Last year I had a javelina tag and it went unfilled. Although I didn’t kill that year, I learned a lot about hunting in general. This year was going to be different. I got drawn for Javelina again and was determined to get a kill with my bow.
I drove out to camp on Friday, January 8th and got there late in the evening. I went to bed and woke up the next day ready to hunt. Saturday morning I woke up and headed out around 8:45am to a place near Kirkland, AZ where we’ve gotten into the javelina pretty well over the years. This spot has some foothills that you can hike through, get on top of and glass into the flats which is basically what I did. That day I didn’t spot anything so I packed it all up, headed back to camp and that was it.
Day two was a different story. I decided to head to a place that we call Titty Hill (you can imagine why). I woke up nice and early, got some coffee and soon after daylight I was on the road. When you get to Titty Hill you have to drive about a mile through a sandy wash until you get to a barbed wire gate. I really wasn’t trying to drive my truck through the sand because I was by myself and didn’t want to get stuck (my four wheel drive is having issues). That being said, I parked just off the road and hiked the mile to the gate. Beyond that it’s about a half a mile from the gate to the top of the hill.
I finally get to the gate and at this point I’m a little sick of walking but it’s all good because the hill is in sight. Right now I’m really not trying to be quiet because I’m on a mission to get to the top of the hill (typical Marine). Sure as shit, I walk about 30 yards past the gate and I hear fucking thunder to my left. I spooked a herd of javelina.
HOLY SHIT!!! So at this point my plans have changed and I will no longer be conquering that hill. I nock an arrow and start walking like I’m trying to sneak up on something rather than stomping through like I was moments earlier. I let things quiet down for a moment, check the wind and start making my way out of the wash. To my right I see a monster javelina and to the left is the rest of them. The big dude on the right is circling around to meet up with his homies on my left. At this point I think they could sense that something was there so they did a little more running but didn’t go far. I walked around for probably ten minutes before they were calm and I could get into a shooting position. I’m walking up trying to get close and I spot two javelina at right about 30 yards in front of me but both are almost all the way behind bushes. Since they couldn’t see me, I drew the bow back. I held it for what seemed like an eternity but was only probably 30 seconds until the javelina on the right started walking out from behind the bush. Once his body was all the way out from that bush, I put that 30 yard pin on him, put a little pressure on the trigger of my release and POOF…..that was it… It seemed like the arrow was airborne for a long time and I watched travel in slow motion from the moment it left the string until it made impact. I heard a loud SMACK and then there was chaos. Pigs took off running and I was fucking excited. As much as I wanted to run up and chase down the javelina I knew that I needed to be smart about it so I stayed quiet, grabbed another arrow in case I had to stick him again, and walked up to where he was when I shot him.
The first thing I saw was my arrow sticking in the ground. It was covered with blood and there was spatter all over the weeds next to it. This was a good sign and fucking exciting for me because I knew that I just had one of my Swhackers pass through a javelina. At this point I picked up the arrow and looked to my left where they ran to. This javelina made it about 15 feet before he bled out and died. I walked up and poked him to make sure he was dead and that was all she wrote. I had finally killed with my bow and filled a javelina tag!
Now I had to figure out how to get this thing back to my truck which was just over a mile away parked by the road since I was a little pussy and didn’t want to drive through sand. I started dragging the javelina and put a good dent in my walk before I said fuck it, set the pig down and hauled ass to the truck. I figured that if I get the truck stuck, I have plenty of friends in the area that can pull me out. Plus, the sand was wet and somewhat frozen still so I should be fine, and I was. I get the pig all loaded up and head to a buddy’s house to get him all taken care of.
Now I’m done with everything, the meat is all bagged up and all I have left is the head. A couple of days later I finally got around to skinning the head. I didn’t want to do anything crazy, just keep the skull so that’s all I did.
Javelina Skull Mount
This was my first time dealing with an animal skull. I asked my buddies how it all works, they told me what to do and it’s actually pretty easy. If you’ve never done it before, all you do is get as much meat off of the head as you can with your knife, stick it in a pot and boil it for an hour or so. What I did was stick two rubber bands around his jaw in case teeth started coming loose it would hold everything together. So I boiled it for an hour, took it out and scraped off as much meat as I could get then boiled it again.
Make sure you boil it outside. The smell is fucking awful and anybody you have in the house is going to truly love you for it. They might even stick you in the pot with your skull!
I think the hardest part was digging out the brain. It’s pretty disgusting and the fucker is larger than the hole you have to pull it out of. I was able to get most of it out with water pressure from my hose then scooped the rest out with my knife which fit nicely in the hole in the back of the head. Anyways I got it all cleaned and let it sit outside for a couple of days to bleach/dry in the sun. I think it looks pretty good now. You can go to those damn hair salon stores and buy hair bleach to really make the skull white. Other people do the hydrographics and get them dipped. I think I’m just going to keep this one natural looking because it’s pretty badass. I have a bunch of pallet wood that I’ll probably make some sort of mount with. I’ll put it on my instagram when I finish it so make sure you’re following me there.
I cooked my javelina two different ways. One was amazing and one was disgusting. If you don’t already know, these animals smell like fucking skunk shit. Be careful when you’re skinning them because they have a scent gland on their back and if you cut into that it’s game over. Try not to handle the meat after you’ve been touching all over the hide. Either wash your hands or grab a new pair of gloves. It’s not a magic trick that will make the meat taste amazing but it does help a little.
So, let’s start with the shitty recipe. Basically I wrapped a tenderloin in bacon and cooked it in my skillet. It was god awful! I will never eat it that way again.
On to the good. This is a link to the recipe I used. It’s fucking amazing and I can’t tell that I’m eating javelina. Sweet Baby Ray’s takes the stink out of it. On also know that I soaked the pig in beer overnight to try to take some of the stink out of the taste but it didn’t really work. With this recipe though, I cooked it on low until I could shred the meat. Once I shredded it I put the shreds back in the crockpot and cooked it for another couple of hours. It’s pretty damn amazing and I challenge anybody that doesn’t like javelina to try this. You might actually like it. There’s is absolutely no shitty aftertaste. Like I said, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s, I think that’s the secret!
Anyways, that’s it for this year’s javelina hunting experience. Overall it was a badass trip and I already can’t wait for next year. If you hunted javelina this year let me know. I’d love to see your photos. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, if you have another recipe for this stink pig that you like and want to share, I’m all ears. I still have a bunch that I need to cook.