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.

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Come Back Tomorrow:  For The Rest of this Article!

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* 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.

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** 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

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*** 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

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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

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Tomorrow:  How Sharp is Your Fishing Hook? 

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Soon:  When Humans Try to Domesticate the Peccary

Plus

Hunting Javelina and Wild Hogs

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

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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

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

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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!

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

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This blog is a companion to my website:  GreatGhilliesAndGraphics.com

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