Big Bad Wolf Hunt

Day Three, Friday Afternoon, October 23, 2009


For my Friday afternoon's hunt, I asked Curtis to let me go back to my Wednesday spot, my "arena" at the solar windmill/old black water tank. He normally likes to let an area cool off a couple of days after a day's hunting, particularly if there was activity. However, I somehow hadn't been happy with my road stand on Thursday. Though it covers more country, looking up and down a long distance just didn't seem as enjoyable to me as watching a smaller area. He agreed and ran me down toward my spot and dropped me off. I hiked in the last bit, working my way though my cow friends.

I decided that in spite of the fact that it worked, my tree "blind" was really pretty bare. I snuck in from around behind the old tank again, but there was no activity going on, so from there I just walked in and set up and then set about collecting odd dead mequite branches to fill in some of the gaps. I should note here that the idea isn't necessarily to be invisible. Javies don't see well, except for movement, so the idea is to sit still and have enough shapes around you to disguise your outline. Most expecially, you want some shapes that provide cover for your bow when you shoot, so that it doesn't look like you suddenly stood up with a huge baton to conduct the orchestra!

Once I was satisfied, I settled down with my little stool. I was better supplied this time, with water and a book, and much more warm clothing. I didn't mention it earlier, but my circulation is bad, and the previous two nights I like to froze to death sitting there still in the cold once the sun started to sink a bit.

I got on stand about 3:30. There was terrific cow activity... they were all over the place. At one point, I heard a "wuff!" and felt a nudge on my shoulder. A calf had come up hehind me to see what I was all about. I moved, and momma cow noticed and apparently called him back, because he left me. However, another big cow wandered right down into my arena... and then settled down for a nap! Needless to say, time passed slowly. However, about 5:30 the cows moved out, and sure enough, those little gray ghosts started filtering out of the brush. Curtis swears the javies don't give a darn about the cows, but all I can say is "Cows in the immediate arena, no javies. Cows gone, javies come." Probably pure coincidence; the cows didn't really move that far away, just about 75 yards or so, but whatever, the javies were coming back into my arena.

OK... breathe slowly... javies in the picture... more javies in the picture... little javies in the picture... big javies in the pictures... momma javies nursing... daddy javies arguing and threatening... javies laying down (not close enough)... Breathe! Take a few pictures, it's calming. Ah, speaking of calming, the javies are calming down. Hmm, that one's no huge trophy, but it's wandering pretty slowly over toward me. How close? 18 yards... 15 yards... 13 yards... closer... closer... 12 yards... 11 yards... not yet... not yet, remember yesterday... 10 yards... and he's leaning toward me... no, wait, there's another honest step... inside ten yards... Wait! What was that? Oh, my gosh, I shot!!! He's leaping up in the air, it looks like the arrow is halfway through him, sticking in one side and out the other... no, it's just on one side... Wait! That's the other side! The javie is in the air and turned around but the arrow is lying on the ground past him... it went all the way through... he's running in a circle behind that bush just on the right side of the arena, just at 2 o'clock from my seat... he's behind the bush, spinning in circles on the ground... the bush is shaking... No, wait! The bush isn't shaking any more. I'm supposed to wait... I'm supposed to wait... don't move... the bush is still quiet, nothing else has moved over there.... Gosh, it's only been 10 minutes, but I won't chase him... If I just step back a step or two toward the white tank behind me, I should be able to see the bush... Look, there are actually two bushes and there's something gray lying in between them...

Meantime... pant, pant... Breathe!... Calm, calm, remember calm... The other javies had gone over and checked out the bushes. For a brief instant, they were all running around it like crazy, but finally I decided to just stand up and make some noise and they left. I walked over to the bush, about 15 yards, and tossed a rock... nothing... walked closer and poked with the bow... nothing. Obviously, the pass through shot had been a near perfect kill zone hit. The Big Bad Wolf had fulfilled his destiny on behalf of The Old Phartt! Two shots at game, two hits, probably both kills, one certainly. This javie had been shot at 10 yards, ran 10 yards and fell virtually in my sight. I shot at an angle out of my blind, and he ran the same way, so he ended up maybe 15 yards away from me.

I didn't move him, but settled down to wait for Curtis to come pick me up. Then I found I was simply too restless to sit, and also a bit cramped after all the sitting I'd been doing. The walk in from the "corner" (one of our reference points) to my tank was about three quarters of a mile. I started walking it... walked it, walked back, walked it again, and walked back again, getting back to my blind just as full dark fell and Curtis and Dan pulled up.




Hiking in to the tank.. these cows are big, and they don't really get out of your way.


Here's my improved tree blind... several long branches laid over horizontally and some others propped up on them. It doesn't look like that much, but it's enough...


Here's the view out of the blind at an empty arena. Actually, this is a large dirt bowl completely surrounded by msquite, and the javies are feasting on the berries. When you find javie scat, it's simply a wad of mesquite berry hulls.



The friendly little calf that startled me. He'd jumped back when I turned. I got so used to the sound of cow hoof clops that it became ignorable background noise.



Momma cow (or somebody's momma cow) decides to come check out the arena and all those interesting sticks.


"Yeah, I thought so, there's some dumb human back there. What's he think, we don't see him?"


Oh, no! She's decided to settle in and study the human!


Well, dad has started making noise... time for the family to get together. These bulls wander right around with all the other cattle. Hmm... nice bulls... good bulls...


Now this is more like it! Once the bull called his cows back, the javies started drifting in again. Here's javie family togetherness. Mom, dad Junior and Uncle Harry?


Whoa, Uncle Charley, too...

Hmm... Charley's closer to me, and headed over in front of me and kind of closer...


Uh, oh! Bristling back hair... He's getting nervous. Maybe that's as close as I'd better hope for...



Whoa! Where'd that come from? Wait a minute... that's a 1916, that's what I shoot! Hey, there's no arrow on my bow! That must be mine! Wow! Where's Charley?




Charley ran in a small circle around behind a couple of bushes and spun in a circle, then, obviously, fell. Dressing later showed that the hit was a double lung pass through, just barely above the heart. His time from shot to quiet bushes couldn't have been more than 7 or 8 seconds, though it seemed like much, much longer to me as my brain absorbed it frame by frame.

The bow was an Old Phartt 62" Hill style, 42@25 and the arrow was an 11 gr. per pound Easton 1916 with a 125 grain screw-in Muzzy two blade.


When I went out to pick up my arrow, I found this where the javie was standing. If you look closely here, you can see javelina hair on the ground. There was actually quite a lot of it, hairs cut by the broadhead on it's way through the hide.



Posed pictures had to wait till Curtis came to pick me up. This was at best an average size javelina, but he was the one that was there, and he's perfectly fine for me. Hell, he's wonderful for me!



Unless someone scored since I left home on this trip, Big Bad Wolf is the first Old Phartt's bow to make meat, and i did it myself, on my first bowhunt.



Yeah, I'll shake Curtis' hand... You bet!



Once a year or so, I allow myself a beer. It was offered and I thought it was called for.


Bill, who came in from Arizona, also got one today.


Earlier, I mentioned the issue of javelina teeth... They are designed by nature to be self-sharpening, the back surface of the lower fangs rides on the front of the uppers in a constant sharpening action. Pretty formidable for guys this size.



Link to Saturday and Sunday Morning