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Women's Javelina HAM Hunt 2013 - recaps

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Hi all, I’m Rian. This is my first post to the forum.
I’m from Flagstaff. This was my first hunt EVER- I found out about it when I attended BOW in January. I had a great time, though I didn't “tip over” anything. Sharing my experience here...

Super short version: I had fun, I learned a lot, I didn't get a pig, and I’d like to go again next year!


Having trouble adding pictures, so here's a link to my photos on Flickr:


Long version:
I arrived around 7 pm Thursday. I brought a tent, but Amanda offered me one of the ‘guest’ tents TJ had set up, which was WAY nicer than my tent (and had a cot and a small space heater!). Thank you TJ! (also thanks to Peggy for a camo shirt, and Doug for his very cozy camo jacket)

Dropped my stuff and joined the group for dinner. Was introduced to my mentor, Bill Deshaw. That first night I slept poorly, and around 4 am, the coyotes woke me up. They ‘sang’ long enough that I sat up and recorded some on my iPhone!

In the morning, met up with Bill and two other ladies, and we headed out into 36B. Bill led us around to numerous water tanks/holes to look for signs of javelinas, and taught us what to look for, how to tell how fresh the tracks are, and how large the javs might be based on distance of tracks from the water’s edge. When we weren’t near watering spots, we were on high lookouts with our binoculars, “glassing” for javs (I learned lots of new terms on this trip). The first day, we saw several coues deer, cows (up close and personal), and a coyote. We didn’t spot any javelina all day, but one of our last stops seemed promising, and Bill found more recent tracks at a nearby water tank. We headed back to camp, with a plan to return to that final spot the next morning.

Up and at ‘em. The night before, two more guys drove down to camp to help out for a bit. Stan and Dave came with us for the morning- They had to drive a couple hours each way- and had to leave at noon, so it was REALLY generous of them to come! So we all drove out to our lookout spot, a hill with a 360* view, and started glassing. About 30-40 minutes in, I spied a coyote. As I called out what I saw, another coyote popped into view, and a big jackrabbit leaped out of a bush and dashed away. The coyotes didn't pursue. I swear they were standing there looking at me. They were so big that I asked “are there wolves here?” Bonnie laughed, but then looked through my glass and admitted she could see why I’d say that- they were big! The coyotes were about 440 yards away (per Bill’s range scope). There was some excitement at the prospect of trying to harvest one. While Bonnie was looking for ammo for one of her guns with a long enough range, Dave was looking around more and saw a group of campers/picnickers not terribly far beyond the coyotes. We knew immediately we wouldn't take a shot with people that close.

Given the presence of people on that side, I relocated myself to look at the opposite side of our lookout point. There was some BS’ing going on after the excitement...so it was that shortly after, Bill and I were the only ones actively glassing when BAM, there they were- 4 javelina on a hillside. “I SEE ‘EM!” I yelled before my brain even really registered. Looking more, we saw at least 10 on that hill.

Bill had said that hunting is “Hours of boredom for a few minutes of pure adrenaline” and he was right! As soon as I saw them, everyone’s energy changed. We started planning our approach, and gearing up. Dave came with us. Stan stayed on the hilltop with a walkie-talkie to watch (Bill had its mate) We stalked over, wind in our faces. They’d decided that a longer-range muzzle loader would give me a better chance at a hit, so Bonnie gave me her muzzleloader and a stand to rest the end on. I got set up about 100 yards away (I had to move a bit, because Dave was taller than I- I couldn't see over the crest of the hill in between us and the pigs). The plan was that Bill, Bonnie, and Misty would get closer (50 yards) and the girls would use their handguns. Bill would use a call to try to keep the javelina close, and we’d all fire. The whole time they were working their way closer, I was keeping pigs in my sights. As they fed and wandered, about 4 passed through my crosshairs. Dave and I were anxious for Bill to give us a ‘go’...then the pigs started cresting over their hill and I didn't have a shot. Dave (who is 6’7”) told me there were more walking up the hill and they’d be in my sight soon. I kept my focus right at the edge of the smaller hill blocking. And that’s when Bill gave the go ahead. Shots were fired, pigs ran. I didn't have a shot. A couple javs ran down into the brush between our two groups. Dave and I worked to relocate so I could be ready for a shot, but the pigs ran before I was set up, and I didn't have a chance to sight them in time. RATS! We tried to trail them for a bit, but they were well-spooked and had disappeared in the brush. We eventually headed back to our hilltop to see if they’d regroup after some quiet, but we didn't see them again. Stan and Dave had to leave. We glassed some more, and then checked out a couple more areas further on, before heading back to camp. In the rehash of the event, some lessons emerged:

1) Having 2 different ranges of fire (100 yd and 50 yd) made it difficult to coordinate
2) We got greedy. Bill regretted not letting me shoot first (since I’d spotted them) and having Bonnie and Misty be ready to try to nab a runner.
3) Know how to safely and quickly un-cock your gun if you need to move.
4) I’m not great with a scope - couldn't quickly find my target through it.

Sunday morning, we planned to go straight back to our hilltop, which I now dubbed ‘javelina point’. I had planned to leave by noon, so was worried it would be a fruitless venture. This day, it was Bonnie, Bill, and me, plus Linda (mentor) and Ellie (hunter). The drive to our spot is an hour long. We got there, and gave a quick scan, then started setting up to glass for real. I didn't even have my lenses attached to my tripod when Ellie found them! We immediately started getting ready to stalk. This time we all 3 had muzzleloaders. We hiked out, with Linda staying on the hill with the walkie. We got set up, and Bill said “Have at it, ladies”. I lined up my shot and pulled the trigger. Big puff of smoke. Javis started running. Bill started using a call, and got a big one to turn around and head our way. Ellie fired a shot, and doubled over---she had her face too close and the scope hit her HARD. The pig ran by, about 20 yards on my right. I had the presence of mind to consider pulling my 9mm off my side and trying to hit him, but I wasn't confident I’d be fast enough and was worried about safety- Bill had told me to stay down because Bonnie was off to my right. Also at that point I thought my one shot was good, I felt like I was on target, and through the smoke I hadn't seen what happened to the pig, so I didn't think I should be shooting at another one.

Bill had to run for supplies to patch up Ellie - the scope cut was deep, though it didn't bleed too bad. After she was OK, we went to check for blood sign but didn't find any...so yeah, I missed. We tracked a little ways, but weren't seeing any sign of them and needed to get Ellie back, so that was the end of my hung- Linda, Ellie and I headed back to camp...then I had a long drive back to Flag. (Bill and Bonnie stayed to track the herd, and I hear they at least found them again)

My lessons for Sunday:
1) I need to work on target/shooting practice
2) I need more guns :)
3) Don’t put your face too close to your scope!
4) Calls do work, so be PREPARED for a second chance

Overall it was a real adventure. Bill was a great mentor, I really appreciate the time he spent with us and the knowledge he shared (along with jokes and stories). I enjoyed the company of all the ladies, too. Thanks Amanda and crew for organizing this event. I’d never have ventured out on my own, so I’d say it was a success!

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That was a great write up Rian. Glad you had a great time and liked your room at the Hilton. Peg and I really enjoyed meeting you. Thanks for sharing pictures and we look forward to seeing you on next year's hunt. :)



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Great story, can't wait to hear about next year...

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The 3rd annual ladies javelina hunting camp was a great success! We had 28 students and 27 mentors, plus another 15 or so husbands and boyfriends that came along for support as well. So in total we had about 70 people at camp. We had three additional ladies cancel at the last minute....one of which cancelled because her husband had gotten her a surprise trip to Las Vegas to renew their wedding vows over Valentines Day weekend. I told her she should renew the vows at camp! How cool would that be? She really wanted to, but figured her husband was looking forward to the Vegas trip.


Of the lady hunters we had 9 who had ZERO hunting experience and often with ZERO camping experience. Then we had another 11 ladies that had between 1-3 years hunting experience (which generally meant they had gone quail hunting once or had attended one of our camps previously). And then we had about 8 with 4 or more years of hunting experience. We had several ladies that were over 60 years of age and they loved the experience!


We held the camp down on the Buenos Aires Wildlife Refuge (thanks to the refuge for accommodating us). Thanks to AZ Game and Fish for providing funding. And a huge thank you to Bobby Boido and the AZ chapter of Safari Club International for driving their trailer down there and providing all the gear needed to cook and serve food to so many people! Youth Outdoors Unlimited provided additional tables and a canopy. And the food was mostly prepared in advance by Barbara Kennedy who is a phenomenal outdoor cook! She really helped us out and the food was delicious! We had several volunteers who worked hard in the kitchen….thanks to TJ and Peg, Ilene and Roger, and Doug Burt from AGFD. Many thanks to Carl Young and Team Younggunz for pre-camp planning and coming out to help. They provided not only mentors but knowledge of some great javelina hunting spots for other mentors. Thanks guys! We wouldn't have such a successful camp without all our mentors and at the end of this post I have provided a list of all of them. Many thanks to them for giving so generously of their time and talents to this camp!


Several of us went down on Wednesday and at least one of the ladies got to start hunting on Thursday morning, while most everyone else arrived later on Thursday. We hunted all three units, 36A, 36B, and 36C. We had perfect weather for this hunt, which was a big relief since the last two years we have had wind and rain and cold interfering with the hunt. This time it was excellent weather….cold at night but warm (not too hot) during the day.


In total we had 8 ladies kill a javelina and several others had shot opportunities. We had two husbands who had tags and one of them killed a javelina also. I don’t have pictures yet of all the ladies that killed but here are a few. On the last day of the camp we had two ladies kill out of a large herd which made for an excellent way to end the camp.


Many thanks to all our great mentors who take time away from their families to come and help at this camp. Each one of them uses their own gear (not only for themselves but for their students too) and spends quite a bit in gas money to make this camp happen. I think we have outstanding mentors who are committed to teaching ethical hunting and who are also good at finding game!


We had a raffle with items donated by volunteers, AGFD, and Cabelas….so the ladies got some very nice items! Thanks to those that donated items.


Thanks to all the mentors that volunteered!


Amanda Moors

Carl Young + 9 of his team younggunz guys

Linda Dightmon

Tom Joiner and Peg (peg worked hard cooking for everyone!)

Deb Wesch

Tracy and Angie

Cindi and Corky Richardson

Ilene hailey (and her husband Roger worked hard in the kitchen!)

Gerald Perry + 2 other excellent mentors (Mark and Kelly)

Bill Deshaw

Michelle Crabb (from AGFD)

Jon Vance (drove all the way from Yuma to mentor!)

Jerry Gollubier

Stan johnsen

David (friend of stan)




And some pics of the ladies with javelina (I don't have pics of all of them):









Joanne following some javelina tracks




Gr8whitejr skinning a pig:



Larissa reporting a sighting of several drug smugglers to Border Patrol (they didn't catch them, but they responded very quickly to our call and they did catch several in another area)




Team Younggunz glassing with their hunters:




Bill Deshaw and two lady hunters sneeking in on javelina (there was a third there too). Thanks to Stan for the pics!







Roger and Ilene helping with cooking






Javelina bed we found one moring....very fresh




some food pics...


boneless chicken and veggies



and the peppermint chocolate bark and the cranberry/pistachio chocolate bark I made was enjoyed by everyone...yummy dark chocolate covered with white chocolate and goodies





mealtime with the ever present THINK SAFETY sign that my husband found on the side of the road :)




sunset as I was driving home:


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I really enjoyed this Amanda. Thank you for setting it up and allowing me to drive some ladies around and teach them cuss words.



LOL!! You crack me up Bill....thanks for making time to come out and sharing your expertise and your favorite javelina hunting spots! The ladies loved hanging out with you!

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I heard about Amanda Moors, and this hunt from a fellow member at an Arizona Predator Caller meeting. We talked about my experience which was none, and she recommended I attend. I went home that night and signed up. Over the months I prepared myself with the intention of using a handgun. I practiced shooting 40-50 yards and felt confident. My interest in hunting started with my boyfriend who hunts several animals and has experience. One of the animals he hasn't got is a Javelina. He was excited for me to participate in the camp. He also knew that if this went well it might really spark my interest so I would continue hunting, and it would be something we could do together.


We packed up and headed to Arivaca on Valentine's day. We celebrated by eating a sub sandwich on our way. We arrived around 9 pm to a crowd of people around a fire. We checked in with Amanda and were offered dinner. We passed on dinner and headed out to set-up camp. We had an early morning, and a long day ahead of us. We woke up at 6 am on Friday and headed to camp to eat breakfast. At breakfast is where I met my first mentor Michelle. We chatted a bit and came up with a game plan. We jumped in the truck and headed to unit 36A. We drove into some hills stopping and glassing along the way. We didn't see any Javelina, but we saw a lot of deer. We proceeded to drive further in got out hiked around. We still didn't see any Javelina. By this time it was lunch so we drove back to camp to eat and set-up a new game plan. We weren't in camp five minutes and here comes Bridget Kelley with the first pig. My adrenaline started pumping. I wanted a pig! I was so happy and proud of Bridget. She got a good one. Michelle decided to talk to Jerry and Mark who were Bridget's mentors to see where they got it. We were asked to go back out with them in the afternoon. We headed out and ended up in a canyon with Mark. Mark offered me his 44 handgun to use and I said “oh yeah”! It was awesome and had a red dot. I hadn't seen a handgun like this before. I said I'm getting me a pig with this gun. We glassed for awhile before Mark found some pigs. We saw where they were and took off hiking. We followed them for awhile never getting as close as I needed to shoot with a handgun before we pushed them over the mountain. By this time it was late so we headed back to camp empty handed. We got back to camp and I watched the other pigs come in and the only thing going through my head was I want one.


Woke up early Saturday morning and I was paired up with Tracy and Angie to head out to a different area. I was pumped and excited. Tracey, Angie, Michelle, Chris and myself all headed out. Angie and I both had tags. She said since you have never got one when we find pigs your up first. I was very thankful for her kindness. We got to our destination and started hiking to glass. We hiked and glassed for awhile. Along the way chatting and getting to know each other. We found out that Tracy is known as the "Javelina Whisperer". When I heard this I was even more excited and knew it was my day. Tracy found pigs around 2:00 pm. He gave us the game plan and it was decided I would use his muzzleloader. He would take me up first and then once I got a pig he would take Angie. We started the stalking process. I never shot a muzzleloader or held one and had to use it very soon. We started up the mountain and Tracy briefed me in many procedures which helped a lot especially being in an unknown situation. As we were walking Tracy spotted the Javelina 30 yards away and we stopped immediately. He handed me the gun. The Javelina stopped when he woofed. It started to move again behind a bush. I repositioned the gun. The Javelina came out and he woofed again. I had the pig in my cross hairs. He started running and I shot! Boom it sounded like a cannon. Pig kept running and I told Tracy I got him. He said “I know you did”, and down it went. We waited a few minutes and then danced and hi-fived. We went over and it was dead. I shot a Javelina at 30 yards with a 50 cal muzzleloader. My adrenaline was pumping and I couldn't control my excitement. Our journey wasn't over. By the time we gutted the pig it was dark, and we had along way to get back to our vehicles but we did it. I earned this pig for sure.


This weekend was an experience I will never forget. I met a lot of people I will be friends with for along time. A special thank you to Tracy, Angie & Michelle. You made my experience once in a lifetime and I couldn't have asked for better mentors.


Thank you to Amanda for putting together an awesome camp. I look forward to next year! This definitely sparked my interest and I will continue to hunt. Next on my list Coues Whitetail.


Kori Moseley

First time hunter




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Way to go Kori. Congrats on the pig! They sure are a fun animal to hunt! Good to.see you putting the 50 cal to work!

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