The first time I went Javelina hunting I had no idea what I was doing. I had never hunted anything quite like it. I didn’t know what to bring with me or where to go hunting. Luckily, a friend of mine, who is a seasoned javelina hunter, walked me through the whole process. Now I’m going to walk you through the process of Javelina hunting so you don’t make my same mistakes and have another person do your dirty work!
Where do javelina live?
Javelina mostly inhabit the southwest of the United States. The southeast most currently has very few, if any javelina. However, as I am living in this region right now, I have to give you an idea of where exactly they can be found. Most of them are located in Texas and New Mexico as well as Arizona and Mexico. They are also beginning to spread into some of the southern plains states.
How big are javelina?
The average size of a javelina is around 50 pounds. However, there are some very large specimens out there who are in excess of 100 pounds. The largest catch on record was in Texas where a 175 pound male was caught!
What do they eat?
Javelina mainly consume small vegetation. They also eat insects, roots and fruit. However, they will also eat meat if given the chance. They are mostly likely to only eat meat if they feel they are hungry enough.
What is their temperament?
Despite being called a peccary which sounds like an aggressive animal, javelina are not aggressive. If you are not in their territory or if they do not feel threatened, they will most likely run away from you. However, if you are in their territory or make them feel threatened you should expect to run into more aggressive javelina. Also remember that javelina are known to carry diseases with them such as rabies and leptospirosis.
How do you hunt them?
Stalking is a technique that hunters use to find wildlife. It’s also used by people to find their prey, such as javelina. They go through the woods slowly and quietly and keep an eye out for any signs of movement from their prey. At night, javelina do not tend to leave their burrows as often. Therefore, you will have a much better chance to catch them at this time of day!
What is the best way to hunt them?
The best method for most people is the use of a ground blind. A ground blind is a simple set up where you lie on the ground and look above you through a hole in the ground. This is the easiest and fastest way of hunting javelina. If you are a beginner, I would recommend to use one of these because it will give you an opportunity to see javelina coming before they spot you! Another method is the use of stands.
Javelina Hunting Tips
The best kind of javelina hunting gear is camouflage. Javelina are usually shy and will not come out of the burrows they have dug in unless they feel threatened. They usually blend in well with all the shade and darkness deep inside their burrows. If you are going to be hunting with a stand, I would recommend bringing a very good pair of binoculars way more advanced than your typical 7x50s. This will allow you to see much farther and with a lot better detail.
What gun to use?
A good hunting rifle is the most important thing you will need for hunting javelina. You will need a gun that shoots accurately and is powerful enough to bring one of these large animals down. I would recommend a .308 caliber bolt action rifle or a hybrid rifle with both an intermediate range and a long range capacity.
What Ammunition to use?
I would recommend using ammunition that is all purpose in the event you may run into javelina that are not very far away from you. This means your reloads and hunting ammo will be used for all purposes. However, I would only recommend expanding range ammunition if you are hunting javelina for the first time, because it is hard to know what kind of caliber you may run into when doing a “back country hunt”.
What do you wear?
I would recommend to wear anything that is all purpose. You don’t want to have to change too many layers if you are going to be in a very hot area, and then suddenly dive into a very cold area. However, it is most important that you wear your camouflage, because you will always want to keep your profile as low as possible!
What do I pack in my backpack?
You should pack the basics in your backpack before heading out on your hunt. For example, you should pack a spare pair of glasses, a map of the area you are hunting and some medical food or emergency equipment.
Overall, javelina hunting is a very tricky and interesting activity. It takes a lot of practice and patience but it is well worth the effort. If you would like to learn more about javelina hunting you should read our Javelina Hunting Guide. We have written a lot of useful information about how to hunt them successfully, where to find these animals and other valuable advice.