Big Bad Wolf Hunt

Day 2 and Morning, Day 3

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009

Friday Morning, Oct. 23, 2009

Well, Thursday was a bad news morning. Curtis, Dan and I headed out before light. We dropped Dan off at a likely spot and then headed back to my place to look for the javie I hit yesterday. I got an incredible demonstration of tracking skill. The area contained too many javie tracks and trails to number. Curtis started me where I recalled seeing the hit and had me walk where I thought the javie went, but without touching the same ground. He was able to pick up what he was sure was my javie's trail and follow it back into the brush for about 30 yards, then hollered and held up my arrow, blooded to not quite half length, a good sign and proof that he had the right trail. Obviously, it hadn't gotten real good penetration, though a javie isn't very thick, and the javie had managed by twisting in the bushes to hook it out, or, the arrow was much further back than I thought and he was able to twist his head and bite it out. Curtis, experienced hunting guide, favors this latter theory. The Old Phartt, woodland nimrod, prefers the way he remembers it, even though he sometimes can't even remember his own social security number..

The tracking effort went on for about an hour and a half. Curtiss found several places where spinning had occurred, indicating a distressed animal, and two where it had lied down for awhile. All of these were good signs. However, we never found any blood, except on the arrow. This is bad, indicating either a poor hit or a wound that sealed when the arrow came out and then bled internally. Curtis was sure it was an animal in a bad way, but we never found it. That was my first javelina... Curtis' Rule, and one I agree with, though sadly. I think everyone would agree that it wouldn't be good or fair to just shoot javelina till one fell where you could find it. I watched them all the previous afternoon, when they eventually got quite comfortable, and could have taken several big guys at 8 yards, and didn't take the shot.. same day, same group.. Curtis' Rule. I felt better for it. It was my own fault for deciding to shoot too soon and too far. A lesson truly well learned.

We headed back to camp and lounged around for the afternoon. Another hunter, Bill, from Arizona, showed in time for the afternoon hunt.

Dan, Bill and I all went out to stands for the evening hunt, but all came in at dark never having seen an animal. I had been on a road, at a tank, where we'd seen tons of track activity for both javies and big pigs, but they'd decided to pull the old, "We were all here last night, where were you?" routine. All told, between not finding the wounded one and no other sightings for anyone, it was kind of a down night.

You will have noted that this page covers a day and a half. Now, that could be because the distribution of pictures fell that way, or it could be that I'm naturally mean and was holding back something important... Your guess...





I did get some nice pix of another windmill...


I like this picture because you can just make out "Majestic Windmill Co. - Sweetwater, TX" on the rudder.


And another great old tank, not too far from falling over.


The weather had warmed up and back at camp, I did my "Basking Turtle" imitation...


Of course, I wasn't alone... Dan and Curtis


Lest you wondered, this is indeed a working cattle ranch. Yes, that's an in-use branding iron hanging on this tree. Our camping area is further back. Three tents at this point... Dan's, mine, and, just barely showing, Bill from Ariz.

(Note: At this point, no one has taken an animal. I've shot and hit, one other shot was taken but missed.)



This is the inside of "headquarters"... a few chairs and tables, a sink connected to a hose, two gas stoves, a microwave (wish I'd know that when I bought groceries!) and the two most important appliances on the place... the two coffee pots.


Friday morning, first light at a new stand. I turned out to clearly not be adequately covered. The little stinkers oozed in from the brush on the left and made me immediately. The lead guy stopped very briefly right in front of me, to the right of "Big Bad Wolf", as much as to say, "Man, you're pitiful...". Then he led them all right past me to my right at a dead run, through the meadow behind me... I could almost have slapped their flanks.



An instant ago, this grass was waving from the passage of four javelinas. There was no further activity thereafter.


This picture and the next few are just to give you an idea of the country. We covered an immense amount of real estate on this ranch, many, many miles on these ranch connecting roads.


All over, you see oil pumps and indications of energy companies. Many of the pumps are working, many are not. The land control is interesting. There is an actual land owner, then there is a cattle operations lessor, who may have held that lease for generations, but still doesn't own the land. Then there is a minerals lessor, who owns all the mineral activitity. Finally, there are hunting privileges lessors... for different seasons and hunting means, such as Curtis for archery, someone else for bird shooting, someone else for rifle season, etc.


In addition to oil well pumps, there are all kinds of collectors, storers and other units that I can't guess at.


This is looking from where the road crosses what these folks think of as a "ridge". I guess it is, though by Cascade Mountain standards it's definitley puny. However, it does let you see a long way in flat country. The faint blue height you see on the horizon is the beginning of mountains in the Big Bend Country along the border.


Curtis was especially interested in checking out a couple of seeps that had had reports of extremely large hogs, over 300 pounds. We had gained another hunter, Kirk from Texas, who was especially interested in a big hog. There was plenty of hog sign around this seep.



Ah, but this tank had prints everywhere and wallows in the mud. Kirk decided this was his place. We started building a blind back in the far corner. "Hey, that 55 gal. drum would work well! Oops! It's in use!"


Yep, real estate is in demand around here and this barrel was occupied!



The idea of shooting it occurred, but it headed through the fence. Curtis' hand was quicker. He was over the fence and grabbed it. It's now a very slow snake, like frozen in the freezer.



Link to Page Three