The Great Outdoors Column: Calling to locate javelina: yes or no?

Javelina call. This is just one call that is used by local hunters to call in javelina.

Photo special to the Daily Miner

Javelina call. This is just one call that is used by local hunters to call in javelina.

With the youth-only javelina season in full swing and the HAM (Handgun-Archery-Muzzleloader) and general rifle javelina seasons starting soon, our topic for discussion today is the pros and cons of using calls to try and locate or actually call in javelina.

First let’s start with the idea of calling javelina. Does it really work? Do you think that it part of fair chase to try and bring them in close?

In my book the answer is absolutely. It is a technique that works with this caveat: it doesn’t work all the time.

What about the “Fair Chase” aspect to using calls to being in javelina with their notorious poor eyesight? Sometimes javelina will come to within a few feet of the caller.

Again, in my opinion, there is no breach of Fair Chase or hunting ethics when using a call to hunt them. After all, calls are widely used hunting for other big game animals including elk, deer, turkeys and even small game like predators or waterfowl. Another fact is that it is legal to use a call in Arizona for javelina.

So what kind of calls do hunters use? Javelina hunters I know have many favorites when it comes to the calls that they use.

I personally use what is called a J-13 javelina call. To me is sounds like an old Circe jackrabbit call, but in the past it has helped me and some of my clients bag one of these collared peccaries. The largest javelina I have ever taken came in due to the J-13 call when I was on a HAM hunt in Unit 18B.

That porker weighed 43 pounds when field dressed.

Others I know use a Primos javelina calls and have done well with it. Haydels also makes a J-89 javelina call. But javelina will respond to other calls besides javelina calls. My friend Jay Chan and I have both used a Tally Ho open reed varmint call and have called in javelina and deer with it.

When should a hunter use a call?

Again there are various opinions on this subject. Some say use it when you’ve spooked a herd to stop them and call them back.

In my personal observations, I have found that calls work about 50 percent of the time in stopping or calling them back after they’ve been spooked. The other 50 percent they run away at full speed and never look back.

I’ve used a call to “blind call” for them, and again that can be an effective way to locate pigs that are thick brush or are bedded down. But remember, at least 50 percent of the time they will be running away when they hear the call.

Some hunters feel that calling to a herd of javelina is only effective if they had baby pigs, or redds. Others say it makes no difference.

The only advice I can give is to try it and see how it works for you. So check with your favorite sporting goods store or go online and get one of these calls.

Who knows, it can be the difference between success and failure on your javelina hunt.