Saturday, 8 April 2017

TEXAS HIGH TIME, PART TWO

TEXAS, HIGH TIME

PART TWO

 

Clay was already up when I got up; he had taken another turkey hunter out and had come back to camp to collect me.  That first morning we drove the desert roads, looking for signs of hogs and javalina.  In the areas where we could see some activity Clay would spin feed, that is to say he had a hopper of corn fixed to the front bumper of his pickup, when he spotted the tracks of pigs or javalina he would flick a switch on the dashboard and the hopper would dispense some corn.  We continued to do this covering a distance of around 15 miles, then we doubled back to see if our corn had coaxed any pigs or javalina out of the almost impenetrable bush.  The animals that were taking full advantage of this free breakfast were the white tailed deer; they were mopping up the corn almost as fast as Clay was dispensing it.
 

 

We had covered most of the 15 miles back to camp when on rounding a corner we spotted a dark shape on one of the dirt roads, Clay stopped the pickup and grabbed his binoculars, I steadied mine and realised I was looking at my first javalina.  It was a boar and a big one, Clay signalled me to get out of the truck, and we began our stalk.  Now javalina are not the most difficult animal to stalk, as their eye sight is poor and their hearing does not seem to be very acute, we simply walked slowly in plain view up to a distance of about 110 yards, where I took an off hand neck shot, hitting the boar behind the ear and dropping him in his tracks.  Clay went back for the truck and I walked on to check the javalina, my shot had killed him almost instantly.  While looking at the boar I noticed a strong pungent smell, and on examination I found a large sent gland in the middle of the boars back.  When Clay got back with the truck and cameras, he took the obligatory trophy shots; we loaded up the boar and headed back to camp for breakfast.
 
 

 
While I started on a plate of bacon, eggs and biscuits, Clay went to pick up my fellow hunter; he had driven down from his home in Pennsylvania, and had hunted pigs and javalina earlier in the week with Clay.  This was the last morning of his hunt, he had been out trying to call a tom turkey with in shotgun range, and he had been successful.  On his return to camp we exchanged stories and relived the events of the morning, I still had my turkey hunting to look forward to, and seeing his bird really whetted my appetite.  I had been practising my turkey calling for the last six months, determined that I would be good enough to call my own bird into range.  I had bought instructional DVD’s, CD’s and books on how to call, and had purchased several types of calls from Cabelas.  I had, at least in my own mind, mastered the mouth call the pot and peg and the box call.  All of these require different techniques to replicate various turkey sounds, like clucking, cutting and purring.


 
 
When the heat of the day was in decline around 3 PM, Clay and I set off again in pursuit of javalina.  We followed the same basic formula as in the morning, driving the dirt roads that covered the ranch, feeding here and there.  We came across a large indigo snake crossing one of the roads, and Clay jumped out of the truck and posed for a picture with the snake before letting it go its own way.  Later in the afternoon we came upon a group of javalina feeding in a dirt road, we stalked as close as we could and watched and waited for a chance at a big boar.  There were females and young in the group and a couple of smaller boars, they constantly argued amongst them selves, and bared their large teeth in threat displays.  After may be five minutes of watching a bigger boar gave me a chance of a shot, again I aimed for the neck, and the boar dropped in his tracks.  Two is the limit for javalina in Texas, so that was the end of my javalina hunting, two great trophies and some great memories to relive with my friends back at home in the UK.
 
 

 
We still had some daylight left, so Clay suggested I sit up a high seat for the last couple of hours, to see if I could get a shot at a hog or a coyote.  We drove to one of the many high seats that had been erected on the ground, the one he chose looked over a shallow draw, I sat quietly for the first hour or so, and watched numerous white tail deer going about their business, the last hour I started predator calling intermittently, I saw one coyote off to my left, but it was only a fleeting glimpse, I never had the chance of another shot that evening.

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