I pulled an arrow from my hip quiver and nocked it onto my Martin recurve. I knelt down in the shade beside the small arroyo. Twenty minutes earlier I had jumped two, large javelina further up the drainage. Now, one of them was headed my way at a quick pace. Thinking that I was still somewhere behind him, the javelina was using the trail alongside of the arroyo for cover to make his escape. I waited smack dab in the middle of the trail in anticipation of a close encounter. The boar was rounding the sacaton grass at 30 yards when the wind shifted in his favor. He grunted at me then bolted across the ravine and up the bank on the other side. In his attempt to skirt around me he bounded past at 21 yards. My lead on him was four feet when the string reached my cheek. “Good shot Dad!” came the voice of my seven-year old son, Ty.
He had been waiting patiently ten yards behind me. As I watched the javelina retreat with my fletching protruding from his hams, I had to question my son’s innocent judgement.
Then in mid-stride the boar piled up in a heap. My son threw his fist in the air with a little war whoop then gave his dad a big hug.
It was the perfect beginning to yet another great Southwestern Safari. I was glad to have time in between guided hunts to be able to hunt with family.
We finished off the morning with a bag limit of dove. Midday was spent pursuing Scaled quail, Gambel’s quail, and calling coyotes. I took time in the evening to teach my son how to glass for desert deer.
We found several rutting Coues deer and Mule deer in anticipation of the next day’s hunt. That night at camp, we were joined by family and friends from all over the state. Campfire talk was electrified with stories of past years’ hunts and anxiety over the hunt at hand.
The next couple of days were nonstop action. As anticipated we bagged daily limits of dove and found some great coveys of quail. There were more predators than we had bullets. All of our archery javelina tags were filled. The deer were plentiful and rutting hard. Although no one connected with a deer on those 2 days, the hunt included stalks on a heavy 30” three-point desert Muley (3x3 with eye guards) and a 110” class 3x4 Coues whitetail. (9 pt eastern count)
Needless to say it was a successful hunt with the family. Everyone left for home with empty guns, empty quivers, coolers full of meat and enough stories to last us until next season.
Southern Arizona in January is the perfect way to finish up your winter hunting season. The weather is beautiful and the hunting is endless. If you take time to collect the right permits, tags and stamps, you may hunt just about anything that moves. This southwestern safari list of game includes: Archery deer, (mule or Coues deer) archery javelina, predators (coyote, fox, and bobcat), three species of quail (Gambel’s, Scaled, and Mearns’), dove and waterfowl.
A typical day usually begins with trying to find room in the trucks for all of the gear. When everyone has their own bow, coyote rifle, shotgun, and plenty of ammo for each, you can run out of room pretty fast. We generally hunt whatever we see at the time so it’s good to be prepared. Often while calling for predators you can call in javelina, or maybe while looking for javelina you might jump a covey of quail. Or perhaps while checking for deer tracks around water you could find a great place to hunt dove or waterfowl.
The point being, if you can wiggle your trigger finger you’re bound to bag something every day.
So come January you can bet my crew and I won’t be thinking about balls dropping or putting away Christmas lights, we’ll be out in the great outdoors enjoying the beautiful southwest, “safari style!” Hope to see you there!
Come and join us!