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Capt. Don Martin

Great javelina hunt in Unit 18B in 2018!

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Despite seeing a lot fewer javelina this year, the general rifle javelina hunters in our camp this year did extremely well, going 6 for 7! And if not for a scope issue, we would have been a perfect 7 for 7!


This is the story.


The weather was lousy for javelina hunting for opening day in Unit 18B this year, but for three tag holders in camp that day, Jay Chan, his son Michael, and nephew Kyle who was on his first ever big game hunt, turned out great as they all scored on javelina from 50 to 106 yards!


Page and I missed the morning hunt, and were in a different area that afternoon when I spotted two pigs in a wash. Page and I got out and started up a hillside to get a better view of the two pigs. Unfortunately Page got caught up in some catclaw and was unable to make it to a spot where she could see the peccaries. I was able to see one pig who was slowly walking up a ridge line just 100 yards away.


I had him in the scope of my Rock River Fred Eichler edition AR-15 in 223 that was loaded with extremely accurate Fiocchi Match 77 grain HPBT bullets, but I really wanted Page to get one first, so I passed on the shot.


On Day two, Jay's youngest son Ryan "The javelina whisperer" Chan came to camp and that's where Page McDonald and I met up with him.


He said he would go look for pigs while Jay said he would go with Page and I. Did I mention that Page is a 77-year-old great-grandmother?


It didn't take Ryan much time to find a herd, but they were in his words, "Over a mile away" and moving towards the edge of canyon."


The country were were hunting in is full of rocks and boulders that makes for treacherous walking to say the least.


However Page said she was up for it so off we went, with Jay in the lead.


We decided that we would just take one rifle on the stalk. It would be Page's Remington Model 7 Mountain Rifle in 260 caliber, that is topped with a Leupold compact 3x9 scope and Harris 25S bipod.


It took us over two hours to hike to where Ryan has last seen the pigs. It was Jay would find them on the edge of a canyon, just out of the wind, feeding.


The wind was perfect and it took a while (20 minutes) to get Page set up for a shot at an adult pig. However it was well worth the wait to make sure everything was right and that she had the right pig in her scope.


The big sow was just 40 yards away and broadside when Page touched off the rifle. The pig went down immediately!


I made three quick blasts with the Circe predator call I was carrying and the rest of the herds froze momentarily, not knowing what had just happened.


I got the rifle from Page as one of the pigs started to run off. The rest just stood still, looking around. "Better shoot quick, Don" Jay said.


I picked out a boar that had stopped in the open at 74 yards. I used my walking stick to steady my aim, and fired. The pug went down and never moved.


Jay told us that we had hiked well over a mile from the truck. Matter-of-fact he said it was 1.47 miles according to his GPS. And of course that is "as the crow flies" and did not represent the true distance due to the up and down topography we had walked in.


The key was going to be getting back to the truck after Jay and I boned out of the pigs. That hike took more than two hours. I'm not sure how many 77-year-old man or woman could have made that trek. But Page was a trooper and got it done.


Afterwards we met up with my friends St. George residents Colby Adams and Scott, and learned that Colby, who was the only one with a tag, had been successful on his morning hunt.


That afternoon, Jay's brother Alan, arrived in camp after being snowed in at Flagstaff.


Ryan had found yet another herd of pigs and he and his uncle were headed that way.


Unfortunately, another group if hunters had also found they pigs and the other hunters did get one out of that herd.


The next morning Alan, Ryan, Jay and I went to an area where in the past we had found pigs.


Once again it was Ryan who found a herd, but they were over a half mile away and in a catclaw thicket feeding in the warm morning sun.


Jay decided to be the "eye in the sky" while Alan and Ryan moved in towards the unsuspecting herd.


Wind and sun were perfect and Alan got set up at the herd boar at 95 yards. He had a solid and he rarely misses, so it looked like a done deal.


Only one problem... No one knew it, but the scope on Alan's 243 was broken!


No one even saw where the bullet hit when Alan fired off the first shot.


But the pigs didn't know where the shot had came from and instead of running away, the herd actually started running towards Alan and Ryan.


They stopped at 40 yards and Alan fired again. The bullet hit way over the pig. Alan shot again, again and again, 5 times in all, and none of the bullets were even close to his intended targets.


It was a long hike back that day for Alan, Jay and Ryan. How disappointing to do everything right only to have a scope malfunction result in a bunch of misses!


We decided to switch guns and give it one more try on Monday morning. After all, up to that point we had seen pigs everyday.


But the winds came up and despite our best efforts, we didn't see one javelina.


That my friends is why it is called hunting and not killing!







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Sounds like a great

Time! 18b is my favorite unit for javelina.

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So my 10 and 14 year old son drew this tag this year. They are so excited. This will be the 10 year olds first big game trip. We’d love any advice you have. We are not going to be able to scout as we have a wrestling tournament in Vegas prior and we live in California. We drew the same units you hinted last year as well. Thanks Russ

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