Javelina Hunting: Beginner’s Guide

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One thing Texas and Arizona are famous for is their vast wild population. There are too many hunting opportunities for the different game all year round. One species that is common for hunting also is the infamous javelinas. For the avid hunter, javelinas make a great beginner’s experience during the off-season. In Texas, the season runs from January until February and extends from September to August.

Before booking your next javelina hunt, first, you have to understand your prey, both its weaknesses and strengths. Here are the most crucial things you need to know about hunting javelinas with success. 

Understanding Javelinas 

A Javelina is Not a Pig

Although Javelinas bear some little resemblance to feral pigs, they are neither pigs nor hogs. A bit confused now? Check this article on the difference between pigs and hogs.  

Similar to hogs they have a massive head, muscular bodies, and tusks, in actuality, they are collared peccary. The similarity does not end in their appearance only as they also have the same characteristics and behavior. 

Javelinas may sometimes live in packs, as many as 100 but you will always find them in groups of four to fifteen. 

They Have a Better Sense of Smell than Eyesight

Hunting Javelinas is a fun experience because they offer you a decent chance at shooting at them compared to other big game. But it is not a walk in the park either. Though they have poor eyesight beyond 50-yards, they have an acute sense of smell and catch your scent from miles away.

When stalking javelinas, it is vital to mask your scent because if they catch your whiff, they are gone. Javelinas also have a short memory, and if you keep on their trail, they will forget you had spooked them and offer you another shooting opportunity. 

Thin Coat

Javelinas have thin skin and coats of fur. And this means that it is easy to tell where they will most likely be. When spotting javelinas look for the lee side of hills and bushes as they always take cover in those places. When the sun is up during the morning cold, you can search for them in the open as they seek to warm their bodies. 

Small Range

There is a small range you have to cover when hunting javelinas. Usually, a pack will just roam an estimated square a mile. And since they need lots of water, hunting near water sources can make you track them down quickly. 

Scent Glands

Javelinas have earned their name as the skunk pig. It will not come as a surprise when you smell them before they smell you.  It has scent glands on their backs and under their eyes, and they use it to mark their territories and fellow members of the pack.

Peccary meat is much like pork, but unlike pork, it is much tougher. Javelinas are quite smelly, and you may not feel like eating meat that smells like that. But when preparing peccary meat, you must keep these two things in mind. Keep it cool and clean always.  

When skinning javelina, take extra care not to let the scent glands get in contact with the meat. 


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