Tag Archives: hunting

Back from the hunt

Gary looking out across the deseart during the javelina hunt

I got back from my javelina hunt earlier today, and am only now getting down to some business.

Sadly, we didn’t bag anything. In fact, based on the lack of gunfire for miles around, I suspect not many others did as well. It seemed the area we were hunting might have become a bit popular in the last two years, and the javelinas have moved on, or gotten smarter about hiding. No matter. I don’t give up easy. We shall try again next year, probably in a different more remote location.

Even so, the weekend was quite pleasant. Got to spend my time wandering about in some beautiful country. The image on the right shows my hunting partner (and mentor) Gary looking across one wash.

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Off hunting javelinas again

A javelina

Posting on Friday and over this weekend will be nil, as I am leaving tonight, Thursday, and will be in the back country with no phone or internet service on my second javelina hunt. If we bag something early we will be back early, but that can hardly be guaranteed.

For a description of my javelina hunt last February, go here.

Note that there will be an evening pause on Friday night, regardless.

Update: Due to technical issues, I am instead heading out tomorrow afternoon, so posting will resume for the morning hours.

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Hunting Javelinas

A javelina

This past weekend I participated on my third hunt, the second in which I was carrying my own weapon with the possibility of making my own kill. (For my first hunting experience I only came along as an observer.) The goal was to find and shoot a javelina, a boarlike wild animal whose range covers the southwestern United States down into Central America.

The hunt itself was what Arizona Game and Fish calls a HAM hunt, specifically limited to the use of handguns, archery, or muzzleloaders. This means that the only long gun you can use must be loaded through the muzzle one shot at a time, use black powder, and function somewhat like an old-fashioned musket. My weapon of choice was the 1911 pistol I use for bullseye competition, with a red dot scope, a customized left-handed grip, a carefully adjusted trigger, and in general carefully adjusted to be as accurate as possible. With this gun, shooting 45 caliber ammo, I can hit the black bullseye 50 yards away shooting one-armed about 70% of the time. At shorter distances, using two hands, I can easily group my shots in a space less than a few inches across. (Such accuracy on my part is actually not very impressive. Among bullseye shooters I am about average. The public’s general belief that pistols are not accurate beyond 20 feet is simply wrong. Practice, make sure your gun functions as it should, and you will reliably be able to hit your target at 50 yards.)

Since I really have no knowledge about hunting, I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing this without some help. My mentor this weekend was a local friend, Gary Kessinger, who has been hunting for decades, has a number of record kills, and routinely comes home successfully from his hunts. When I mentioned to Gary my desire to learn more about hunting and see how it is done, he gladly offered to guide me through the process. He hadn’t hunted javelinas much in the past few years, but decided to get his own license or tag so that he could shoot one himself.

As I told Gary on Saturday morning, I am essentially a babe in the woods, and would do whatever he suggested. My attitude was that I was the equivalent of a 10-year-old on his first hunt. Anything I accomplished well would be a success, even if it was merely learning how to spot javelinas on a distant hillside using binoculars.
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“I hope that someone someday shoot your whole familly”

Leftwing civility: “I hope that someone someday shoot your whole familly” More such comments at the link.

The irony here is that these comments come from people who oppose hunting and the shooting of animals. Yet, these same people find nothing wrong with the idea of shooting a human being with whom they disagree.

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