Goin’ on a Peccary Scout…

By Patty Wilber

So, what I really wanted to write was

“Goin’ on a lion hunt
And I’m not a afraid
Got my shotgun
Looking for the Lion…
I don’t see no lion…”

On Dec. 19th, my Seasoned Elk and Deer Hunter Friend (SEADHF, David) and I took the Spousal Unit’s (SU/Jim) Jeep and went South to the San Mateo Mountains, looking (based on a tip) for javelina.

It was one of those crystaline late fall days where the air was holding warmth coming off the sun-draped cliff walls. The canyon was flat bottomed with oaks, ponderosa and junipers, spread out as if planned for a park.  We saw no one else.

Drift Fence Trail Head

Drift Fence Trail Head

Drift Fence Trail

SU and I did research on javelina in Texas in  the 1980’s, but none of us have hunted them.

Me and Suzie, who was a pet on a ranch in West Texas.

Me and Suzie, who was a pet on a ranch in West Texas. 1985)

Just FYI, javelina are herbivorous ungulates endemic to the southwest. They are not pigs.  They are not even closely related to pigs, having different teeth (very sharp, just sayin’), different feet and different guts.  They are in fact more closely related to hippos.  They live on discrete home ranges of 500-1500 acres and in herds that stay together.  Once you find a herd, you should be in good shape to see them again because they don’t migrate.

And in taste tests, javelina beat deer every time…or so I read.

So on that day of easy hiking and lots of looking: at the cliff edges, across the arroyo bottom, under scrub oak copses and low hanging juniper we saw…..


But when we went east down the canyon we found…

Mountain lion tracks!

Mountain lion tracks!

And really old peccary poop. (No poop pictures…so sorry.)

And one dead peccary.

The teeth are a "dead" give away.

The teeth are a “dead” give away.

So, we figured we were in good shape and came back Dec. 27th.  With horses.

Lacey and Fancy with Me and SEADHF2 (ie David)

Lacey (who was great!), Fancy (who was really great after no riding since she left here last January!), Me and SEADHF (ie David).

We saw some country that made my heart expand with the drive for adventure. (This javelina scouting has been a great excuse to “have” to get out!

SEADHF’s brother came along as well (on Squirt–who was also GREAT! Maybe she had a good trainer).


But no sign of javelina anywhere (except the dead one, as mummified as ever.)

We did, however, see…

Lion tracks.

Lion tracks.

And we came across a dead cub.

The right front leg looks like it has snare marks.

Which had apparently been snared (illegal according to the hunting proclamation), and skinned (also illegal). It was a recent kill.

Not the kind of lion hunt I’d want to be on.


San Marcial is our next scheduled peccary scouting spot–down on the Rio Grande.  We got an inside tip. (There are lions down there, too…)



About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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3 Responses to Goin’ on a Peccary Scout…

  1. Ruggs says:

    Write a blog and show some photos from your adventures hiking in “Mahalo Land”!

    • Doranna says:

      Yeah! Do that thing!

      • Patty says:

        next week because we just finished a hike with tunnels and ropes to scale a clif and super neat waterfalls–10 min out of honolulu and NO ONE there!

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