Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

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Scott Tschirhart
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Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I left that morning with a rifle my lunch and some water. Walking along, I saw blue quail running from bush to bush as I approached. This land looks like it cannot support life, but appearances can be decieving. Whitetails, mule deer, javalina and all manner of wildlife lives here. Water is scarce, but it can be found.

My plan was to hunt the canyons and see what I could find. Rough country to be sure, but there are signs of people who lived here long ago, lots of people. They apparently lived part of the year in the caves at the head of the canyons. We found a Spanish breastplate (looks like it was made for a child compared to how big humans are today) in one of those caves, it is in the museum in Fort Stockton. There are remnants of bedding woven from local plants there too. Some of the caves have drawings on the walls.

In one particular cave, there is a large rock that is worn glass smooth. If you sit on it, you can see the whole canyon and I imagine that this rock was worn smooth by people doing just that. I'm told that these people were killed off by disease brought to the new world by the Spanish explorers. Who knows? But there seems to have been a lot of them living here.

I shot a couple of wild sheep that morning and spent quite a bit of time cutting them up and carrying the pieces up out of the canyon. I mounted one of the heads and that mount decorates my Austin office....and gives the Prius people fits.

It was getting late, and I started back because I knew my companion (and fellow Deputy) Pat Reyna would have beans and tortillas by the fire. Down in one of the canyons I heard some stones clatter. I eased up to the edge and there was a big group of Javelina down there. I picked out the biggest boar and plugged him from about 150 yards. I shot him again because I thought he needed it and he lay still while the rest scattered. It was getting dark as I made my way down the steep side of the canyon and I gutted him, and began to take him out. He was a grizzed old fellow, with scars to show for his years.

However, I did not make it out of the canyon as I heard teeth popping and the strange noises made by angry javelina as they approached from seemingly all sides. I climbed up on a rock as these angry beasts circles around and popped their teeth at me. I didn't want to shoot another one, and I couldn't if I wanted to.... my rifle was empty and I didn't carry a pistol while hunting in those days. I sat up on that rock as the sun went down and I waited until I was sure I was alone. The moon came up full and the tarrantulas covered the desert floor making their annual pilgrimage south. I slung the pig and my empty rifle over my shoulders and crawled up the canyon wall. Fortunately it was too cold for rattlesnakes.

Pat was happy to see me, but not worried one bit. He figured I would be along sooner or later (at times I wasn't so sure). The beans and the coffee were hot and waiting. I miss those days.
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

Pat’s grave outside of D’Hanis Texas. I couldn’t fault him as a partner. He was tough as boot leather and as loyal as an old dog. I miss his company by the fire.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by piller »

Javalina have a reputation for being dangerous. I don't want to be on the ground with them if I don't have a gun and ammo.
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FWiedner
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by FWiedner »

.

Thanks for sharing that experience.

I love hunting in south Texas and Big Bend area. Most of my experiences were a couple miles farther west between Fort Stockton and north of Terlingua.

Haven't been down that way in a few years now.

But I do remember the place fondly.

:)
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I didn’t own a phone or camera in those days. But here’s a photo of another javelina I killed years later in Sanderson Canyon while hunting with Bill Bagwell.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by crs »

Scott,
Your Javelina story reminds me of an experience I had down near the Pecos River.
I drove from camp to the canyon that the hunt manager had recommended for sitting to watch for deer and Javelina and parked at the rim. It seems the tires on my old Scout II were OK in town and on a good highway but not on the sharp rock roadbed of the ranch or the steep decline into the canyon. After hunting my way down to the canyon bottom, I turned down slope and hunted slowly along for a half mile before I saw game. I was about 20-30 yards uphill from the very bottom of the wash at the canyon bottom where three Javelina were feeding near some thorny brush. Two seemed healthy and the third looked sick or injured, so I shot one healthy one and the sick one. At the scene where they fell, their odor nearly knocked my over. One looked to have been shot up and left to die, so I finished it off. The healthy one I decided to take back to camp, clean, and put on ice.

For those who have not carried a dead Javelina over one shoulder nearly a mile in the heat where the last half mile is up a rocky hill, do not do it! Either have motorized transport or leave it! By the time the hunt was over and I began the drive back to the Dallas area, most of the ice had melted and and my piggy was not aging well. Many hours later when I drove down my driveway, the strange car in the driveway reminded me that my wife's parents from Mississippi were coming for their first visit at our home. Not one of my better moments. Wife said you are late and volunteered to look after my clothes and the Javelina while I cleaned up and got ready for supper. It seems that she bagged my clothes and pig and tossed both into the garbage bin. It may have been my imagination, but I thought I smelled like a dead Javelina for a week!
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

I generally cut the gland out of their back as soon as I got to them, and the smell did not bother me. People who don't do that often have a similar experience to tht which you describe. You don't want to get that stuff on your hands or you will smell it for a week!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Griff »

For a couple of years I was on a lease just north of Sanderson... that is some rugged country. And GOOD hunting if you're willing!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by crs »

Scott - you tripped another memory switch with D'Hanis, TX.

I often hunted an exotic ranch at Hondo and one Saturday night we drove down to the Steakhouse and Honky Tonk at D"hanis. Good food and music and good times!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Blaine »

Many years ago I stepped out the front door of my friend's house in Cottonwood, and a Javelina helped me get in the rest of my daily exercise. My buddy let his standard poodle out, and it lit into the bugger and got it off me.
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JimT
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by JimT »

THANK YOU SCOTT!
I appreciated the story.

As to the Javelina scent gland, I killed truckloads of the little critters the years we lived in Arizona. If you just pull the hide off the gland comes with it and you have no issues. They would come in our yard at night and eat the dog food, dig up the flower beds, fight over the fallen peaches from the peach trees. I would go out and shoot among them just to run them off so we could sleep. We ate them all the time. My wife made a lot of meat with them. This is one of her recipes:

Recipe For Barbequed Javelina

4 to 6 pounds Javelina, pre-cooked and shredded (my wife cooks them in a pressure cooker)

½ cup oil

16 oz. Ketchup

½ cup molasses

¼ cup soy sauce

¼ cup honey

¼ cup prepared mustard

3 tablespoons vinegar

1 medium onion, minced very fine

1 jar orange marmalade (4 to 6 oz.)

2 teaspoons liquid smoke flavor

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 teaspoon barbeque spice

1 to 2 dashes Tabasco Sauce

Mix all ingredients except the meat and set aside one hour. Place meat in a crock pot, pour 2 to 3 coups of barbeque sauce over the meat. Set crock pot on low and cook over night. Then ENJOY!
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

That sounds really good.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by piller »

Being mildly allergic to mustard, I would have to cut the mustard by 90%, but it sounds good. I can have a little, but tongue swelling while eating gets to be irritating.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Had to look up Sanderson. Mercy sakes, six churches for a population of 837. Hope those pastors have some side work!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Grizz »

If you just pull the hide off the gland comes with it and you have no issues.


which way? with deer we hang them by head or antlers and hide peels right off. hung by back feet the hide fights all the way... never skinned javalina or swine... gaps in my education, I know . . .
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by JimT »

Grizz wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 2:39 pm
If you just pull the hide off the gland comes with it and you have no issues.


which way? with deer we hang them by head or antlers and hide peels right off. hung by back feet the hide fights all the way... never skinned javalina or swine... gaps in my education, I know . . .
I skinned them from the head down.
Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

JimT wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:36 pm
I skinned them from the head down.
Same here. But if you want to carry one out, you can cut the hide above the gland and skin back that part to dispose of the gland. Just cut a good sized circle out. That way the rest of the hide is on to protect the meat.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by KWK »

I mounted one of the heads and that mount decorates my Austin office....and gives the Prius people fits.
Nice story, but some of us who drive 60 mpg cars enjoy shooting and take their kids to the plumbing supply shop in town that has the heads of African game on the walls--just to see the heads.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by WASATCH CHARLIE »

Really enjoyed the story.
my adopted daughter lives in San Antoino,a well known female professional jockey.
and me,stuck up here in the monsoons ,hard against the WASHINGTON state,canadian border....
enjoy the heat.
Was I really going that fast????? Geez, officer,did not think this old Ford would even do 90 !!!!!!
I'm canadian Eh !!!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by piller »

When you visit San Antonio, you need to go to the riverwalk. That river running through it is cold. The temperature drops noticeably as you walk down the stairs to the main area.
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Scott Tschirhart
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

KWK wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:33 pm
I mounted one of the heads and that mount decorates my Austin office....and gives the Prius people fits.
Nice story, but some of us who drive 60 mpg cars enjoy shooting and take their kids to the plumbing supply shop in town that has the heads of African game on the walls--just to see the heads.
Austin has become a very queer place. I don't judge a man by the car he drives. Its more about how liberal my birthplace has become.
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by piller »

Austin is in the process of deleting their Police Force. I think that sounds about as stupid as anything I have ever heard.
D. Brian Casady
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by piller »

Here is a link to a magazine article about Sanderson.
https://www.texasmonthly.com/travel/san ... as-escape/
D. Brian Casady
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by Bill in Oregon »

Good old Texas Monthly. Thanks for the link Brian!
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Re: Hard against the Border near Sanderson, Texas

Post by mickbr »

Scott, great story. I have nothing to compare but did know of a fella who once got treed by hogs . He left his firearm at the base of the tree and they had a chew on the stock and sling before they wandered off, I assume they could taste the sweat on it.
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