Yeti

AZ Javelina Tactics Advice (rifle; 37A)

CRMarks

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
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50
Location
Arizona
I need some help understanding javelina hunting. Drew a general tag for 37A, and this is my first tag drawn, first javelina hunt, and first really DIY hunt in AZ. Not looking for any locations, just advice on tactics given the habitat I've observed below.

My initial plan was to identify locations where I could glass from a higher elevation vantage point down onto washes and down on south facing slopes in the morning. By e-scouting, I targeted areas around Durham Mtns and Suizo Mtn. Went out there today to check things out and boy was I in for a surprise. That whole area and really the east side of the unit is dense cactus forest. Eye-level visibility about 75 yds, javelina level maybe 25 yds. Durham Mtns were too rocky/steep for me to get up on. Found a location accessible on Suizo but it is on the south side where several campers are parked and again surrounded by dense catcus forest.

So my question is, how do you go about finding and then pursuing javelina in such terrain. I feel like even if you could glass up a herd, you wouldn't be able to get down to them successfully to get a shot b/c of the challenge navigating all that damn cactus. I guess you could walk washes and hope to see sign but then would you need to sit that location like sitting a water tank?

I looked at Newman Peak area which I know has good herd numbers, but getting to that area seems damn near impossible. Only a few roads lead to BLM/State land roads/trails and those roads seem to be blocked or simply gone now (San Jacinto Rd, Picacho Rd).

Any help on figuring this situation out would be greatly appreciated. I'll be going this hunt solo at this point and am even considering surrendering the tag if I can't come up with a reasonable plan to let someone else have an opportunity.
 

Bigjay73

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Oct 28, 2017
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2,205
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Denver
Easiest, and maybe the most fun hunt you can have in AZ. If you want to hunt thick stuff, find fresh tracks and follow them, javelina won't be far away if you find same day sign. There are javelina wherever there is food and water. Find a stock tank with prickly pear around, and there will be piggies near by. Get up higher and glass the first hills to get sunshine on a cold morning, and you'll have success eventually. Do not turn in the tag, you're only going to learn by doing, and failing like we all have had to do. Best part is, you'll have a lot of fun doing it
 

schmalts

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Aug 22, 2002
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9,183
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WI
Finding them is the hardest part. I don't think there is an easier animal to get close for a shot, at least the game I have hunted. Play the wind, don't worry a ton about being seen until you are fairly close. If you do spook and scatter a herd, listen for the huffs and grunts and imitate it, I have had them come running at me. I haven't shot many because I am not crazy about the meat but always mess around with them when I am deer hunting just to see what you can get away with. It is not hard to get within range to hit them with a rock... seriously. IMO they are made for Bow, and handgun hunting because a rifle hunt is kind of too easy. I always thought they needed prickly pear but I have run across those stinky things all over the place from the border all the way up to the rim of the grand canyon in snow.
 

TheTone

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Sep 14, 2002
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I’ll echo what other have said. I’ve gone 7-7 on archery tags with the furthest shot being about 27 yards, most were around 15 and one was maybe 3 steps. They’re a great spot and stalk animal and I can’t imagine shooting one over 50 yards with a rifle unless someone just had no interest in getting close. Spend your time glassing from high spots, find some and get the info right for a stalk
 

CRMarks

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2017
Messages
50
Location
Arizona
Thanks. All good reasons I should've listened to my gut and picked up that lever action .30-30 I wanted so many months ago. I was focused on what I could do with my scoped '06. I've inherited a T/C contender and have .223 and .45 colt barrels for it. Maybe I'll grab a box of .223 and see what damage can be done.
 

tanner127

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Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
29
Location
Lakewood, CA
Easiest, and maybe the most fun hunt you can have in AZ. If you want to hunt thick stuff, find fresh tracks and follow them, javelina won't be far away if you find same day sign. There are javelina wherever there is food and water. Find a stock tank with prickly pear around, and there will be piggies near by. Get up higher and glass the first hills to get sunshine on a cold morning, and you'll have success eventually. Do not turn in the tag, you're only going to learn by doing, and failing like we all have had to do. Best part is, you'll have a lot of fun doing it
Followed your advice and it worked in 18B! Walked a wash until I found tracks and freshly eaten prickly pear. Found the herd about 1/4 mile away.

Hope your hunt is going well too OP!
 

.270Rem

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May 27, 2018
Messages
267
Location
Northern VA
When is your hunt OP? First Western "big game" trip for me was a javelina hunt. Previous posts are spot on with their recommendations. Make a call to the local bio and ask if they can shed any light on where harvest is concentrated in the unit.

We got camp set up,walked in a half mile across the road, and found a herd in first hour. I saluted them with the .357 and then they ran over a couple ridges right into our buddy who dropped one. We found another herd three days later and my aim got way better when I dropped one and my buddy shot his with a cap and ball revolver. I pulled out the javelina call afterwards and had them all around us even after we shot.

Spend some time letting your glass do the hard work and a predator call can't hurt either. With the wind in your favor your TC could be a handy and light option. I have only chased them that one time and that was 15 years ago near Kingman. Good luck and enjoy wandering the desert.
 
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