Previous Post
Next Post

While growing up, I read all kinds of advice saying that Javelinas aren’t dangerous. I read, over and over, that all the old stories of them attacking humans were old wives tales. Not documented, never happened. So I was a bit surprised to come across an article with reporting an unprovoked real world attack by a herd of javelinas. It was life threatening for a woman and her dogs . . .


The victim told authorities that a herd of javelina came out of a nearby wash, crossed the road, and attacked her and her two leashed dogs unprovoked.

Arizona Game & Fish spokesperson Amy Burnett says the woman lost her footing and fell to the ground as two of the javelina began biting her. The victim’s husband and a neighbor helped to free the woman from the animals on the attack, and they brought her to safety using a two-by-four plank while the javelina continued to chase her down and attack her dogs.

The woman suffered several bites on her upper body and neck area. She had to undergo surgery, and is receiving rabies treatment as a precaution.

It should have been a defensive gun use (DGU). In Arizona, no permit is needed to put a pistol in your pocket when you go out for a walk.

A large javelina will run 40 pounds. Almost any firearm can put one down. A good friend in Panama shot one with a .22 short out of a single shot rifle. It went down decisively. I was very impressed with the power of a 29 grain bullet at 1,000 feet per second. It went through the skull, through the neck, through the vitals and ended up in the rear thigh.

The words that the reporter use to blame humans for the attack are strained.  The woman “lost her footing” instead of being knocked down. And there was this “contributing factor”:

Game and Fish says two people in the nearby area were reportedly feeding javelina and coyotes as recently as a couple of months ago.

Another article says attacks on humans by javelinas are “rare.” Hmmm. And I thought they never happened. A game camera at my ranch showed a javelina a couple of months ago. The potential of animal attacks has always been a good reason to go about armed. Lots of animals are dangerous in some circumstances. Now we can add another one to the list.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Gun Watch

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. This is the first I have ever heard of javelinas attacking anything. I have seen them out and about before but they usually run like hell if you get near them. Hell I haven’t even seen a wild one for many years. I do know that if I had dogs that stood there and let me get mauled I would get new dogs immediately.

    • Pay attention then. We get at least a couple of attacks that make the paper just in the Phoenix area. Javelina with young seem to relate dogs with coyotes and will attack. Not always but enough to be on guard.

    • It’s pretty unusual, but happens here and there. I don’t think I’ve heard of a javelina attack on a human with no dog involved.

  2. Wolves have attacked and killed people. Coyotes have as well. In Georgia near my sisters, who will not own a gun, a man and his wife were killed by packof dogs. A deputy arrived on the scene and fired one shot, one, which scattered and chased the pack off. The ability to fire one shot may well have saved that couple had they a gun. I killed a large dog that was part of a pack that tried to corner me in the woods when I was 16.

    The real world is not a Disney movie.

    • Feral dogs are probably the most dangerous animal people in North America typically encounter. Feral dog know not to be afraid of humans, unlike wild animals.

      • Re: feral dogs. Dangerous as fuck, far more so than wolves or coyotes or bears for that matter. I once was running in the middle of the desert outside of Mesa AZ and was set upon by a pack of dogs. No gun in my running kit so I lured them into traffic and let the cement trucks handle them for me.

    • If I recall, there is only one recorded instance of a person killed by a coyote. It was actually a “brush wolf” which is a wolf/coyote hybrid. I do not track these things but there was a kid attacked by wolf here in MN (which has largest wolf population in lower 48) and it caused quite a sensation. He survived but I believe that was the first attack on human recorded in the state. You are far more likely to be killed by bees than by coyote or wolf.

      • Off the top of my head there’s 2 cases that I can think of. A wolf attack killed a researcher(or photog) in Canada and a woman jogger was killed by 2 yotes, I believe also in Canada.

        Generally speaking I consider domestic animals to be much more dangerous than the wild type. But I carry when i’m in the wild country. Saved my ass when I was 16.

  3. So glad a friend and I plugged a handful of these bastards at his farm in Texas. Wolf 7.62×39 hollow points out of a beater Chi-Com SKS got the job done. I’ve heard the smaller ones taste great if you exercise superior shot placement and then cook ’em right.

    • The SKS is my favorite pig-hunting rifle. They come in packs large enough, and the kudzu is thick enough, so I upped capacity with a quality steel 20rd mag and put a Williams Firesight aperture rear and fiber-optic front on it. I killed enough of them last year that they got the hint and haven’t been around much since.

      • The SKS and 7.62 AK are the ideal pig hunting rifles… Don’t leave home without one.

    • Are you thinking of feral hogs maybe? I don’t think a handful is within the legal bag limit in texas for two hunters. (I could certainly be wrong on that count, but I know here in AZ it’s a max of 2 per hunter each year).

      SKS is a good hunting rifle choice for either.

        • Yea, they aren’t threatened or anything, but they are a native species worth preserving.
          Fortunately they breed fairly quickly, but they are vulnerable to a whole herd being killed off.
          That used to be a common occurence, particularly in northern mexico they would be hunted with dogs and the hide sold off.

        • A Texas resident oblivious of the bag limit on Javelina? That explains a lot. Either Larry’s not a hunter, moved to Texas from somewhere else, is clueless that the Collared Peccary and feral hog are two distinct species, or all of the above. Too funny! As usual, Larry’s always eager to chime in whether he knows WTF he’s talking about or not.

  4. Hmm. Seems that a lot of people are comfortable claiming that animals aren’t dangerous… from the safety of their apartment in the suburbs.

    • Ahhhh yes, the anti-meat crusaders. Not people who refuse to eat meat and keep it to themselves, you know, the ones who respect freedom of choice. I’m talking about those who try to shame you out of it because feelings. I’ll never forget the PETA drone on my college campus who was 30 pounds overweight. She tried to convince me I can still do 15 pullups per set on a meat free diet. I said “Wait, before you give me fitness advice, how many pullups can you do?” She shuffled away pouting. I thought I was gonna get slapped, but delivering that line was worth the risk.

      • If God didn’t want us to eat animals, then he wouldn’t have made them out of meat…

    • A lot of Liberals proclaim many things from the safety of their apartment in the suburbs.

      • ^This! Nature is cold hard and cruel. It’s a delusion to think otherwise. Watching the Wild Kingdom as a kid was fun until I realized that those Cheetahs and Lions ate the animals alive!

    • I live in an apartment in the suburbs on a cliff over the Cleveland Metroparks.

      I’ve heard coyotes howling in the valley below me and seen tracks in the snow in our parking lot.

      I have NO illusions about the presence of coyotes or the danger which they present.

  5. The stupid liberals that keep feeding the javalinas are what is causing them to get aggressive. I’ve ran into a few that thought to try to go after me instead of running like they normally do. Thankfully my trusty Redhawk makes short work of them.

  6. Yep. Many years ago, my Chow chased a Javelina into the brush down along the border. Her chasing bark turned into a frantic, scared bark. I ran after her and found a ring of 6 Javelina surrounding her. She would face one and a Javelina would lunge, biting at her back legs, she would spin to face it and then another Javelina would lunge and bite again at her back legs. Very well practiced.

    So I fired my VEPR AK platform .556 into the ground, no notice of me, a second shot, no notice, I take aim at the Javelina currently lunging to bite at my dogs legs, they scatter. They had been shot at before.

    If I had not had a gun, I have no doubt, with the Javelina in their attack mode, they would have attacked, killed and eaten me as well if I had gotten into the mix of that very deadly circle. They are omnivores after all.

  7. When I was a child, my family visited friends in southern Arizona. Our friend insisted on being armed when we went for a walk in the desert. The reason: javelinas. And he wasn’t concerned about a single javelina. He was concerned about packs of them. Sounds like he knew what he was talking about.

    • Sadly, the main reason for being armed in that area today is smugglers. Everyone I know who hunts or hikes in southern AZ has run into people crossing the border.

  8. Javelina as and wild boars are different species. A javElina is closer to racoon than a pig geneticlly, yet every wild hog/javelin article I see people confuse them.

    • You have to get up to the class to get commonality between a javelina and a raccoon (“Mammalia”), at which point you also have commonality between a javelina and us. On the other hand, javelinas and pigs, boars, etc. are related at the suborder level, much lower down.

    • Coons are nasty critters. That is why you use a pack of hounds to run one down. Unless your coonhound is a natural born killer my money is on the coon when it’s
      1 v 1.

      • Hell I had a cat that could kill an adult coon 1on1. My ridgeback kills one every couple of months. Javalenas are not coons.

    • Peccary (Javelina) and Pig share:
      Kingdom: Animalia
      Phylum: Chordata
      Class: Mammalia
      Order: Artiodactyla

      Raccoons are:
      Kingdom: Animalia
      Phylum: Chordata
      Class: Mammalia
      Order: Carnivora

  9. I am happy to see an article about an animal attack other than a bear. I know we all like bear stories because it allows us to talk about which big bore handgun or lever gun we should carry. The answer by the the way is neither. A 30-06 or 8mm Mauser will do the trick on any Ursine including a polar bear.

    In my neck of the Wisconsin woods we have the big four — coyotes, wolves, bear and couger. All but the bear can be handled with 9mm JHP. I carry a 10mm when I am out with the dogs and either a
    Mini-14 or Model 70 in 243 when in the deep woods.

    • The guys recommending big heavy slugs for big bears, do so because if you miss the brain (or even skull or shoulders), you can stop a charge by penetrating to their hind region, where the spine slopes down and the tendons, muscles and bone of the legs give you a secondary high value, bigger target.

      As different from an armed human attacker, a bear without properly functioning legs, is severely and pretty much instantaneously compromised wrt their ability to do harm.

      Supposedly, a heavy hardcast slug out of a .50 Alaskan levergun, will exit on lengthwise shots through a big Alaskan coastal Brown, even if bones are busted along the way.

      Of course, not growing up around that kind of guns, just the thought of what kind of recoil anything pushing a wine cork lengthwise though a bear is bound to have, will have me personally taking my risks with the ’06……….

  10. I’m quite surprised a .22 could take down a hog like that. I mean yeah shot placement and all, but I figured it wouldn’t have the cojones to penetrate like that.

  11. I’ll be down in Texas in T-minus 4 days to shoot some pigs and such. I’d like to shoot me a javelina. I need a skull for my collection!

    • So would I, but I’d prefer to do so with a firearm. And when critters hunt in packs, it can be very bad for those who are being hunted.

  12. Thank goodness the remarks here on the webpage version are more sensible. The anti-hunting insanity on TTAG facebook page (when they showed the result of a bear hunt) just gave me a nosebleed.

  13. I must confess my utter lack of knowledge of these critters. I thought they were ordinary wild pigs-instead of “other”. Do folks have javelina BBQ’s?

    • they are fantastic as pit roast. just don’t cook an old boar and think the meat will be tender.

  14. Javalina are in the same family as the hippo not hog. We have them outside of Prescott Az. In herds/packs they will bolt except for one or two dominant members. Our corgi ran out the front door once and ran the whole bunch, about 12, out of our yard. We have had large Shepard’s and golden retrievers in our neighborhood get chewed up but corgis are well suited for biting at the heels of these vermin. If you spot a single javalina not part of a herd watch out. They can be very mean and won’t always back down.

    • Rick,

      Have you actually looked at a photo of a javelina? They look like wild hogs. They don’t look anything like a hippopotamus. Can they interbreed with wild hogs? I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised.

        • Not closely related? By what measure? Please quantify which A, C, G, and Ts in the DNA string have to be identical in order for something to be “closely related”.

        • Mr. Taylor,

          Is 98% close enough for two species to be closely related? After all, that is only 1% less than your (arbitrary) 99%.

          That would mean pigs are our close relatives.

      • We have them in our front yard all the time. Javalina are not a pig, feral hog or wild boar. They evolved from distant wild pig and hippos. When they show dominant activity it looks just like a hippo wig the mouth wide open in a show of force. There is a good article on the Texas A&M web site on our cute little desert puppies with giant tusks. And they stink.,..a lot.

  15. I don’t doubt a pissed off/ rutting/ cornered javelina would mess someone up. I’ve been chased by toms and geese, angry foxes, raccoons. I was too young to carry then but I doubt that would have lasted long if I plugged one. He’ll every year kids and adults are mauled by domesticated dogs.

    • +1 on geese. Geese are mean critters. When I was 10 or so, I walked up on a nesting mother goose and got pecked, bit, and flogged until I ran far enough away that she didn’t feel I was a threat to her eggs anymore. They will straighten out the necks and hiss and you. sounds like and snake.

  16. It’s apparent to anyone who lives anywhere that borders a non-developed area that wild animals are increasing and coming closer looking for food. Every part of the country.

  17. I never go into the wild without a gun. You never know if some idiot has been feeding animals and getting them to lose their fear of humans.

  18. my how ignorant can city dwellers be, Domesticated hogs can and will attack you, a bunch of old timers I new had been bit a time or too, one poor guy had his leg amputated because of a pig biting him, another his lower intestine
    any member of this family will kill and eat you if it has a chance!

  19. I travel a lot in south and southwest Texas. Javelinas are dangerous. They don’t really want to kill you, they want whatever food you’ve got, and they get extremely aggressive to get it.
    The exception is dogs. I’ve seen packs of Javelina intentionally, harry, separate, and kill dogs both large and small. I’ve also seen them tear through the aluminum on an Air Stream trailer to get to the feed corn that was stored inside. And I’ve seen them as pets.
    Just as if you were in bear country, if you are in Javelina country, store your food as securely as you can and away from your campsite. And don’t chain or tie your dogs down anywhere you can’t immediately release them. I’ve been at Big Bend when people ignored the “no dogs” policy down in the Rio Grande Village, only to discover it wasn’t for the safety of the wildlife, it was for the safety of the dogs. It’s a sad thing to see.

  20. From wikipedia
    Peccaries usually measure between 90 and 130 cm (3.0 and 4.3 ft) in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs about 20 to 40 kg (44 to 88 lb).

    The ones at Fort Huachuca are much bigger than 40 pounds. They’re much closer to the large end of the scale.

    You could always tell who was new to the post. Trash day was Monday. If you put your dumpster out on Sunday night your trash would be all over the place after they rooted through it. The ones there didn’t back down if they were feeding or protecting their young.

  21. Ah yes, the term often used “Mother Nature” we use it as a substitute for the word “God” when we do not want to attribute the cruelty of the natural world to him.

Comments are closed.