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The kill Zone

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You wont find many Javelina with red bulls eyes in the field, I hunted 18 years before I found these two  (click on picture to enlarge). Photo by AP Jones.

The Javelina kill zone is fairly small.  Target the approximant 6 inch by 6 inch area behind the animals collar, just above the front leg.  Firearm hunters should avoid targeting the shoulder (you will waste to much meat), and aim just behind the shoulder in the lung area.

Archery hunters should hold out for a animal in an undisturbed state.   Preferably, unalerted and looking away.  Javelina can "jump-string".  Remember, pick a spot, aim for that spot.  Aiming for the "whole animal" is a frequent cause of missed shots-gun and bow.

The animals heart is located at the extreme bottom of the red circle, in the area between the legs, as viewed broadside. The heart is not a large target and If you shoot a couple inches low, you may miss the animal completely, or worse yet, inflict a wound in the leg. Avoid targeting the heart area and aim for the much larger (target area) lungs. 

Locating a Wounded Javelina

After you take a shot (firearm or archery) at a Javelina, keep your eyes fixed on the animals location when you shot.  Often there are other animals running in all directions, some even stopping closer, and providing a better shot then the animal you just shot at.  Forget about them and don't fall prey to the temptation to take another shot at a Javelina (a different animal), especially, if the one you shot at just bounded away.  

Isolate and concentrate on the targeted animal's last location and any distinguishing features (rocks, trees, bushes), move directly to that point, after marking the position from which you shot from. Itís important to mark your shooting position, just in case you have problems locating the exact spot the animal was standing when you shot. You can go back to your original position and start your search over again.

On several occasions, Iíve had solidly hit Javelina travel significant distances before expiring.  Iíve also seen arrows travel through Javelina and not even appear to show down or change trajectory, leading me to believe it was a clean miss when in fact it was a perfect lung shot.

Once youíve located the animals position when you shot, search around the immediate vicinity for any signs of wounding. Frothy blood indicates a lung wound; bright blood a hit in muscle; and digested food, with or without blood, a stomach wound.

At this point I recommend waiting at least 30 minutes before beginning to track the animal, regardless of blood on the ground or not.

Begin to slowly and methodically follow the tracks (and blood if present), minding to not walk directly on the tracks, but if at all possible 3-5 yards to either side.  Mark your ďblood trailĒ every 30 - 40 yards (flagging ribbon works great-just remember to remove it after you done your search).  If you lose the trail go back to your last flagging ribbon and re-search the area until you locate the trail.  Scan the area ahead often, keeping watch for your wounded animal.  Often, if not pressured a wounded animal will bed down.

Once you locate the animal make sure it has expired.  Eyes will be open, do not approach until you are sure itís dead.  If you come upon it, and itís still alive, humanely end any suffering.


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Last modified: Wednesday July 11, 2012.