The year was 1997 and there were 6 of us out on a expedition hunting javelinas in Arizona. This was our fourth trip and so far we had managed to only find and shoot two of them in the previous years. This year it got interesting.
The first day found us in unknown territory headed up a dry wash in our hunting area. There were six of us hunting and one in a dune buggy. In the early morning damp sand we crossed over a set of tracks made by about eight or ten pigs. They were fairly fresh but we decided to drive a little bit further to see if they crossed the wash again. Just as we rounded a bend I looked up and saw them or another herd heading across a saddle and into the next canyon, and not knowing the terrain like I should we decided to head after them but only three of us decided to go. Myself, Roy, and Mike or aka Selly we figured that we could run them down since we had no idea of what we were doing. When we got to the top of the first hill we saw the herd headed up another hill across the wash from us and with us being very energetic we headed after them. When we got to the top of the next hill we noticed that while we were gaining on them they were still on the move and so off we went. By the time we reached the top of the third hill we were getting a little tired so we all decided to slow down a little and move over the hill just incase the pigs were getting tired also, they weren’t. However they were only about 150 yard off now and moving slowly or stopped so we decided to try and take them. I was shooting a Thompson Center Contender in 7-30 Waters where as Selly and Roy were both armed with .54 caliber muzzle loaders. We each picked out a pig and on the count of three let the shots fly, then the pigs decided to hit high gear and get out of there. None of them looked hurt but I decided to head on over and check things out just in case. Once I got to where they had been and searched around and not finding any blood I headed up the hill they had headed over. Once there I decided not to pursue them any further since I had no idea of where they had gone. Not to mention not really knowing just where we were at the time. So began the long hike back to where we had left our 4 wheelers so long ago.
The same story went on for the next few days and as the days came and went four of the hunters needed to get back home so that left just me, Roy, and Bob our good friend in the dune buggy. Once everyone left we started to get into the pigs quite regularly but without getting any shots. It seamed like every time that we saw them they saw us just a second before and were headed out of the country. This went on until the last day of the hunt.
Thursday dawned bright and early, it was the last day of the season and Roy and I still hadn’t filled our tags and were wondering just what we had to do. Bob on the other hand was just enjoying watching us chase pigs all over the hills and telling us where to go since he knew the area quite well. The morning pass with us not seeing a thing either glassing or looking for tracks. We had lunch and then Bob decided that we needed to head out into the Bad Lands and see if we could scare up a heard or two that he knew of, so off we went. Bob would tell Roy to take a road and make a few turns and then to wait for me. He would tell me to head another direction make a few turns and find Roy. We figured that he was just trying to get up lost (witch he did quite well) but we always ended up in the right place with him showing up later. This went on until about three in the afternoon with no luck so we headed back towards camp. I headed up a wash and was about a half mile in front of the other two and came to a locked gate. Bob had a key for it so I decided to wait. They never showed up. I headed back down the wash and found the buggy and a 4 wheeler sitting on the side of it with an arrow drawn in the sand pointing up the hill. So off I went. Evidently I had just missed the pigs since they had crossed the wash just after I went past that spot. A little ways up the hill I spotted Bob glassing the bottom and other side hill. Once I joined him I started to do the same when we spotted the Javelina in the bottom of the draw and they were bedding down. Since we had no idea of where Roy was I decided to try and get closer for a shot. I headed down into the draw and slowly made my way to where the pigs were last seen. I could look up at Bob and he would signal me on where to go. Then I saw them. There were not bedding down like we thought but were slowly feeding towards me. I was behind a bush and spotted the one that I wanted to take. As he slowly fed towards me I tried to get into a position for the shot. He headed over into some brush and then into a clearing about twenty yards away from me. One shot was all it took and he was on the ground for good. I looked at my watch and it was 4:30 and daylight was going fast. I had no idea where Roy was or if he had even heard my shot.
Bob headed out to find Roy and try to get him into the herd that had took off while I cleaned mine and packed it out to the wheelers. Once there I found some shade sat down and waited. I never heard him shoot but he got one at a little bit after 5 and was headed down the draw towards me. I headed up to give him a hand and to see just what he had.
Talk about fun in the sun. We had been there seven days and saw Javelina every day. They were usually running away from us but we saw them and then to manage two of them in the last couple of hours of the hunt with two good friends and a great time. You can’t get any better than that.