Traditional Spring Javelina Hunt Day 1

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Sparkitoff

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Jun 8, 2018
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I figured it was time to get out and away from people. To me, social distancing should be getting within 100-yards of a wild animal. The more social the animal, the closer I figure I can get. I was invited to hunt a large private ranch that is for sale. Among other things at the property is a strawberry farm of many acres. I am not sure if the javelina eat them, but I was told they are "messing up" the strawberry patches.

The ranch is rocky with slight changes in elevation and a mixture of mesquite, cactus and rocks with a creek or river clipping the back border. I was told if I stick to the cut trail it will take me around the outer circumference of the ranch and total about 5-miles as the trail winds and twists. Trying to be as traditional as possible considering the nearly 80-degrees, I set out wearing a brown cotton over-shirt with short sleeves, tan duck drop front pants and ankle high moccasins.

I loaded the .54 flintlock and strapped on the leather bag filled with an antler and hickory short starter, pan primer and antler/pick tool, extra ball, patch and vial of powder. I do not have an on-board loading rod, so I put my wood loading rod on a "sling" and wore it opposing my powder flask. My knife was a somewhat more modern "Canadian Belt Knife" style blade with wood handle pinned 3-times and resting in a hand-made leather sheath.

As morning broke this all seemed like a great idea. But, it was so hot and humid that I decided to put 3-16 oz plastic water bottles and 2 granola bars in my leather backpack. As I wander off I am thinking my moccasins are doing great keeping my feet dry, steps quiet and body comfortable. About an hour in I changed my mind about the time a mesquite thorn pierced through the bottom of my foot. After removing the offending thorn and checking the damage I continued on - but slower. Around the 2-mile mark I saw some javelina.

They looked awful small, but I snuck in with the wind in my favor. At about 75-yards I concluded that this was a group of immature shorties less than a year old. An hour later at around mile 3 I saw movement low to the ground that appeared grey. I thought it might be a coyote and decided I would shoot if given the opportunity. I held up for a while and then moved into light cover.

As the critter came into an opening, I eased back into the brush a little more while keeping my eye on the grey animal. "Bad idea" I thought about the time I felt the sting of a cactus spine enter the side of my foot. So much for the moccasins doing a great job. What did the Native Americans, Mountain Men and Pioneers wear on their feet while hunting? Probably not these things.

In spite of the heavy double leather bottom and slipper-like comfort they do not keep pointy things out. Gritting my teeth I pull the cock back as the animal clears the brush. No go, it is a real small whitetail deer. Cool little girl with a grey tint. She watches for a minute and slowly moves off the way she came. I ease the frizzen forward, then lower the cock and re-set the frizzen and put a stall on it. I continue on.

Just when I think I am close to completing the circle around the ranch I see javelina. I sneak through the rocks and sporadic vegetation and shrubs to close the distance. I am 40 or 50 yards from them and I take a seat - carefully. No pointy objects or snakes. I am waiting and watching these shorties for about a half-hour. They are always in a cluster, never a clear shot at just one.

Even though the limit is 2 per year I do not want to fill the limit with one shot. My foot starts throbbing. I look at it and see my moccasin is reddish. Great- my foot is obviously bleeding. I don't know if it is from the first prick or the second but it is starting to hurt. I ease out and go around the javelina. I complete the circle and get back to the truck.

After putting everything away I check my foot. All looks good now, no swelling or bleeding and no remaining pieces. This hunt will continue tomorrow with essentially the same plan, minus the moccasins …….
 
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Marty

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Hunting javelinas sounds like a great way to keep your hunting skills sharp Sparkitoff while enjoying the outdoors year-round. Only critters I hunt this time of the year are red squirrels with my .177 air rifle. Been out twice but no hides to show for my efforts...yet.
Do you eat javelinas ?
 

Sparkitoff

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Jun 8, 2018
Messages
283
I am going to follow directions and try eating this one.
1. Soak de-boned meat in salt brine for 2 hours
2. Rinse meat thoroughly
3. Soak meat 24 hours in Apple Cider Vinegar
4. Rinse meat
5. Pressure cook, high pressure 10 minutes with onions and garlic
6. Put in pan with onions, garlic, (peppers, carrots, celery as desired) and chicken broth
7. Cover pan
8. Bake on low heat 300 degrees (+/- some) for 4-6 hours. Check every 1.5 hours. Meat should fall apart on fork.
9. Season to taste with salt, pepper, celery salt, saurkraut or "seasoning" like Tony Sacherre or Alamo, etc....
 

Sparkitoff

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Jun 8, 2018
Messages
283
PART 2 _



Today started just after daylight. I pulled the bamboo "stick" from the touch-hole, put a thin pick in there just to feel some powder and primed and closed the frizzen with the stall in place. My first mile showed promise as a turkey gobbled, a hog ran across an open area and a deer came in for water and left without being disturbed. I watched my footing today and may have even missed some action while looking down, as twice I saw a fleeting glimpse of a black spot moving through the cover at a distance. I went real slow today, stopping every 50-yards or so to sit and watch. By the 4- mile mark it was 93 degrees! So much for Spring, we skipped that and went straight to summer. I saw some kind of bird grab either a long lizard or snake and fly off with it. It got hot and quiet during the last part of the lap. I wiped the pan clean and re-inserted the bamboo stick. I washed off and wet my shirt and pants to keep the odor down. I had a bright idea to smell like strawberries, since that is what is on the flat, front part of the ranch. I went down and picked for an hour or so and did not worry about getting strawberry juice on my skin or clothing. Sunblock would have been nice, but I did not have any odor-free sunblock and did not think that was "traditional".

 

Sparkitoff

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Jun 8, 2018
Messages
283
PART 3 -

This afternoon I set out for another lap around the ranch. It was HOT. There was not a lot of movement other than red ants. The brush and cactus even seemed to be napping. The trail I followed was like this...


Around the 3 mile mark I stopped and waited a long time overlooking this little dead-end area....


I completed the lap and had plenty more daylight so I decided to go back around the way I came from. The wind had changed direction and that would make a reverse trek logical. I limited my gear to my possibles bag with short starter, vent pick, pan primer spare patch and ball and vial of powder. I had my loading rod and a knife. After hydrating, I eased back, this time staying off the trail slightly whenever possible to use the brush and developing shadows as more cover. At around the half-way mark I was watching a little opening when this Axis doe (Chital) came out and wandered past. These are free range all over the central and western part of the State. I did not know I might encounter an Axis and did not ask for permission to take one, so I passed and concentrated on the Javelina.


Just before beginning the last mile I saw a single Javelina near some cactus. It moved off slowly and circled back so I decided to wait there.


I was inside the last half mile when I saw a few Javelina coming towards my location. I sat down and readied the rifle. As I waited more and more came to a little puddle of water surrounded by cactus. First 3, then 5 more, then 1, then 1 then 2 then 3. If my math is correct there were 15. They were tightly clustered around and I did not want to take more than one at once so I waited. One was clearly bigger than the others. Its head was bigger, butt was twice as wide and it was taller. There was one that was a close second but it was not as colored. I focused on the big, colored one. After nearly a half hour I was really worried about running out of light. Finally, a big hawk swooped down on the cluster and pulled up at the last minute. This minor commotion caused the javelina to separate and spread out. The one I wanted was slightly to my left, facing left to right. I guessed the distance at 50-yards and started lining up the sights as I set the back trigger. I decided to aim slightly low since these are small animals and I figured my point of impact is 2 or 3 inches high at 50-yards. When the sights settled I put pressure on the front trigger. Boom - followed by a cloud of smoke move the rifle and obscured my vision. The smoke cloud drifted slowly to the left. After about 15 seconds the slow moving cloud was far enough away to clear the view. There was the javelina lying motionless. I paced the distance....65-yards. These critters are smaller than you might think and the terrain is unique so mis-judging distance is quite possible but I was off a lot more than I thought. If anything, I would have thought I'd over-estimate range, not under-estimate. The ball hit the line I was one horizontally but was the 3-inches high I expected. It did manage to get the very top of lungs and the very bottom of spine. A slight uphill angle contributed to the balls path. Very satisfied, I rigged up two poles and lashed a sled together to drag this guy out the last half mile. I tied the rifle next to him to use two hands. It worked out pretty good.....


 

Marty

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Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 3, 2009
Messages
3,870
Location
Massachusetts
I am going to follow directions and try eating this one.
1. Soak de-boned meat in salt brine for 2 hours
2. Rinse meat thoroughly
3. Soak meat 24 hours in Apple Cider Vinegar
4. Rinse meat
5. Pressure cook, high pressure 10 minutes with onions and garlic
6. Put in pan with onions, garlic, (peppers, carrots, celery as desired) and chicken broth
7. Cover pan
8. Bake on low heat 300 degrees (+/- some) for 4-6 hours. Check every 1.5 hours. Meat should fall apart on fork.
9. Season to taste with salt, pepper, celery salt, saurkraut or "seasoning" like Tony Sacherre or Alamo, etc....
Let us know how it comes out.
 

Sparkitoff

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Joined
Jun 8, 2018
Messages
283
It tastes great! I added one cup of cream of chicken soup mix with half cup of water when slow cooking. It was ready at the 4-hour mark. Awesome.....
 

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