a story from what some would call the olden days. This was back when I
was half the age I am now, close to sixty.
I had heard of a hunt through a newspaper article that sounded like something
I'd like to try out. It was a hunt for one of my native Texas's animals,the
feisty Javelina hog.A man named Tommy Timmerman out of Hondo,Texas offered
an on foot hunt with hounds that sounded both exciting and different.
I booked a hunt to take place in May of 1966.
When we arrived Tommy told us that we would only have a couple of hours
of hunt time, in early morning and just before dark, because it was so
hot that the dogs wouldn't be able to pick up and hold a scent as it would
dry out quickly as the day heated up. He said that if the hounds did strike
a trail we would have to keep pretty close to them as they trailed because
when they bayed a pig they had a tendency if left on their own to get
a little too brave and end up getting cut up or in some cases mortally
wounded. He was running a pack of Walkers, Black and Tans, and one white
one with a black patch on it's right eye. Tommy said the white one was
his best strike dog and a good trailer as well.
I had brought along a Marlin 30/30 lever action carbine with open sights
to tame, hopefully, one of those pint size porkers. To make a long story
short,we hunted hard and long, sweated a lot, and all we accomplished
was admire the countryside, consisting of many steep ridges, with many
sweet smelling Mountain Laurels blooming on them.
The flip side of the coin was that getting up and down them we encountered
many types of shrubs,bushes, and cactus plants, all of which had thorns,
stickers, or stinging nettles, which even went through our hunting boots.
We picked them out of our feet, hands , and posteriors for nearly a week
It was decided that we would come back for a second try next year at an
earlier date, hoping for cooler and better tracking weather. My guide
said when you come back bring a pistol instead of a rifle. We will get
close enough and it won't as heavy to carry around.
With anticipation, time passed slowly, but finally February, 19 , 1967
rolled around with crisp, clear, cool weather. It was in the 40's and
a bright, clear day, without a cloud in sight from horizon to horizon,
in an agate blue Texas sky. We were back on the same ranch, with the same
Tommy Timmerman as guide and with one exception the same pack of dogs.
Sadly the exception was his white dog that wasn't there as it had been
killed when a Javelina had cut it's throat late in the previous year,
and had bled to death before it could be gotten to a vet.
I had returned for my second try at taking a Javelina and brought for
my weapon a Colt Woodsman semi-auto handgun with open sights and in Remington
22 long rifle caliber.
We went through pretty much the same routine as before and in the process,
a plant called by my guide the wait-a-bit bush ruined good insulated vests
for both my wife and I. It's called wait-a-bit because anytime you brush
by it the many barbed thorns on it grab you and you wait a bit trying
to get loose from it.
At least our luck changed later in the day when the hounds tuned up and
lined out on the trail of our elusive quarry. As we ran to keep up I hoped
I wouldn't give out before I could get there.About that time the pack
bayed the hogs and we were able to catch up with them but not without
a lot of huffing and puffing. What we found was the whole pack around
a huge hollow log that was blocked at the far end. We kneeled down for
a look and there were two Javelina inside at the far end. One was facing
me and was facing away. I was a little worried that if I tried to take
one the other would bolt out of the log with me in it's path. Tommy said
with the dogs barking outside , they wouldn't come out.
But, he said I think we can take care of that. He tied the dogs to trees
and put a loop from another rope on the end of a long stick, proceeded
to drop it over the facing away hogs head and pull it tight. Then, pulling
the animal out of the log he expertly, I thought, tied it up and laid
it off to the side.I got down on my belly to check out the one I was going
to shoot. Just as I stood up to check with my guide the tied up hog zoomed
right past my feet and back into the log.
When next I looked it was still facing away from me. Now it was time to
go for it. I lay on my belly again and eased the upper half of my body
into the darkness of the log.
As I lay there waiting for my eye sight to adjust from brilliant sun light
to darkness a number of things ran through my mind.Would the Javelina
charge with me blocking his escape route,what would he do if I didn't
kill him with one shot and what would the second one do at the sound of
my shot. For a few seconds all I could do was listen to the sound of his
razor sharp tusks chomping together. Finally after about 2 or 3 minutes
, which seemed a lot longer, I could finally see both the hog and the
open sights of my handgun.Taking a deep breath and holding right between
it's eyes I squeezed the trigger.The hogs body raised up and then collapsed
without moving a step. I quickly backed out hoping the other animal didn't
decide to leave the log, as I was blocking the opening. A dog was sent
in to drag my trophy out into the sun light. My trophy had good sized
ivories and eventually got into two record books in the top 10 with a
handgun. A challenging and physical hunt, finally ending in success.
by Steve Mahurin on May 31, 1998.