In Texas, the state Parks & Wildlife department offers chances to hunt various game on public wildlife reserves each year. This year I applied for and was drawn on a four-day javelina hunt at Big Bend Ranch State Park in far West Texas. It’s very remote, rugged country, where 4-wheel-drive vehicles are required and most hunters choose to camp in tents in the compartments they’re assigned. I was completely alone in my compartment, about 5 square miles of rocks, thorny scrub bushes and cactus. There was no shade from the desert sun, and daytime temps were in the 90s F (30 C). I spent the first two days scouting and climbing hillsides to glass. I saw plenty of beautiful mule deer, but no javelinas. I went to plan B on the third morning, scaling a small mountain to bisect a trail heading south, to no avail. For that afternoon, I got in the Jeep and headed to the south end of the compartment to walk north, since a storm and the breeze were blowing in from that direction. After a couple of hours of walking through the spitting rain, I spotted a javelina poking through the brush and I nailed it with my carbine. The javelina weighed 30 lbs gutted. It was an ordeal carrying/dragging it back down the trail to my Jeep, but at least with the rain the temps were much lower. I haven’t been to Namibia, but the terrain seems similar based on photos. Given the strenuous nature of this hunt, I think I better get my African Safari in before I get even older.