Yeti

Many Firsts, AZ Javelina Hunt

tanner127

Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2021
Messages
29
Location
Lakewood, CA
First Arizona hunt. First Javelina hunt. First time tagging out on big game.
The story starts here, on HT. After drawing the tag I spent a lot of time searching and reading threads for any advice that I could get on hunting Javelina. I had no clue where to even start, but found a lot of helpful posts from members here. From there, I started searching AZGFD's site and found some general locations to start. I spent several evenings plotting those locations on OnX and trying to e-scout for anything that looked like a good location. Had to work on opening day, but got the truck and trailer loaded up when I got home.

Day 1, Saturday
On the road by 5am. Took 6 hours to get to the campsite and a couple of hours to set up the trailer. After eating lunch, I loaded up the truck and set off to the first location that I wanted to check out. What a zoo! There were camps and trucks at every turn out on the road. That has to be the most popular Javelina spot in the unit. Drove about 45 minutes down the road just to try to get away from the crowd and found a spot that looked ok. Hiked around the hills for a few hours until dark without finding any new sign. Decided that I wouldn't be returning to this place ever again.

IMG_4042.jpg

Day 2, Sunday
Late start. Didn't get into the truck until 7. Headed to the second location on my list. I was disappointed to find that the area was very overgrown. It looked like juniper and various brush all over 5 feet tall had taken over the hills. Hiking through it was going to be impossible, but I was committed to the area and drove around until I found a large area of prickly pear and low vegetation. Hiked around that area for a few hours searching for sign and glassing the hill. Nothing but old sign and five cattle enjoying the shade of a tree. Hiked off of the hill and ate lunch at the truck. Decided to leave the area and spend the afternoon in another location. Heading to the third location on my list, I decided to pull off of the highway onto a dirt road and check out a couple of ridges that I saw off in the distance. Parked at a turn out that was by a wash and started walking up the wash. Fresh tracks! Started to slowly follow the tracks and then began to find freshly eaten prickly pear. It was still wet to the touch. Unfortunately, the sun was setting fast and I'm still not entirely at peace with walking through the dark by myself (coming up on glowing eyes while solo hunting in a Colorado forest last year creeped me out).

IMG_4050.jpg

Day 3, Monday
Bright and early. Excited to get back, I was in the truck by 5. At first light I was back on the tracks again and working my way up the ridge. The tracks led up to the top and over the other side to another ridge. Being at the top, I decided to sit and glass across the way. Disbelief! After a few minutes of glassing I found one, then two and three. They ranged at 450 yards. Marked their location on OnX and began to slowly navigate my way down the side. Almost to the bottom there was a nice open area to glass and make a shot from. Pulled out the binoculars and they were nowhere to be found. There was no way that they got far and so I sat there scanning until one walked out from behind a bush. It ranged at 140 yards. I pulled my pack off and got into prone position. There were two Javelina walking around and I had my eye on the larger one. It seemed like forever watching them go back and forth just waiting for a clean shot. When the opportunity presented itself, I took it. The hill started running with Javelina. There were another 6-7 behind the brush to the left that must've been bedded down. The Javelina was down and I started to make my way to it. What an awesome, but smelly, animal! Snapped some pictures, tagged him, and started processing (should have tagged first, but my head had so many things going through it). Back to camp in time for lunch.

IMG_4053.jpg
IMG_4058.jpg

Picked up some pork shoulder, casings, and seasoning. My father-in-law showed me how to make sausage. We were up late making half into chorizo and half into breakfast sausage. I'm not a huge fan of the breakfast seasoning, but the chorizo is amazing! Learned a lot from this trip and had a blast! Thanks HT for helping me make it happen!

-Tanner
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
3,747
What were you using for a rifle? Smelly? Musk or breeding season? Negotiating cactus in the dark would scare me more than any critters.
 

Chama Grande

Active member
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
70
After getting blown out by storms last year, I'm looking to fill my first javi tag this weekend too. Thanks for pumping the excitement

Now i just need to quietly leave work without anyone noticing ....
 

Bigjay73

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 28, 2017
Messages
2,213
Location
Denver
Congratulations! Not many fill their first big game tag in AZ, can be quite a challenge no matter what you're hunting in the grand canyon state.
 

JohnBud

Member
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
98
Location
Lake Country, Wisconsin
First Arizona hunt. First Javelina hunt. First time tagging out on big game.
The story starts here, on HT. After drawing the tag I spent a lot of time searching and reading threads for any advice that I could get on hunting Javelina. I had no clue where to even start, but found a lot of helpful posts from members here. From there, I started searching AZGFD's site and found some general locations to start. I spent several evenings plotting those locations on OnX and trying to e-scout for anything that looked like a good location. Had to work on opening day, but got the truck and trailer loaded up when I got home.

Day 1, Saturday
On the road by 5am. Took 6 hours to get to the campsite and a couple of hours to set up the trailer. After eating lunch, I loaded up the truck and set off to the first location that I wanted to check out. What a zoo! There were camps and trucks at every turn out on the road. That has to be the most popular Javelina spot in the unit. Drove about 45 minutes down the road just to try to get away from the crowd and found a spot that looked ok. Hiked around the hills for a few hours until dark without finding any new sign. Decided that I wouldn't be returning to this place ever again.

View attachment 213449

Day 2, Sunday
Late start. Didn't get into the truck until 7. Headed to the second location on my list. I was disappointed to find that the area was very overgrown. It looked like juniper and various brush all over 5 feet tall had taken over the hills. Hiking through it was going to be impossible, but I was committed to the area and drove around until I found a large area of prickly pear and low vegetation. Hiked around that area for a few hours searching for sign and glassing the hill. Nothing but old sign and five cattle enjoying the shade of a tree. Hiked off of the hill and ate lunch at the truck. Decided to leave the area and spend the afternoon in another location. Heading to the third location on my list, I decided to pull off of the highway onto a dirt road and check out a couple of ridges that I saw off in the distance. Parked at a turn out that was by a wash and started walking up the wash. Fresh tracks! Started to slowly follow the tracks and then began to find freshly eaten prickly pear. It was still wet to the touch. Unfortunately, the sun was setting fast and I'm still not entirely at peace with walking through the dark by myself (coming up on glowing eyes while solo hunting in a Colorado forest last year creeped me out).

View attachment 213450

Day 3, Monday
Bright and early. Excited to get back, I was in the truck by 5. At first light I was back on the tracks again and working my way up the ridge. The tracks led up to the top and over the other side to another ridge. Being at the top, I decided to sit and glass across the way. Disbelief! After a few minutes of glassing I found one, then two and three. They ranged at 450 yards. Marked their location on OnX and began to slowly navigate my way down the side. Almost to the bottom there was a nice open area to glass and make a shot from. Pulled out the binoculars and they were nowhere to be found. There was no way that they got far and so I sat there scanning until one walked out from behind a bush. It ranged at 140 yards. I pulled my pack off and got into prone position. There were two Javelina walking around and I had my eye on the larger one. It seemed like forever watching them go back and forth just waiting for a clean shot. When the opportunity presented itself, I took it. The hill started running with Javelina. There were another 6-7 behind the brush to the left that must've been bedded down. The Javelina was down and I started to make my way to it. What an awesome, but smelly, animal! Snapped some pictures, tagged him, and started processing (should have tagged first, but my head had so many things going through it). Back to camp in time for lunch.

View attachment 213451
View attachment 213452

Picked up some pork shoulder, casings, and seasoning. My father-in-law showed me how to make sausage. We were up late making half into chorizo and half into breakfast sausage. I'm not a huge fan of the breakfast seasoning, but the chorizo is amazing! Learned a lot from this trip and had a blast! Thanks HT for helping me make it happen!

-Tanner
Congrats! Thanks for sharing the story and the pics.
 

Don Fischer

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
Messages
2,068
First Arizona hunt. First Javelina hunt. First time tagging out on big game.
The story starts here, on HT. After drawing the tag I spent a lot of time searching and reading threads for any advice that I could get on hunting Javelina. I had no clue where to even start, but found a lot of helpful posts from members here. From there, I started searching AZGFD's site and found some general locations to start. I spent several evenings plotting those locations on OnX and trying to e-scout for anything that looked like a good location. Had to work on opening day, but got the truck and trailer loaded up when I got home.

Day 1, Saturday
On the road by 5am. Took 6 hours to get to the campsite and a couple of hours to set up the trailer. After eating lunch, I loaded up the truck and set off to the first location that I wanted to check out. What a zoo! There were camps and trucks at every turn out on the road. That has to be the most popular Javelina spot in the unit. Drove about 45 minutes down the road just to try to get away from the crowd and found a spot that looked ok. Hiked around the hills for a few hours until dark without finding any new sign. Decided that I wouldn't be returning to this place ever again.

View attachment 213449

Day 2, Sunday
Late start. Didn't get into the truck until 7. Headed to the second location on my list. I was disappointed to find that the area was very overgrown. It looked like juniper and various brush all over 5 feet tall had taken over the hills. Hiking through it was going to be impossible, but I was committed to the area and drove around until I found a large area of prickly pear and low vegetation. Hiked around that area for a few hours searching for sign and glassing the hill. Nothing but old sign and five cattle enjoying the shade of a tree. Hiked off of the hill and ate lunch at the truck. Decided to leave the area and spend the afternoon in another location. Heading to the third location on my list, I decided to pull off of the highway onto a dirt road and check out a couple of ridges that I saw off in the distance. Parked at a turn out that was by a wash and started walking up the wash. Fresh tracks! Started to slowly follow the tracks and then began to find freshly eaten prickly pear. It was still wet to the touch. Unfortunately, the sun was setting fast and I'm still not entirely at peace with walking through the dark by myself (coming up on glowing eyes while solo hunting in a Colorado forest last year creeped me out).

View attachment 213450

Day 3, Monday
Bright and early. Excited to get back, I was in the truck by 5. At first light I was back on the tracks again and working my way up the ridge. The tracks led up to the top and over the other side to another ridge. Being at the top, I decided to sit and glass across the way. Disbelief! After a few minutes of glassing I found one, then two and three. They ranged at 450 yards. Marked their location on OnX and began to slowly navigate my way down the side. Almost to the bottom there was a nice open area to glass and make a shot from. Pulled out the binoculars and they were nowhere to be found. There was no way that they got far and so I sat there scanning until one walked out from behind a bush. It ranged at 140 yards. I pulled my pack off and got into prone position. There were two Javelina walking around and I had my eye on the larger one. It seemed like forever watching them go back and forth just waiting for a clean shot. When the opportunity presented itself, I took it. The hill started running with Javelina. There were another 6-7 behind the brush to the left that must've been bedded down. The Javelina was down and I started to make my way to it. What an awesome, but smelly, animal! Snapped some pictures, tagged him, and started processing (should have tagged first, but my head had so many things going through it). Back to camp in time for lunch.

View attachment 213451
View attachment 213452

Picked up some pork shoulder, casings, and seasoning. My father-in-law showed me how to make sausage. We were up late making half into chorizo and half into breakfast sausage. I'm not a huge fan of the breakfast seasoning, but the chorizo is amazing! Learned a lot from this trip and had a blast! Thanks HT for helping me make it happen!

-Tanner
Have you considered having chorizo for breakfast and calling it breakfast sausage! :)
 
Top