More on Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs

Javelinas weigh between 30 and 50 lbs., while feral hogs average about 130 lbs. Some feral hogs have weighed as much as 465 lbs!

Yesterday’s story about hunting javelina and wild hogs ran too long.  So today, I’m finishing the tips on hunting the collared peccary and feral pigs.

Successful Hunters Know the Animal’s Habits

The wild swine have well-developed senses, while the javelina has poor eyesight, average hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

Neither of these animal groups have quiet table manners.

Use These Facts While Hunting

You will be able to hear the collared peccary while they are dining.  Coupled with their pungent smell, it’s rather easy to find them.

If you are using a handgun, muzzle loader or archery equipment, you will need to get close to the javelina … which is usually not much of a problem because of their poor eyesight.

Never forget, however, that these are wild animals with a poor sense of humor.  If injured instead of killed outright, these beasts are potentially very dangerous!

Hunting Methods

Because most javelina are shot while hunting for deer, the most common method of hunting is stand hunting.  However, wild swine and peccaries are also hunted by:

  • stalking,
  • hog drives,
  • still hunting,
  • safari-style hunting and
  • calling
  • setting out corn and other foodstuffs,
  • using “hog dogs.”

Differences in Habitat

Feral hogs are, unfortunately, all over Texas.  These wild animals were once domesticated pigs that reverted to the wild;  this process may have occurred as far back as when the Spaniards brought them to the New World!

Where the Wild Things Are! 

As I mentioned in a previous article, Texas has more than 2 million of these wild  hogs — and their numbers are increasing!  There is no season on these wild hogs — and no upper limit to the number available in a year.

On the other side of the coin, the javelina is a game animal in Texas and there is a limit of 2/year.  The collared peccary lives in 2 large zoned areas.

This year, the season for the Northern Zone (43 counties, roughly the arid counties around San Antonio) is between October 1, 2011 and February 26, 2012.

The 50 counties of the Southern Zone, are the south and southwestern Texas counties along the Rio Grande River (the natural border between Texas and Mexico).  Their season is from September 1, 2010-August 31, 2011!


FYI:   For the Next Few Days, I’m Traveling to a Reunion & Doing Some Genealogy Work in Their Local Library!


Come Back for Saturday’s Joke and Sunday’s Special Graphics! 

(They’re already written and scheduled for distribution)


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Published in: on June 1, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments Off on More on Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs  
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What Does it Take to Hunt Javelina & Wild Hogs?

Hunting Season of Javelina vs. Wild Hogs

As mentioned in an earlier blog, javelina live in 3 states:  Arizona, New Mexico

Feral Pigs & Javelinas Can Do Incredible Damage to Suburban Yards When Other Food is Scarce!

and Texas.*  If you are interested in hunting javelina here, there are 2 zones in Texas, with a 2 animal/year limit.

In Texas, there is no season for feral hogs – there is no annual limit, nor is hunting limited to certain days or months. **

Hunting the Javelina & Wild Hog in Texas 

Most youngsters have their first experience with a javelina while hunting for whitetail deer.  The seasons often overlap and even in areas with few deer, there are often plenty of javelina.

Things to Worry About When Hunting These Pigs 

Even if you’ve read my 2 previous articles *** about the collared peccary (javelina), you are NOT ready to hunt wild pigs or javelinas.  I only talked about their sweet side.  

Before you start to aim your center-fire rifle, muzzleloaders or archery equipment, we need to talk about their “not-so-cute-and-cuddly” side.

Although not usually aggressive, they are wary, challenging and quite intelligent.

When cornered, wounded or protecting their piglings (or piglets), they can turn ugly.  Actually, they were born ugly; they can become dangerous!

Oh, and the Other Thing I Didn’t Mention … 

These animals come with razor-sharp tusks.  If wounded, they are going to be looking for someone to share their unhappiness with …. Don’t let it be you!

Successful Hunters Know the Animal’s Habits

Both the collared peccary and the feral pig are omnivores, eating cacti, grasses, roots and tubers.

The wild swine have well-developed senses, while the javelina has poor eyesight, average hearing and an excellent sense of smell.


Come Back Tomorrow:  For The Rest of this Article!


* Javelina have migrated from their original habitat in South America.  Thus, they are also available in South & Central America, as well as Mexico.  For this discussion, I’m only discussing hunting these animals – javelina and feral hogs — in the US.


** In fact, if you recall a previous article I wrote about the problem we are having with feral pigs in Texas, you know we are actively inviting hunters to help us cut the numbers of these nuisance animals in our state!

See:  Feral Pigs in Texas — 2 Million Strong and Increasing


*** The 2 earlier articles are:

Hold Your Nose … We’re After Some Javelina!  and

Javelina: You Don’t See ‘Em, But You Sure Can Smell ‘Em


This blog is a companion to my website:

Javelina: You Don’t See ‘Em, But You Sure Can Smell ‘Em

Let’s talk a bit more about the skunk’s stiffest competition:  the javelina.

What Makes the Peccary Smell So Bad?

While describing the javelina yesterday, I didn’t mention the musk gland of these

Note the raised hairs on the back of this javelina!

creatures.  Located on the lower back (above the tail), the peccary uses the scent in various ways.

When excited or alarmed, the javelina raises the dark hairs on his back and squirts his musk scent. The gland looks rather like a nipple — and the liquid is oily and a dark yellow.

The peccary can squirt the fluid several inches. When the pigling *is born, he has a fully functioning scent gland.

The Social System of the Javelina

After telling you how awful it smells, you may be surprised to hear that these

The Javelina roamed freely in South America before gradually moving northward.

animals use the scent for anything other than to ward off enemies.

But first, I need to share a bit more about the social life of a peccary. The javelina is a social animal that travels in mixed family groups (male and females of various ages).

Herds may be as small as 3 – 4 or as large as 20.  It is rare to see a solitary peccary unless he is old, ill or injured.

Peace and harmony are encouraged in the herd by regular physical contact between the members.

Javelinas pair off and stand nose-to-tail and rub their heads over the scent gland of the other animal!

They share their personal scent with the other members of the herd, essentially creating a “herd scent.”

The Peccary’s 2 Main Senses

The javelina is extremely nearsighted.  Because his eyesight is so poor, he relies on smell and sound to navigate in his habitat.

Thus, recognizing the herd’s scent helps him stay with his own group, even if he’s surrounded by many other animals.

Dietary Delights of the Javelina

These animals aren’t real picky about what they eat.  Although they delight in prickly cactus and other succulent plants, they are not above sinking their teeth into rotting carrion on the roadside or carelessly covered garbage.

As their habitat shrinks due to human development, more javelina than ever are interacting with man … and the results are not very pretty!

*   FYI: javelina babies = piglings; swine babies = piglets


Tomorrow:  How Sharp is Your Fishing Hook? 


Soon:  When Humans Try to Domesticate the Peccary


Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs


Photo and Map used through Wikipedia’s Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on May 26, 2011 at 12:01 am  Comments (1)  

Hold Your Nose … We’re After Some Javelina!

This is an example of Ugly, Smelly and Hairy all meeting in one animal!

A Little History

Although pigs and javelina are in the same order of mammals, they diverged

Newborns are 1 lb. bundles of red-brown or tan hair, with a dark strip down the back.

“about 38 million years ago:  pigs evolved in the Old World, peccaries in the New World.” *

Believe it or not, the collared peccary (or javelina – pronounced have-ah-LEE-nah) comes from South America.

Over thousands of years, they worked their way northward into North America.

Eventually, they settled in the warmer areas of North America.  Why?  Because they cannot survive cold!

It wasn’t until the 1700’s that javelinas showed up in the records — of Arizona.

All the Attributes Nobody Wants!

Unfortunately for these little piglings, after 3 months as a “cute” child, they emerge as an ugly mini-adult stinker.

Here’s a description of this strange animal:  He has a large head, skinny, short legs with rather small feet.  His hair is wiry, like a hairbrush’s bristles.

At birth, he is born with a mane of dark hairs (that grow to about 6″) that starts between his ears and runs along the spine to the tail.

When frightened or startled, the peccary’s mane stands on end and he looks fearsome!

Staying Cool During Seasonal Changes

The collared peccary is a fashionista — always changing into a new and better coat.  From November to almost March, the adults wear their dark coat.

In the spring, they shed that fur coat — some even go bald on their hips and hind-ends.  They are pale and blend in with their surroundings – usually very hot summers in parched regions.  However, the dark mane always stays on the animal.

By September, the javelina is growing a thicker winter coat; however, he has no undercoat.  Because he cannot survive a harsh winter, he does not venture into cold climates.  Most javelina live in the dry areas of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.

Pigling Births

Peccary births can happen throughout the year, however most occur in the summer and fall, when there is plenty to eat.

One or two piglings are born after a 5 month pregnancy.  This is in sharp contrast to the large litter of piglets born to swine.


* Quote from:  Javelinas, by Lauray Yule, 2004, Rio Nuevo Publishers, p. 7.


Next Time:  Well, I haven’t even gotten to their stink glands, what they eat, their lives in the herd, or hunting tips! Bummer!  

Come back for more exciting adventures with these stinky little beasts!


Photo used through the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License of Wikipedia


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 12:02 am  Comments (1)  

Tips on Blood Signs While Hunting

Recently, I wrote an article about finding a wounded animal, Finding Your Wounded Deer.  There are so many facets to this problem that I want to attack it from a different angle.


Blood Spatters are Important Indicators of the Length of Your Search for a Wounded Animal!


Blood Signs While Trailing an Animal

Understanding what you are seeing on the trail may help you in finding a wounded animal.  Wild animals are not going to help you; it is up to you to decipher the blood spatters.

The experts I’ve consulted suggest starting where the animal was hit.  They recommend using squares of toilet tissue to mark the trail. Alternately, use plastic flags (and remove them later).

Recognizing the exact location the deer/elk/whatever was hit might not be very easy.  Before leaving your shooting location, find some landmarks to help you find the correct spot.

Knowing where the animal was shot can be a good indicator as to the distance you will need to travel to find the deer or other animal.

Blood Signs

You might need to get down on all fours to search the area.  Sometimes, blood and hair strands cling to the sides of grass stems and other foliage.

  • Blood that is frothy — with bubbles — is probably a lung shot.
  • Conversely, blood with bubbles may be a hit in the neck, with the bullet or arrow opening arteries and windpipe.
  • Blood that is very dark, may show a liver or kidney injury.
  • Blood mixed with vegetation (often greenish in color), usually means a ‘gut’ shot.
  • Blood in a spattered pattern can show an animal that is moving fast or that major blood vessels were severed.
  • The height of the blood sign often tells you the location of the wound.
  • Blood spattered on both sides of a trail usually indicates a pass-through wound.  However, this same sign can indicate that an animal doubled back on his trail with a one-hole wound.

Blood Signs and Length of the Chase

Generally, knowing what a blood spatter means will tell you how long it will take to find the animal.

For example, that frothy blood sign that indicates a lung shot, will probably be a short search.

Blood with bits of undigested food (a stomach or intestines wound),will usually take a much longer time.

However, bright blood — indicating a muscle shot or heart shot  — could be either! (A heart shot won’t take long, but a muscle shot could lead you on for miles!)


Do you know someone who might find this article useful?

Please pass it on!

Thank you!


‘Elk’ is a Rear Window Graphic used by permission of Vantage Point Graphics


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 11:22 am  Comments Off on Tips on Blood Signs While Hunting  
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A Great Hunting Forum: **



Although I’ve followed through their tweets, I recently spent time on the site and like what I see.   If you are into hunting – this is a very friendly place.

With All the Tips & Hints Flying Around on, These Turkeys Should Be Shaking in their Shoes!

I’m not sure 400 words is enough room to explain this site!  A year ago, they decided to collect wild game recipes for a cookbook and recipes started to arrive.  Are you familiar with “Canned Venison/Elk?”  I wasn’t.

At the bottom of page one, Captain Dale offers the recipe as a pdf file.   Put raw slices of meat with some condiments in canning jars. By the time the pressure cooker has done its job, the meat is cooked and processed.

Forums for Various Types of Hunting

Although there are areas of general interest (Announcements & Events; Free Classified Ads, etc.), there are separate forums for specific hunting interests:  Deer, Turkey, Big Game,  Water Fowl & Game Birds, Other Critters (hogs, predators, etc.), and Hunting with Kids.

The thing that impressed me most was hunters helping hunters – with tips and suggestions.  An example in the “Turkey Hunter > New Turkey Hunter” Forum:  Someone new to hunting turkey asked how to get started. Seasoned hunters welcomed the newcomer and shared useful advice.

Free Hunting Products Given Away Monthly

An interesting aside to this site is the fact that hunting product sponsors offer a variety of items to be given away each month! has devised a great way to distribute those prizes.

Members (yes, you must be a registered member to qualify) must promote the quality of the forum by participating in discussions.  You need to offer a minimum number of posts for your name to be added to the pot for the drawings.  Additional posts by members mean more chances of winning!

Why I Like This Site

I’m a native Houstonian and our family moved a great deal during my early years. Chatting with a stranger has never come naturally to me.  In fact, the entire concept of “social media” leaves me cold.

However, I’ve really enjoyed lurking (reading, but not commenting)* on this site.  I’ve learned quite a bit in the time I’ve spent there.

If you are looking for friendly folks, lots of support, interesting stories and photos, this is a great spot.   Say … lets lurk together!

On the site, I’m “marylouise22.”


* Lurking is common for newcomers; you learn how things work, how to comment, etc.  Of course, the expectation is that before long, you will want to participate.  This is a easy site to get started.


‘Proud Crowd’ is used by permission of ClearVue Graphics!


This blog is a companion to my website:



This is what I call a ‘retriever’

Training the “gator” is somewhat difficult….

As I’m still having a little trouble with getting him to bring the pig to me.


‘Thanks’ to MDH* for this gag!


MDH = My Deer Husband (Better known as: He who likes to be obeyed — but rarely is!)


This blog is a companion to my website:

Published in: on December 13, 2009 at 11:25 am  Comments (4)  

Hunting for Javelina and Wild Swine!

Wild Boar – Wild Swine – Feral Pig


Wild boar Smell Better than Javelina, but Don't Look Much More Attractive!


Wild boar were brought to the Americas from Europe as a domesticated food source many generations ago. Some strayed and became our ‘wild swine.’

In order to adapt to their environment, these ‘wild ones’ grew tusks and stronger snouts.  Obviously, pigs fed by man have little need of tusks and digging snouts.

What Hunters Need to Know

The senses of wild swine are very well developed.  However, the javelina is not so lucky.  Their sense of smell is excellent; but their sense of hearing is fairly poor and their sense of sight is poor.

Experienced hunters tend to listen for peccaries; table-manners are absent from the DNA of javelinas and, … well … they ‘eat like pigs.’  The noise of the peccary’s eating helps hunters get close enough to  shoot.

Javelina is Exciting to Hunt

Make sure you have this little stinker ‘dead to rights’ before shooting.  Javelinas are totally devoid of a sense of humor (Maybe it is because of all that cactus they eat!).

It’s an awesome experience to try to outsmart this wily and potentially dangerous creature! Generally, shooting a peccary is not the first choice of a hunter, around here.

However, things happen. When deer are in short supply at a hunting site, javelina make a ‘wild-and-woolly’ second choice.  You never know what they will do!

A javelina’s first instinct is to run away. However, they can become dangerous when cornered or once they are wounded.  It’s too late, at this point, to check on increasing your life insurance!  (; -)

These are ‘mean mama’s’ when injured.  They are definitely  Old Testament guys  with a belief in  ‘an eye for an eye.’  Hunting javelina is thrilling and scary!


This blog is a companion to my website:

On the Trail of a Javelina!

A ‘Javelina’ By Any Other Name … Still Stinks! *

In South Texas, we refer to these ugly little pigs as ‘javelina’s.’  However, they have plenty of other names/nicknames:

  • collared peccary (Tayassu Tajacu), 

    2 Things You Will Notice Immediately: They're UGLY and They STINK!

  • brush pig,
  • musk pig,
  • Mexican pig,
  • desert pig

As adults,  these peccaries are about 36 to 51 inches long (90 to 130 centimeters) and  weigh in at 44 to 88 lbs (20 to 40 kilograms).

Comparing ‘Javelinas’ to ‘Feral Hogs’

Javelinas are the only pig-like creatures native to North America!  Wild hogs, razorbacks or feral pigs, are all descendants of the European pigs/hogs imported to the Americas long ago. Thus, ‘feral pigs’ and ‘javelinas’ are completely different species.

Javelinas are native to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, Mexico, Central and South America.

One of the most important distinctions between javelinas and  their cousins is:

  • wild pigs can be domesticated,
  • javelinas are forever wild!

Historical Uses of Javelinas and Wild Hogs

Once upon a time, these brush pigs were hunted for sport, their meat and their hides.  After tanning, peccary hides became:

  • gloves,
  • bags and purses,
  • the upper portion of shoes, and
  • their bristles were turned into brushes.

Now, however, no javelina parts may be sold.

Hunting for the Collared Peccary or the Wild Hog

As with most game hunting,  it is important to know their habits in order to hunt for them successfully.  There are some important differences in hunting javelina vs. wild hogs.

Both species are omnivores.  Their favorite foods:  cacti (!), grasses, roots and  tubers.


A Quick Look at Tomorrow’s Entry ….

One thing you need above all others when javelina hunting is — a paid-up insurance policy! Make sure you have this little stinker ‘dead to rights’ before shooting.

These are ‘mean mama’s’ when injured.  Javelinas are totally devoid of a sense of humor.  Maybe it’s all that cactus they eat!


* There will be more about the collared peccary’s awful smell in Part 2!


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Published in: on December 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm  Comments Off on On the Trail of a Javelina!  
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