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17. Javelina---Texas

map showing range of javelina throughout most of Cuba, Central America and northern and central South AmericaThe javelina, sometimes known as peccary, is common in drier habitats of the southwest from Texas to Arizona, and further south in Central and South America. They travel in groups of 5-15 and feed on roots, herbs, cactus, fruits and insect larvae. They have odiferous musky glands on the back that seem to play a role in marking territories. This javelina came from west Texas in 1995.


My guide and I stayed in a cow hands cabin on a large ranch in west Texas. The hunt was only 3 days, the country was mountainous and rather dry, but there were javelin, and many were quite old and large. They travel in small groups and after several unsuccessful stalks, I spotted two big males on a ridge and made a successful stalk. The meat is not tasty, though I’m told that there are recipes that make them edible. I do know that they carry a ton of ticks and fleas, so handling them is a bit nasty.