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10 Things Nobody Told You About Javelina Hunting

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Hunting javelina is often mysterious to the uninformed.

Javelina, also know as peccary or collared peccary, are frequently underrated as a huntable species and misunderstood by outdoorsmen. The javelina deserves serious consideration as a trophy to add to your collection and javelina hunting is worth planning an adventure to pursue.

1. They are not boar hogs.

Sometimes referred to as hogs or boars, the javelina is loosely and wrongly classified by some hunters as “razorbacks” or wild hogs. Javelina have a strong resemblance to pigs although there are anatomic differences.

Pigs walk on their middle digits as do javelina, however javelina frequently do not have any other digits like pigs. The javelina also has a non-ruminating stomach with three chambers that is more complex than a pigs.

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2. You can eat them.

For some reason javelina are often thought to be inedible. When prepared properly they are quite tasty and have a sweet pork flavor. In Mexico it is common to put hot coals in a ground pit and lay a field-dressed javelina on the coals. The carcass is covered and buried overnight. In the morning the meat is recovered and it will be very tender and fall off the bone. The easiest recipes call for putting the javelina in a slow cooker overnight and adding cream of mushroom soup and salt and pepper.

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3. Poor eyesight

Javelinas have poor long distance eyesight. Beyond 50 yards they have difficulty making out details although they will pick out movement. This makes javelina hunting great for using stalking techniques with a bow or handgun.

4. They can be baited

Javelina will readily come to corn kernels spread by artificial means. They also eat cactus flowers, agricultural crops and ornamental vegetation.

Joe Riekers
Joe Riekers

5. They succumb readily to small calibers.

A mature javelina will weigh between 40 and 80 pounds depending on their geographic area. They do not have particularly thick skin or hard bones. Small caliber rifles such as a 204 Ruger or .223 with the right bullets work efficiently on javelina. With close range and excellent shot placement, even a .22 Magnum can be enough. This makes javelina good game for youngsters to learn hunting skills.

6. They have no tails.

Javelina do not have tails. None.

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7. They get fleas.

Javelina attract fleas more so than most other game animals, even feral hogs. Their habits, environment, and hygiene, along with their body chemistry, make javelina flea magnets.

Serious javelina hunters carry a rubber or plastic wash tub, five gallons of water and dog shampoo with them. When the javelina is killed, you should roll it in a wash-tub full of water and flea shampoo before putting it in your vehicle or transporting it anywhere.

8. Seasons and regulations

Javelina are considered game animals and not varmints in most areas. Therefore, they are regulated by seasons and other policies. For example, Texas allows year-round hunting in some parts of the state and imposes a four-month season in other parts. Arizona requires special javelina tags and the season varies by area but tends to only last one week to 10 days. Check local and state regulations.

9. They are omnivores.

While javelina love fruit and vegetables, they also will readily eat snakes, small animals, grubs and even pet food left out by humans.

10. You can call them.

Javelina are social animals that live in small herds. They are also curious animals. They rub their teeth together to make a chattering noise to warn predators not to get too close.

Making a close resemblance to this sound with pieces of bone, PVC or acrylic will sometimes get javelina to rally together to ward off a perceived threat. Commercial calls are available that imitate a wounded or distressed baby javelina and will provoke the herd’s maternal and defensive instincts to aid one of their own.

Get one from Cabela’s.

12-22 call

Javelina are a worthy trophy that you should add to your bucket list.

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10 Things Nobody Told You About Javelina Hunting