Well, I am back. It was a long trip and while down there it was very hot in the afternoons but I managed to get it done, my hunting partner wasn't so lucky with missed shots and missfires out of his TC G2 pistol.
Here is the story, enjoy.
We stated out this year as usual. A long drive from Colorado down to Catalina, Arizona where we would be staying with a friend while we were hunting. For some reason this 800 mile drive doesn’t get any shorter as the years go by.
The first day we did our usually driving the washes looking for tracks. On my drive I saw a pickup truck parked in one of the better canyons to hunt so I continued on to one of the better spots. I hadn’t seen any track so I decided to take a hike into the top of the canyon from the back side and do some glassing. I got up into it and glassed for a while without seeing anything other than some mule deer. I then headed down into it to hike the bottom out and then up and over into another canyon to go from the bottom to the top checking out the usual hiding places for javelina. When I got near the top I saw that my hunting partner had come down from the top of another area to meet up with me. He also hadn’t seen anything so we headed back to our wheelers to checkout other areas. I headed up to the powerline road to get up high and glass while Roy headed over into the other wash to look for tracks. We both struck out and since it was near lunch time we went looking for Bob who is our friend and was also out there looking around since he doesn’t hunt anymore. He also supplies Cosco chimi-chungas wrapped in tinfoil to heat over hot coals for lunch. We found him and had some lunch and then went back looking for tracks. It was also quite hot and the javelina are just like people. They find some shade and take a nap when it gets hot. We went home empty handed the first day.
Day two found us over in a area that we call Rock Springs. There is quite a bit of water in this area and a couple of high hills where you can get up to and then glass. Roy headed to the high spot and I headed up the wash a ways further looking for tracks. I then took a hike into a canyon checking out hiding spots since the wind was blowing and they don’t like the wind and usually hunker down. I did this with no luck and Roy wasn’t seeing anything either so off to find Bob with the chimi-chungas and lunch. After lunch we went our own ways looking for tracks but by dark we were still without any thing to show for two days.
Day three we headed back up to our usual locations looking for them, and came up with nothing. We were starting to wonder just where these things were hiding, we also knew that they had to be there somewhere. That afternoon I had met up with Roy and were driving the middle wash area when I spotted a set of 4 tracks going across the wash and heading to the east. We headed up over the powerline road into the next wash and found a set of tracks for two adults and two juveniles heading to the west and towards the other set that we had crossed earlier in the other wash. We now had a plan for the next morning.
Day four I headed up into the wash that had the two adults and two juveniles and Roy headed into the other one with the set of 4 tracks. I had told Roy that I expected that the pigs were going to be up in a small pocket draw in between the two of us. I parked my wheeler and headed up the hill to the top hoping that Roy was doing the same from the other side. As I topped out I spotted two groups of deer, one of the groups headed to the southwest and up a hill. Just as they disappeared I looked up that hill to see the two adult javelina and two juveniles cross over a saddle right on top, the deer had spooked them out. They were around 400 yards away so I tried to get Roy on the radio but he didn’t answer so I just watched them disappear over the hill and out of sight. Later when I found Roy I learned that he had decided not to go up into that pocket draw and that decision had possibly cost him a shot at one that day.
The rest of the week we played hide and go seek with the pigs with never getting a shot at them. This was getting frustrating. We were going to hunt only half a day on Friday and then drive home on Saturday but decided to hunt a whole day on Friday and a half on Saturday and then drive home Sunday. This was a good decision.
Friday morning we headed out with Roy taking one wash and I the other. I wanted to hike out a good looking area that had a lot of small pockets in that I knew had to hold pigs. At least they used to. While I was up an area Roy had gone up to the end of a wash and Bob brought up the rear in his jeep stopping and glassing. Bob spotted the pigs first, just feeding along a hillside to the north of both me and Roy. He got Roy on the radio and Roy headed back towards him. Once there it took him a while to find the pigs on the hill but when he did he started hiking up to them. He got on top of the hill and had one at 70 yards. He readied his pistol for the shot and pulled the trigger…………click………a misfire. He quickly chambered a second round and this time it went off. He missed. He reloaded again and……….click……another misfire and by this time the pigs were off. He then had one at 150 yards and took a shot. The gun went off and the thought that he had hit the pig but couldn’t find any blood. He then went down to where Bob was located at and checked out his pistol. A Thompson Center G2. He then shot a couple of targets hitting close enough that he should of hit the pig. He then went back up onto the hill looking for blood. I was in the meantime headed back to my wheeler and did hear his two shots at the targets but figured that they were further away and in the wrong direction that what I figured that he was in. I then drove down the wash that I was in and met up with Bob who told me what had happened and while I was talking with Bob Roy was heading down the ridge towards us. I then noticed that he was aiming at something and tried to see what was there. He then told us that there were two pigs right in front of him. I then got into a spot to watch but never did see anything and they apparently gave us the slip. It was now lunch time and time for some more chimi-chungas.
After lunch I decided to go back to a nice long draw and hike it out and Roy was going to hike up the ridge towards where I was going to be. So off we went. I had almost reached the top of the draw that I was in when I saw the pigs moving about 200 yards away. There were 12 of them headed over the saddle into the other wash. I called Roy and told him what was going on and then I saw more pigs headed for the top. As I was going as fast as I could to get within range I watched around 20 more in groups of 2, 3’s, and 5’s head over the top. All I could think is where is Roy? I then looked across the draw and saw what looked like a pig in a bush. I looked with my binoculars and it was indeed one and I figured that I didn’t have too much time to get him. I didn’t have the time to range him but figured that he was around 100 yards off so down onto the ground I went and pulled my Thompson Center Contender chambered in 7-30 Waters out of the holster. I braced it over my knee and found the pig with the crosshairs. I pull the trigger and shot…….I missed. The pig took a couple of steps out of the bush and into the open. I quickly reloaded and cranked up the power to around 5 or 6x on the scope. My eye relief was now shorter and I had to adjust my position to get the full view in the scope then I also had a better view of the pig. I placed the crosshairs right behind the collar and just above the center line of the pig and pulled the trigger. Down he went. He didn’t move, I had my javelina.
I now saw Roy and told him where the rest of them went over and off he went onto his own adventure. It took me a while to find my pig and get to work on him. Then I had to get him down the mile to my wheeler. If I would have been smart I would have taken him up over the hill and into the other wash and then drove around to him. But sometimes I just don’t think of the easier way to do things.
In the end Roy caught up with the pigs and got 4 or 5 shots without hitting any of them. He also had a few more miss fires on close shots. Perhaps now he will listen to me and replace the hammer spring. I’ll find out next year in Arizona when we are back looking for the “Ghost of the desert” down in Arizona.
My load for hunting these animals is a fire formed Remington 30-30 case with 36 grains of W748 over a CCI 200 primer and a 120grain Nosler Balistic Tip bullet. This gives me a velocity of 2200fps out of a 12” TC ported hunters barrel. I have found this load deadly on a lot of animals up to deer out to 200 yards.