Jim Taylor
Calling Javelina
Tuesday, November 15, 2022, 19:13

The air was crisp as I shouldered my backpack. It was about an hour before dawn and I had a good half-hour hike to get to where I had seen the Javelina herd. I wanted to be in position before daylight. During the hike out I enjoyed the beauty of the Arizona mountains and the dawning of a new day.

It seemed to be just a short walk and I was at the canyon mouth I was seeking. Following on old trail I slowly eased my way down the hillside till I was about 30 yards from the canyon bottom. I sat down in the concealment of some brush and waited for the sun to rise so I could see the mountainside opposite of me. I could see tracks near the water in the canyon bottom and began to feel a stir of excitement.

As the light began to filter through the canyon I got out my Burnham Brothers Deluxe Fox call and started to blow softly through it. I gave about 5 soft calls and stopped to see what would happen. In just a few moments I spotted some movement near the top of the mountain, about 300 yards away. I thought at first it was a coyote, but when I looked through my binoculars I discovered it was a large Javelina making its way down the mountain toward me!

I gave a few more calls and the pig continued to come down the mountain through the brush. When it got to the edge of the brush about 150 yards from me it seemed reluctant to leave its cover. I called, but to no avail. At length I could see it begin to make its way back up the mountain. It would stop and listen when I called, but would not come to me.

I noticed some more movement near the top and looking through my glasses revealed several other Javelina milling around. I decided the only thing to do was to get nearer.

There was a trail that circled around the mountain and would take me near the top, out of sight and smell of the Javelina. I began to work my way up the trail, and after about 15 minutes of climbing I cut off and headed over to where I had last seen the little porkers. When I thought I was near the place I got down in some deep grass and began blowing on the call. In just a moment I heard the "woof-woof" of the pigs as they moved toward me.

I had my gun ready as the first one came into sight, but the brush was so thick that I just couldn’t see them long enough to risk a shot. The pigs stayed about 25 to 30 yards out and circled me, curious but wary. After playing this game for 10 minutes or so I decided to try and move in closer.

Moving as quietly as I could I eased my way through the thick brush. At different times I spotted Javelina, but no good shots were seemingly available. I worked my way to the top of the mountain, and as I came over the top I saw movement to my left. I froze and slowly turned to see what it was. There, about 50 yards away, were 15 to 20 Javelina feeding in a clump of mesquite trees.

I had my call out again, and at the noise one came running directly at me at full speed! At 25 feet or so I touched it off and the pig squealed and went down. I could tell that I had missed a good hit and had broken it’s back! My next shot took it through the neck and finished it on the spot. It was a large sow.

The gun was my old model Ruger .45 and the load was the 300 gr. #457191 bullet with 18.5 gr. 2400 fired by a rifle primer. This was the 4th Javelina taken with this gun and load.

I cleaned the skull and found that the neck shot had broken the bones on the base of the skull where the neck joins it. It had nice tusks and makes a good looking trophy. The real problem was carrying the pig home. It was far enough that I was wore out by the time I got back to the house!

Here are a few of Javelina my family and I have taken over the years.

1985 - Tom Peterson (left) Trooper .357 --my Dad S&W 584 .357

1985 - My daughter (13 years old) .22 Magnum

1986 - Ruger .45 Colt

1987 - Freedom Arms 454

1988 - 1858 Remington .44 cap and ball

1997 - .41 Magnum

2002 - Reeder Sixgunner Special .45 Colt

2005 - 480 Achilles

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