View Full Version : Javelinas

Art Eatman
December 19, 2007, 08:57 PM
Collared peccary. Sorta cute, but smelly little critters. Mostly run about 35 pounds on the hoof, mature, but every now and then I've seen some taller ones that might go as much as 50. I'd have to see the scales to ever believe 60.

Very near-sighted. The hearing is fair, but their little old noses work great!

If the wind's in your favor, you can ease along slowly and quietly fairly close to them. I've run in and grabbed a baby piggie, and Mama stays behind as the rest run off. She'll circle around and pop her jaws and make all manner of threatening noises while Junior squeals as though the boogers have hold of him. Let him down, and he hauls tail to Mama and away they go.

Folks occasionally walk up into the middle of a bunch when they're resting in the middle of the day. When they up, jump and run, they all head off in pretty much the same direction. Statistically, then, one or some will come by or at you--or even between your legs. A head toss with those tusks can be seriously painful. But they're not attacking, they're fleeing.

IMO, head shots are the best, since they don't hurt any meat. In field dressing, the first thing is to cut off that gland in the skin of the middle of the back. Easy to do. I always did a slow barbecue of the hams, and the flavor is great. Good flavor. The main thing is to not let the meat dry out. The tiny little backstraps cook quickly, and serve as appetizers for the pore ol' hard-workin' cook. :D

December 19, 2007, 11:19 PM
I need to get me one of those little guys one of these days. You have too much fun down there in TX don't you Art.

December 20, 2007, 01:29 AM
Sounds yummy.

I've only seen feral pig here in Washington. A bunch of Tarheels moved up here back in the 40's. Back home they'd put their families notch on the pigs ear, let them go and collect them as needed.
That hasn't worked that well here.

So do you ever salt those peccary down and smoke them?

Art Eatman
December 20, 2007, 09:38 AM
I've not heard of smoking javelina. A hindquarte3r won't weigh over three or four pounds.

I have a little hanging bird feeder on my front porch eave. Tweetie birds are messy eaters, which leads to fairly regular visits at night from raccoons--and, one night, a mama javelina and a hear-grown youngun. I went out and howdied, and they trotted off...

During the 2000 census, we had city folks from El Paso hired to wander about the jeep trails looking for residents. 2WD cars and street radials for tires, which made for a lot of busines at the local tire shop. One lady stops by a house and heads for the front door. The owner's "watch pig" comes out and bites her on the knee. She enters the unlocked house and calls 911. Our medic shows up, surveys the scene, and shoots the javelina. (There were those who said he shot the wrong pig.) He then does the bandage thing and reports.

Bureaucracy enters the fire drill. "Gotta check for rabies!" Rabies? A pet javelina? Duh?

Then one of our doofus locals raises the issue of a medic with a gun. Oh! the horror!. ('Scuse me, lady, wasn't it a good thing he had a gun?)

If you catch a tiny baby javelina and raise it, they make great pets--but they're very territorial.

December 20, 2007, 10:16 AM
Gonna make me some "Wild Hog Chile" this weekend. Had backstrap from an 60lb'er I got the first of the season. Put them in some teryoki marinade and then grilled them and put some raspberry chipotle sause on them.. OH BABY! Nothing like wild pig cept maybe venison.

December 20, 2007, 01:08 PM
I hear they're more closely related to rodents, taxonomically, than to swine. Sound like some good eatin' desert rats, though! :)

Double Naught Spy
December 20, 2007, 03:06 PM
Pigs are in the Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Suiformes Family Suidae. Javeline are in the Order Artiodactyla, Suborder Suiformes, Family Tayasuidae.

Rodents are in the Order Rodentia. So javelina most definitely are not more closely related to rodents than pigs.

Note that the Suiformes include Hippos. So pigs are related to hippos, if you are looking for an interesting relationship.

December 22, 2007, 01:39 PM
I smoke em whole...Shot a little one a couple weeks ago. I cut it in half and got the whole thing in one of those jumbo zip lock bags...They're tasty, not gamey at all, despite their musky smell. My wife, (Art, you met her last January) will look you in the eye and tell you it's the best chili you ever eat...May have to bring it to the Terlingua Chili cook-off one year... I salt them down good, (shoulders/hindquarter) crush fresh garlic on them, rub it in, real good w/ fresh crushed black pepper, then rub it down in olive oil and BBQ them for about 2.5 hours @ 250f. That little one is going on the pit in the halves this evening...:D It will only take about an hour and a half to cook...It's just a bit biger than a large jack rabbit...about 10lbs skined & gutted.

Art Eatman
December 22, 2007, 04:13 PM
I was leaned up against a comfy boulder one evening after sundown, pretending to be a deerhunter. About the time shooting light was going away, I heard noises sorta behind me and upwind. It turned out to be a couple of dozen piggylenas.

One ol' sow and a baby piggy wandered past and circled around from downwind. She didn't know what I was, but she really did a nose-job check-out from maybe ten feet away. She breathed and breathed and did the dangedest nose-wrinkling you ever saw. This went on for over a minute before she finally decided that while I smelled funny, I wasn't any sort of Bad Thing.

And some two or three minutes later, another sow and piggy came up and repeated the process.

How do you not come all unglued with laughter? Lemme tell ya, it ain't easy.

Critters are funny...

December 22, 2007, 08:08 PM
My FIL tells a story of getting into a shooting contest with his guide on a South Texas hunt. The ran into a group of Javs at the end of an unproductive deer hunt and took turns head shooting them. The story goes that if they just drop dead in their tracks the rest of the group just keeps doing whatever they are doing before the big noise. So, BAM one dead. BAM, 'nuther one dead...and so on for several shots. Eventually one shot misses the mark and a squeeler starts spinning around and around. It was a fatal shot, but not instantly. The thinned group takes off into the underbrush. The ranch hands were happy to take the proceeds for BBQ.

Art Eatman
December 23, 2007, 11:13 AM
Very late one night in my mother's neighborhood in northeast Alpine, folks were awakened by a woman's screaming: "You get out, and don't you ever come back!"

Everybody thought a divorce was in the offing.

Nope. Javelinas in the flowerbed.

December 23, 2007, 06:17 PM
Art -

You live close to Alpine? I'm trying to get some info on a ranch in Alpine and might hunt both javelina and hog down there next year. Generally speaking, Alpine a good place to hunt?

Art Eatman
December 23, 2007, 10:54 PM
The ranches around Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis generally have pretty good hunting. Antelope in the open grasslands country. Mule deer and javelina all around, but deer get pretty sparse as you go south of the mountains.

Blue (scaled) quail are common. The really pretty Mearn's or "fools" quail are around, but are protected. Some turkey in northern Brewster County.

December 24, 2007, 01:04 PM
krezyhorse...1+ to what art said. I doubt you will get any shots at wild hogs there...That's not really wild hog country...to my knowledge. You may also want to look into an Audad/Mouflon hunt. (rams) That is ideal country for that, and there are some good ones up there. The Mouflon/Corsican rams make beautiful mounts, and can be hunted year round.

December 25, 2007, 07:20 AM
The ranches around Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis generally have pretty good hunting. Antelope in the open grasslands country. Mule deer and javelina all around, but deer get pretty sparse as you go south of the mountains.

Blue (scaled) quail are common. The really pretty Mearn's or "fools" quail are around, but are protected. Some turkey in northern Brewster County.

Thanks for the reply Art. We are trying to book our hunt if we ever get the rancher to follow up with us.

Castnblast - The ranch we are looking at has aoudad on it but I'm guessing the prices are a bit higher than what I'm looking to spend. I usually hunt out in Wyoming and there is a ton of public land availabe. How's Texas and is it possible to hunt aoudad on public land?

Do either of you know of any good outfitters or ranchers that offer reasonable prices for javelina hunting? Suggestions welcomed. I hunt antelope out west and deer in Kentucky and javelina is the "I gotta do it at least once" critter that's next up on my list.

Art Eatman
December 25, 2007, 11:00 AM
Our deputy was telling me just yesterday that he saw some 20 or so aoudads on the east side of my place. Mostly rams, with only three or four ewes with younguns. If somebody wants to get rid of a few of them, and is young and healthy and can do some walking...

There are a fair number of javelina in the area around my back-country camp, as well as on a pasture of mine over west of Terlingua Ghost Town.

I don't mind folks hunting there when I'm around the area. I'm back and forth to my wife's old homestead in Georgia...

South Brewster County is some of the roughest country in the Lower 48. Once you're off the pavement, forget radial tires. And everywhere you go, it's uphill. Desert country. "Every thing there stings, sticks or stinks."

December 26, 2007, 08:49 PM
Art -

I'll post when I narrow down to where we think we are going to and I'd appreciate your $.02 as far as the various regions in Texas. We hope to have a trip booked soon for a trip in early 2009.


Art Eatman
December 26, 2007, 11:38 PM
Early in a year? Feral hogs, javelina, varmints, exotic stuff. No seasons on those.

December 27, 2007, 06:38 AM
Hey Art,
I think you are an excellent story teller and a writer. I
enjoy your short tales of the javalina. You remind me of Mark Twain.
Keep up the good work & thanks for sharing. You really ought to
write a book.

December 27, 2007, 07:05 AM
Javelina Season (from TPWD)

(Approximately 43 counties) October 1 - February 24
(Approximately 50 counties) September 1 - August 31

This link below will let you know which county correlate to one of the two dates above.


Art is right about the others being non-game or non-native species.

Presidio, Jeff Davis, Pecos, and Brewster Countys fall in the the latter (no closed season).

December 27, 2007, 07:27 PM
Early in a year? Feral hogs, javelina, varmints, exotic stuff. No seasons on those.

We are in Kentucky and figured a change of weather might be good in February.

Art Eatman
December 27, 2007, 07:48 PM
February: Generally dry. Maybe a light snow every two or four years. Morning lows around freezing. MId-day highs around 70, although don't be surprised if it's warmer. Think "layers"!

Sitting-hunting at daylight, you wear everything you own and it's still cold. Start walking hunting about a half-hour after sunup and you start peeling. By 1PM, it's tee shirt and shorts. Around 4PM, reverse the process. :)

Low this morning was 27. High this afternoon was 82. Quite common.

December 28, 2007, 06:48 PM
That's a hell of a temp swing Art. I could get frostbite in the mornings and a sunburn during the afternoon. :)

December 29, 2007, 01:47 PM
Wy wife's uncle BBQed some young javelina one time for the family Christmas shindig....that was some might good eating.

January 1, 2008, 11:08 PM
Back 63 I was down in Baja California doing some scouting for a old lost mine and my partner and I ran up on some "Lil Piggies". It was hot and dry and I guessed we made them mad, they came over and visited us. We sat on a rock for 3 hours. One or two of them hung around and when we tried to leave they would run around and try to snap a snack off our ankles. No we didn't have a gun it was during no guns in Mexico days . They left so did we to it was getting really hot and they got bored I think, HA! Well all the "Lil Piggies" I've seen sense then let me shoot one and then left, tasty! Doc:cool:

January 3, 2008, 05:50 PM
kreyzhorse, you can hunt Deer, hog (few) Javelina, Turkey, and Audad and Mouflon at Lake Amistad NRA, in Del Rio. It's an Archery only hunt, walk in walk out. Rough Terrain, and is about 100 or so miles due west of Art's place. Not mountainous, but has it's share of steep ravines. Same climate. You can see the mts. where Art is on a clear morning. Mexico is in between there and his place. It is one of the few public hunting areas in TX, and is not over hunted. Tons of game. Just don't go on opening day. The permit is only $20.00 for the season, plus your license. BTW, it's on a lake that has excellent fishing as well, so bring your fishing gear. I have killed game out there every year I hunted it. I've killed mouflon, (3) 1 Audad, and 2 whitetails...Missed countless others. Bring a range finder. The draws & ravines make ranging very deceptive. The web address for the park is www.nps.gov/amis. If you like a challenging, fun hunt, this is it.

Double Naught Spy
January 3, 2008, 09:25 PM
We spent the week after Xmas at Prude Ranch that is located just outside of Fort Davis. We saw a goodly number of javelina at the ranch itself as well as on the road between the ranch and Fort Davis and between Fort Davis and Marfa (had to take the kids to the the Spook Lights). I have to admit, these were some of the largest I had seen. A guy from the ranch said that the recent bounty of wet weather has really helped the local food supplies and that they were seeing a more and larger animals, such as javelina.

The mule deer at the ranch were quite visible. Of course, their season is over and they know it. We probably saw a couple dozen each day and surprisingly at all hours. We even had half a dozen split our trail ride, passing between the lead three horses and riders and the rest of us.

Of course Art is further south, but a lot of the game are the same. You could do a lot worse for hunting country than that part of Texas.

Oh, we even managed to spy some ringtail cats, something we don't have up in North Texas.

Art Eatman
January 3, 2008, 11:44 PM
Ah, compass reading! :) Actually, it's about 180 airline miles EAST from Terlingua to Lake Amistad. Study Butte, Terlingua and Lajitas are along the western boundary of Big Bend National Park. (By US 90, it's 200 miles from Alpine to Del Rio; Alpine is 80 miles north of me.)