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Bruce Smithhammer
Post count: 2514

Finally made it back to Idaho last night. What a great trip!

As Sean mentioned, we never laid eyes on a single javi, which I find downright bizarre – I used to live down there, and Kevin grew up there, and we both were floored by the lack of sightings – in all my past experiences down there in the backcountry, you tend to bump into them all over the place. We hunted higher elevations, lower elevations, different habitat types, did a ton of glassing from high points, split up to cover as much country as possible…and nothing, except occasional sign, most of which was not very fresh. Downright mysterious, it was. Of course, beforehand I had joked that, “you see them all the time until you actually go down there looking for them…” which unfortunately turned out to be true. 😳

But we had a great time regardless, exploring a lot of cool country, and laying the groundwork for future javi expeditions – yes, there will definitely be more!

Looking east toward the Dragoon Mountains, and “Cochise Stronghold” – the place where Cochise and the remnants of the Chiricahua Apache held out for a decade against the U.S. Army before surrendering. Upon his death, his body was taken back to the Dragoon Mtns, and buried in a location that remains unknown to this day:

Lots of places for a 50lb. grey animal to effectively hide in this stuff:

Hunting at lower elevation, with an abundant supply of one of the javelina’s favorite foods – prickly pear cactus:

Fairly common sign through the area, though we never had any issues:

This is how we started every morning, getting up to a good glassing spot and hoping to find javis on the move in the cool morning hours:

Obligatory bow pic:

Kevin, practicing in camp:

My nylon chateau:

When you find stumps in the desert, they tend to be very unforgiving. In fact, I broke two arrows on what looked like old stumps, that turned out to be ironwood, and hard as a rock.

I’d go back and do it again in a heartbeat. The Sonoran Desert is an amazing place that never gets old for me. And thanks to Sean for bringing enough venison to feed a small army! I hope that next year’s trip will include a few more of you!