just behind the shoulder. She ran behind and under a bush and stood looking at me with labored breath. I shot her again from about 15 yards, also broadside, and she rolled over.

I saw another hiding under a bush at about 15 yards, and, remembering that the bag limit was two per season in TX, popped it behind the shoulder, as well. It rolled over, but was still breathing when I got to it, so I gave it a coup de grace. I was using Remington 158g lead HPSWC +P loads, which chrono at about 900 out of that revolver. With each of the collared peccary, the first shot transected the entire chest cavity, but was captured on the far side by the hide (stretched out). Each of the recovered bullets looked like lead nickels, with .357 circles on the backside. The second shots on both of them passed through and through. I must say: if you have ANY questions of your Winchester or Remington LSWCHP 158g +P loads expanding, give it no more thought-- even out of a 2", 3", or 4", I believe they'd expand admirably. In fact, I think that you'd get better penetration out of a shorter barrel with slightly decreased velocity, because the penetration wouldn't be so violent.

The third javelina I shot, on my second occasion to do do, was not my finest hour. I had been hunting mule deer in Brewster County for several days without success, and this was the waning moments of my last hunt on the last day. One shouldn't let such things color one's decision of when to shoot, but of course I let it do so. As I sat on the edge of a hillside, I watched a herd of Javelina wander across a trail down below. I figured the crossing to be about 40 yards. After the 10th or 12th one passed, and I looked at my watch and saw that I had only about 25 minutes left to hunt, I said to myself, "If one more big one shows up out of the brush and stands still on the trail crossing, I'm going to take me home some meat." Of course, one did, and I squeezed off a round of 230g Gold Dot from my Kimber 1911 Stainless Classic. Coupla things wrong. First, it was more like 50 yards, and 40's kind of stretching it for me. (High dry desert air will fool you!) The javelina, of course, had not stuck to plan, and had started to move as I shot, and I shot poorly, striking its butt. It chased its tail on the trailhead. I shot again. Um. We won't worry about where that shot went. I shot again, and hit it peripherally on the shoulder. I shot again, and hit it in the scruff of the neck, striking nothing of consequence. It then ran into an arroyo full of the thickest brush before I shot it in the head to finish. :rolleyes: No recovered bullets.

June 26, 2004, 04:58 PM
Tried a few myself before I figured out that about all
they're good for is a SCOPE CHECK!! :D

Rather mess with a big ol snappin' turtle.


Lone Star
July 18, 2004, 10:02 AM
Thanks! Very interesting, like all of your posts. I was especially interested in your comments about the meat.

Lone Star

September 6, 2004, 01:39 PM
I took a Javalina last week with an 870 and a pumpkin ball.

Grilled the tenderloins last night and they were fantastic. I think the meat was better than the hogs we took in Georgia.

I plan on taking out the S&W 1006 10MM for the next one.

Johnny Guest
September 6, 2004, 10:30 PM

Lennyjoe - - Could it be that Arizona javelina are an entirely different subspecies from those in south and west Texas? Either that, or you need to share your recipes with the rest of us!

Congratulations on your culinary expertise, sir.


Stephen A. Camp
September 6, 2004, 10:33 PM
Hello. Yes, indeed! What Johnny said! When I tried cooking it I thought the sewer was backing up. So did the wife. I got it outside pretty quickly so that I, at least, would be allowed back in the house!


Arizona Fusilier
September 6, 2004, 11:58 PM
Or thirded??? ;)

Last Javelina I got we just made chili out of.

Heavily spiced.

Heavily disguised. :D

September 8, 2004, 09:53 PM
I thought it cooked up just fine. Wasnt no more tougher than domestic pork.

Seasoned it with McCormicks Montreal Seasoning from Grillmates and a little bit of Dales Seasoning marinade.

Cooked it on the back of the grill while the Tri-Tips for the other non game meat people were over the hot coals.

November 5, 2004, 11:11 AM
Mr. Camp

As I was reading your post I was getting a little concerned. Then I read down to the bottom of the post and saw that you did take a Hi-power along on the hunt.

Great Post!


Stephen A. Camp
November 5, 2004, 11:36 AM
Hello. Hahhahaha! There's almost always a Hi Power close to hand. Take care.