Articles Documents Equipment Events Links Membership Miscellaneous Scrapbook Targets What's New

Fake News is Deadly April 2022
Gerhard Schroeder  

Nature is not always predictable. When our javelina hunt drew near, the water releases out of Horseshoe dam made a Verde River crossing into too much of an adventure. On the other ‘side’, the lake level was high enough that our camp site from the year before, in fact all sites were several feet under water. Meaning that crossing by boat would involve more effort; either transport it each morning and evening, or leave it unattended overnight.

So we opted to try the area southwest of Rye on opening day. Last year I had seen no pigs there, but sign where they had rooted. Not so this time. By the end of Friday neither of us had seen any sign of javelina, no tracks, no torn cacti, no rooted ground, no droppings of any age. We left for home. However, with the plan that on Saturday Ron would ready his boat, so that Sunday we would visit the eastern shore of Horseshoe Lake for the day.

Indeed, by first light the 2-Horse was purring, though with an all-to-frequent sputter. Ron thought he would fix that by attending to the spark plug wire. Before sunup we were hunting! What a difference! Immediately there were tracks, chewed cacti, droppings. All we needed was tracks with a pig still in them. For Ron that happened around 9AM. He had slowly moved along, and suddenly a pig showed at decent handgun range. His S&W 357Mag roared, and the sow was down, but needed a second hit. Of course the herd fled, many in panic mode.

Our agreement was to make first radio contact at 10AM. After telling me what had happened, I met up with him a few minutes later. His pig was hanging in a small Paloverde tree, by one of its front legs. I made note of that. Once he showed me where most of the herd had fled to, I walked in a large loop to get the wind in my favor, then advanced back towards where Ron had first encountered them. Very slowly of course. That is much easier to do when the probability of pigs actually being in the area is rather high. By then the sun demanded that I should shed one of my shirts. Temps hovered around 20F when we had first climbed into Ron’s old aluminum V-bottom. In the middle of dressing down I heard what sounded like a pig growling, maybe seventy steps straight ahead, up a slight hill, very lush with all types of vegetation. No javelina was visible in the few open spots. Now with utmost care I put my jacket, binos and backpack back on. Then with gun in my left and tied-up tripod serving as walking stick in my right hand I very slowly advanced towards the sound.

With every careful quiet step I of course hoped to see a pig. Not so. Maybe 15 minutes later I was almost at the top of the small rise, past where I thought the growling had come from. Vegetation thinned such that visibility increased. Still no pig. What to do? The answer came quickly – spread fake news! So I leaned the tripod against a bush, fished a varmint call from my jacket, switched the Contender to my right hand, cocked the hammer. Holding the mouth call in my left, I squealed in loud short bursts for about ten seconds. When I then also checked over my left should there indeed had appeared a pig, quite close, standing still. Was it waiting for more sound to locate the source of distress? Without repositioning my feet I aimed almost as with a rifle, game call still in hand, now wedged against the TC forend. That left my arms way short of extended enough to get a full field of view through the 2X Leupold pistol scope. No matter, when the crosshairs were on the pig I squeezed immediately. Not a second too soon, since that javelina had begun to turn.

As found

The gun and suppressor combo hissed, the pig reared all the way up and fell over backwards. Then thrashed around a bit, as I reloaded my 30 Herrett. Shot distance had been fifteen steps at best. I found the sow dead, part way under a bush.

My joy was great indeed, and I thanked God for that javelina. It was 11 AM. First came a transmission to Ron that I also had a beast down. We made the plan to meet at the boat when all was done. There was plenty of time to reposition the porker in the sun for a few more pictures, then take care of the animal.

110gr Vmax had hit the opposite shoulder, but not gone through.

For that I looked around for a suitable tree to hang her in. There was one just a few steps away. After cutting off some branches to gain needed elbow room it turned out to be perfect. First tagging, then the red work. That lightened the load noticeably. Hanging her by a front leg was not only fairly easy. With the animal hanging, I could actually sit on this lightweight three-legged stool I’ve been carrying in my pack on many hunts, and do most of the skinning, and later deboning. Needless to say, the meat remained a lot cleaner as compared to doing the same job on the ground last year.

By noon she was undressed. Time to enjoy my sandwich and granola bar.

The wind has increased all morning. A fresh one it was, just what is needed to cool the meat. Within an hour I had deboned the neck, back and ribs, and cut off the legs, with the one she hung by last. The hit shoulder was all but lost due to bullet destruction. All meat, by then nicely cooled down already, easily fit into my pack along with the other stuff. I had done that last year for the first time, and again the transport was way easier than carrying the whole gutted pig suitcase-style. Trip back to the boat took half an hour. Ron was waiting there with his pig.

One more small adventure lay ahead – crossing back to his truck, now where the wind had whipped up whitecaps. His boat surely swayed with the waves. But this time his outboard ran noticeably better, brought us back to Ron’s pickup.

I guess there again is no reason to choose a different hunt unit as our first choice next year.

© Honeywell Sportsman Club. All rights reserved.

The Honeywell Sportsman Club is a small group of shooting and outdoor enthusiasts in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Our website is ad-free and completely free to use for everyone. But we do have expenses that we need to cover, such as the web hosting fee and our liability insurance. If you enjoyed visiting our website, found it useful in some way, or if you enjoyed reading this story, please consider tipping us through our PayPal donation jar below. Thanks for visiting, and come back soon.

Back to Articles
  Articles     Docs     Eqpt   Events     Join
   Links     Misc     New     Pix   Targets