By John Kilgore
Phoenix Outdoors Columnist
Avid bowhunter Dwayne Daugherty of Muskogee shared a neat story about a recent hunting adventure that took place in Pecos County which is located in South Texas.
Daugherty, along with several family members and friends from the Muskogee and Stillwater area joined together to bowhunt javelinas. These critters are a pig of sorts which the Texas Parks and Wildlife website tells us are members of the peccary family.
The group of hunters began going to Texas four years ago to fill the void between hunting seasons and really look forward to it each year.
After trying a few different guides, the group found one out of Fort Stockton, Burton Hunting Services, owned and operated by Ken Burton. The outfitter specializes in trophy mule deer and runs corn feeders for them on a year-round basis and the javelinas are a byproduct of the corn feeding.
Daugherty said they would set up on a hill watching until the javelina came out to feed, then stalk down on them, keeping the wind in your face.
It sounds easy “but these little fifty to sixty pound critters have excellent noses and, to top it all off, we hunted with recurves and longbows shooting instinctive” (without sights.) “That, I believe, gives them a fighting chance and it’s much more gratifying.”
Daugherty said he and his brothers began hunting with traditional style bows seven years ago when they drew a deer hunt at the ammunition depot near McAlester which he said didn’t allow compounds.
“Javelinas are considered a trophy animal in Texas, so the state only allows you to harvest two a year. On this trip, we all shot two except one of our good friends, Keith Macedo. He was able to get a couple of shots but wasn’t able to connect.”
Daugherty said his younger brother, Darrell, is the best shot of all of them because he puts in the most practice time.
“Javelina hunting is a great way to keep up your hunting skills during the off-season and a lot of fun to be with family and friends to boot,” explains Daugherty.
There are actually three species of peccaries that range from the southwestern United States south to central South America. In Texas, javelinas are found in the more arid or semi-arid parts of the state, with most occurring in the South Texas brush country, the Trans-Pecos’ desert grasslands, and the Edwards Plateau’s oak-juniper woodlands.
Javelinas travel in small herds or “family groups” and seem to have a somewhat limited home range. In the winter, they are generally active in the early morning and late afternoon.
Javelinas are largely nocturnal during the hottest times of the year. They feed primarily on cacti (particularly prickly pear), mesquite beans, desert shrubs such as lechuguilla, sotol, mast (nuts and acorns), as well as, fruits and insects.
The hunt package included lodging in a ranch house for five days. They brought their own food to cook. However, Daughtery shared that they believe in eating what they harvest and said that javelinas “aren’t too bad.”
John Kilgore’s outdoor column runs Fridays in the Phoenix. You may contact him with news or other information at (918) 348-9431 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.