Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bushcraft - Central Texas Style - Javelinas

Some of the best survival tactics are learned by observing nature’s creatures. Many have learned to survive predators, harsh weather conditions and scarce food and water supplies by developing innate survival skills. With fossils records that go back over 20 million years, the javelina (collared peccary, Pecari angulatus) is an example of one of nature’s true survivors.

Texas has more javelinas than any other state and although many people think of them as a wild form of domestic swine, they actually belong to the order of “hoofed” animals. They are very social animals and generally live in herds that range from fifteen to twenty animals in a group. The size of their herd depends greatly upon the available amount of food in their area. They have also learned to survive the dry, hot conditions of Central and South Texas by feeding primarily on prickly pear cactus. They can go almost a week without water if there are plenty of cacti available to eat.

Javelinas also practice a very unique survival technique. This technique is called the “scatter response”. When they sense danger, they will scatter randomly in all directions. The “scatter response” is typical of most herding animals and will quite often confuse predators and make it extremely difficult to single out or attack any one individual. Many times this response will allow all the individuals in a herd to escape a predator without any harm.

Javelinas are strictly herbivores and contrary to some popular myths do not eat snakes, birds, eggs or any other type of animal. They generally stand about two feet tall and are about three feet in length and weigh anywhere from 30 to 60 pounds. They make an excellent survival food source and can be quite tasty when cooked.

Got BBQ?

Staying above the water line!



Groundhog said...

You just had to make my mouth water didn't you :) When I was stationed on Guam we had lots of wild hogs roaming the island that were often turned into some mighty fine banquets. Makes me want to go hunting! By the way, I split my blog up into prep and other. Taking a different tac on the prep. Going to chronicle our journey toward becoming so on that site. The other is going to be my mind dribble.

Ken said...

...once again,a post of yours has left me hungry...why do you do this to me RW?...what have i ever done to you?,time to drag out the cookin'drum...

Anonymous said...

Javelina are the perfect size animal to shoot in the afternoon if you are lazy. Only about 40 pounds, so processing them is extremely easy, especially if you have to bring them from far away. Any decent sized chest cooler is large enough to keep the meat.

They are infested with the meanest red fleas though - dang, they are vicious - must be inheritin' some of that javelina sense of humor, feasting on their blood. I always take care to process far away from our camp - don't want flea bites later on.

Don't need a deer rifle, a .22 Magnum will do just fine.

idahobob said...

Boy!! And I am REALLY partial to genuine BBQ!

Spent several months, a few years back, checking out all of the BBQ joints in the greater Houston area.

Gotta love it!


riverwalker said...

Pass the sauce please...

Thanks everybody for the great comments!


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