The score remains: Javelina – 2 Me – 0. Last year was my first year hunting javelina. Since moving to the Arizona, I have had a crash course in western big-country hunting. My experience hunting as a kid revolved around patterning deer and hunting well traveled trails from corn fields to bedding areas. In Arizona, glassing large portions of land searching for specks of color to move has been difficult to get the hang of but these past two years have taught me much. Saturday morning was overcast and windy and the sun never broke through the clouds as Travis and I glassed across a canyon searching for any sign of life. I had made my grid-like sweeps of the hills before me and was getting ready to move to a new vantage point when I caught a fat pig moving from under a tree into the open. Calling Travis over, we rechecked the location of the herd, found some landmarks, and planned the long trek across the canyon. Somewhere along the journey, we lost the herd and were never able to find them again. Mid-day was spent setting up camp and the evening produced nothing other than a few female deer feeding in the fading sun.

The final morning of the hunt was clear and cold, but we did not have to sit long. Within minutes of setting up tripods and getting comfy, I spotted a herd moving slowly through the prickly pear. Wind was gauged and hopes were high, but as I picked my way through the maze of cat claw and saguaros, the herd vanished. After regrouping, I learned I had spooked the herd and we climbed to another bluff to relocate them. Amazingly, they were spotted not 60 yards away browsing. They could not have picked a worse spot as they were smack dab in the middle of loose large rocks which made unimaginable noise no matter how slow a hunter moves. Halfway to them, a covey of 50 quail flushed and not long after what remained of the javelina herd could be seen running into the next county. So ends the tail of three weekends of javelina hunting. I cannot complain about the chances I had and blew. Each day out is a new experience filled with God’s beautiful creation with many lessons to learn. Next year will bring another javelina season and maybe I will have a chance to redeem myself…

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