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Desert Ghosts 

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Javelina nose up "checking wind". Photo by Shirley Curtis.   

Javelina are often called the "Desert Ghosts", a well earned nickname because of their knack of totally disappearing when spooked.  Not if, but when you spoke a herd of Javelina, the first thing to do is freeze, take note of the direction of travel of the majority of herd members. 

Your Spotted-FREEZE! Photo courtesy of Randy Victory.

Decision time.  If you only observe a few animal (under 5),  running at fairly close range, it's very possible there may be a few unseen animals standing frozen and alerted.  Often times not all animals will run when you stumble into a herd, especially if they were spread out feeding.  I recommend you get on the predator call in an attempt to bring any stragglers or unseen animals to you.

If you see what looks like the entire herd (more than 6 animals) run at ranges beyond 50 yards, generally it's best to remain frozen and quiet.  Get a good bearing on there general direction of travel.  Sit down and take a 20 minute break.  Often times Javelina, if not spooked terribly bad, have an out of sight, out of mind mentality. 

 On several occasions, I've been able to get back on the herd within 1/4 to 1/2 mile.  Generally after the Javelina have run 150 or 200 yards, they will begin to group up and move in a single file trot, fast walk, then slow walk, and ultimately go back to feeding.  Anytime 6 plus animals are moving in single file travel mode, they are fairly easy to track for long distances.  If you take your time, and watch for sign, you can get right back into them

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Last modified: Wednesday July 11, 2012.