New Mexico – -(Ammoland.com)- Hunting in New Mexico is a game of chance. The New Mexico Game and Fish uses a Lottery Draw System so this is basically a true statement. We bring you a new hunt as ARHunters.com continues to film and document hunts with AR Hunting Rifles in New Mexico and Colorado.
This time it was a treat to have Father and Daughter draw tags in the same unit, for the same scheduled hunting dates and be able to go hunt together. Usually one has a tag and the other gets to be the camera jockey or pack mule.
Hunting NM Javelina isn’t as easy as you might think it could be. They are small, territorial, group animals and if you are not in the right place at the right time under the right conditions your success odds are greatly reduced. So when ARHunters Staff Hunter Nathan and his Daughter Faith got the results of the draw and realized they could be hunting the same Unit at the same time together it was kinda special.
Plans were made and they decided it would be a hustle on the weekends to get it done since she is a stellar and disciplined student with a heavy and full activities plate. The first trek out was a long drive south and we pulled into the area well after dark the evening before that we wanted to be in on the first morning. We simply put our cots out under the stars right beside the vehicle, using it as a windbreak and I was along as the camera jockey/pack mule this time so that both hunters could go full tilt.
Faith carries her well seasoned custom AR15 chambered in 6.5Grendel that has seen plenty of hunting action the passed few years. Nathan carried an AR15 Rifle chambered in 7.62×39 on this trip as something new to hunt with and try out. The 6.5Grendel is an factory Alexander Arms 24” barreled upper with a 6×24 Alpen Optics Scope on it and a Custom Lower with custom colored Mission First Tactical furniture and a CMC Trigger. The 7.62×39 is a factory Olympic Arms 16” barreled upper with a Leupold Optics 1×6 Hog Plex Scope on it, Custom Lower also with a CMC Trigger and Daniel Defense Furniture. Both rifles are shooting their caliber of ammunition using the Hornady Factory 123gr SST bullets for this hunt.
We glassed up a lot of country, saw a little sign but not much fresh stuff until the second day.
Our phones kept trying to welcome us to Mexico and we double checked our GPS regular to make sure we had not ended up in foreign lands. The afternoon of the second day we cut some fresh sign finally and started trekking thru the thicker cover of thorns & cactus, and down a gentle wash. Visibility in the thick stuff was hard and sure enough we jumped a pair of Javelinas at close distance. There might have been a split second shot opportunity from Nathan but as he shouldered his rifle he hesitated to try and give Faith the first shot opportunity and it was just enough time they bolted into heavier cover and got outta dodge in a lucky way. They lived to tell the tale of how they dodged a potential bullet from a Father Daughter hunting team packing AR15 Hunting Rifles. It was another long drive home empty handed for the weekend, but at least we had seen hair and hooves in the final hours rather than being completely skunked.
The next weekend was another long drive to the hunting grounds and we had decided on a different area in the Unit based on some intel we had heard of from some good locals. This time the hills where steeper, but after we got into the more remote area of where we wanted to be we started seeing fresh and regular Javelina sign. We climbed hills and glassed our surroundings and then climbed down and up another hill on repeat all day. We smelled them once and if you have ever hunted or been in an area with Javelinas you know what I am talking about… they smell like stale skunks; but we just couldn’t pin point them. So again we camped out. This time and on a rare night that included a little rain in southern New Mexico we had to shut down our fire early, take cover in the tent or cots in the back of the pickup shell. That next morning there was fresh sign within 10 yards of the tent! No joy though for the morning outing and we decided on a trek into a little remote corner that was a all or nothing gamble. Cause by time we got there there wouldn’t be much time for any other plan or action before the sun set on our final day of hunting.
Of course this plan included a direction that was mostly all up hill with plenty more side hilling in rough terrain. On our final ascent and rounding the corner, we spotted a group right on a ridge top across a drainage about 160yds a way. The Javelina were totally unaware we had spotted them and the hunters eased into setting up before releasing some havoc and punching a few tags. The wind was completely in our favor. With Javelinas that is critical, they have poor eyesight, the wind was just loud enough to cover small noises, and it was blowing directly into our faces. Javelinas’ sense of smell is their biggest asset and on this day it was not a factor for us.
The Hunters got into place – Father and Daughter side by side.
Father giving Daughter the first opportunity and this would be her closest live shot ever at 160 yards so the first one rang out just a hair high. Nathan’s shot also went high (they both practiced longer distances) and the jig was up. The Javelinas had no idea where the shots came from and paused just enough to let Nathan get his tag filled with a quick follow up shot – the true bonus of hunting with AR15s. The follow up shot scattered the group to the four directions. A few went over the ridge, a couple bounded down the ridge, and a couple dived downhill into the drainage. Faith kept her eyes locked on the one she had in her scope to make sure it wasn’t showing signs of a pass thru impact even though we had clearly seen a high impact in the dirt. A pair of Javelinas headed uphill and these are the ones I was tracking. I figured their pot bellied selves like me wouldn’t have much of a uphill sprint in them. The drainage actually curved back towards us so they were still in good range and just circling our set up still at about 160 yards. They paused for a breather and this gave Faith time enough to get on them in the scope, settle into a really stable prone shooting position and take her time pressing the trigger.
When the shot rang out if was instantly followed by the unmistakable bullet slap on solid flesh and bone, the second tag was now filled. The Javelina piled up right there, didn’t take a single step and it was going to be more meat in the freezer for both our ARHunters!
It was time to get to work. A few photos, an after action video with Faith about her experience and then the camera jockey turned into pack mule and I dragged the second Javelina down to where the first one was taken and we commenced field dressing the animals together and preparing them for the pack out. The camera batteries died just as we got a brief after action from Nathan about his experience and so it was an undocumented pack out but we all were tired and had a ways to go and didn’t want to find ourselves still on the hill in the dark.
The final take away though is this was a great experience and we had a great time. This was the first time that both Father and Daughter hunted side by side in the same Unit at the same time. To be able to actually be side by side on the hill and tag out within minutes of each other was incredible.
A memory both will keep forever – 15yr old Daughter and proud Father each with their own story to tell but linked directly to each others experience on a memorable Javelina hunt documented by their Brother/Uncle tagging along as camera jockey and pack mule to boot.
Hunting with AR15s is a family passion if not a family tradition now. There will be other means and other hunts without ARs but whenever possible and usually as a primary consideration – the ARs are always considered for the Hunt. They are regularly putting meat in the freezer and smiles on faces in the field. Please subscribe to BOTH the ARHunters YouTube Channel and Facebook Page to follow other adventures and find information about hunting with ARs. Make sure you also watch the video about how we cooked up these Javelina’s too and enjoy the FREE Recipe at the end.
About JJ Sutton, C.P.S., C.M.A.S. :
A Native Colorado resident & life time Hunter. JJ served 7yrs in the US Army during the 90s and logged 12 months down range during hostilities in the Balkins. Mostly work and some play he has traveled/visited 20+ countries. He owned a highly regarded Private Security Firm for more than 15yrs., as a Certified Protection Specialist and Certified Master Anti-Terrorism Specialist, and worked Int’l Celebrities and personalities related to his business throughout Colorado & Caribbean. He has consulted & worked for private security interests during the 2002 Winter Olympics, later a Presidential Security Detail Member with the President & First Family of Haiti. His skills and interests also include Firearms Training, Manufacturing & Consulting for custom design & builds of AR15s & AR10s. He now is an Industry Contributor, Consultant, Seasonal Hunting Guide and His current pet project includes a new website promoting the Modern Sporting Rifle like it truly is intended to be with ARHunters.com – YouTube / Facebook by the same name (please “Like” AND Follow those too!).