I was lucky enough to draw a javalina tag this fall and found myself in beautiful northern Arizona sharing a camp with my good friend Austin and a couple of old-timers who could fill an encyclopedia with their stories of hunting and fishing. Last year was my first year out after javelina and, although I spotted them several times, I was unsuccessful in bagging a “pig.” Friday morning found us stuffing gear in Austin’s trailer and rumbling up north, stopping for our last taste of real food at a small Mexican place, and coming to a halt in a shady little spot by one of Arizona’s beautiful gurgling creeks. By 3:30 we were setting up tripods on a small knoll and glassing on of the bigger hillsides near our camp. As is generally the case, Austin spotted a fairly large herd of 15-20 javelina. We made a plan and the stalk was on. Within a half hour I was 20 yards from several of the herd. Luck was not on my side and I was unable to connect with the fat rodents and my commotion sent them scurrying towards my hunting partner. He was also unlucky and darkness found us a few arrows short and javelina-less. The rest of the weekend rolled quickly by with mornings, generally the best time to spot javelina, empty. We got into one more herd later on Saturday, but again could not connect on anything. Hunting camp was a highlight. Big campfires, good food, and plenty of laughs will not soon be forgotten. We still have several weekends left to get back and put some miles on our boots, but are a little less optimistic with the passing of opening weekend. More to come next weekend and I will try to remember to bring the camera…

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