Saturday was officially Day 4, but in reality, this was the first full day available to the crew. Days 1-3 were truncated by the storms.
We took the last picture (above) while hiking up the hill to feed the dogs. After taking the photo, we put out the meat and hiked up to our chairs. Saturdays are a cherished day because we close the shack at 2pm and can spend as much time at the property as we like. So we got to the chairs and settled in to relax for a little while.
Sydney and Trooper arrive at the chairs in their own time; Sydney is always first. After chilling out for awhile, we all heard something in the brush, probably 50-100 feet away. Brian and I, thinking it was a dog (ie. trespassing human and dog companion), did not react at all when Sydney snarfed and ran off in the direction of the sound.
Shortly after Sydney left, Trooper settled in near the chairs. Brian and I reclined…
[The chairs are situated in a clearing of sorts, with low trees and shrubs encircling the space. There are a few pathways out that a human can take, but most of it is most easily accessed if you’re 3 feet or shorter, like a dog, deer or javelina.]
Out of the blue, Sydney came running back into the clearing via an opening in the shrubs. I heard some sort of dog-ish snarfling as she came into view so I turned around in my chair to see what was going on. A HUGE dog was hot on her heals, chasing her back toward us.
Wait a second! That’s not a dog! That’s some sort of porcupine/hog hybrid. Before I realized it was not a dog, I was out of my chair, yelling and scrambling to get around our chairs and into the clearing. My only conscious thought at this time was something along the lines of, “Sydney is running from that dog, which means she has decided she would lose in a fight (not a thought Sydney has very often) and I need to save her.”
As soon as I started yelling, Brian was out of his chair and right behind me; both of reaching the clearing as the dog/hog/wolf/porcupine chased Sydney across the clearing. At this time, I recognized the animal for what it was – a javelina – and also simultaneously noticed 3-4 more adults just at the edge of the clearing.
Trooper saw them too and was after them before I could intercept him. Brian went after the javelina and Sydney with the intention of stopping Sydney from continuing the confrontation. I went after Trooper. Trooper apparently targeted one that was particularly pissed off because it came right at him…and ME! They did a little ‘I chase you, you chase me’ before I started to get scared. The fear stemmed mostly from the fact that there was an adult standing dead still, watching everything unfold. It was as if he/she was waiting in the wings, ready to help take Trooper down once the first one got a debiltating blow in.
So, all of this happening over the course of seconds, at this point I grabbed rocks and started throwing them at the dead-still adult, trying to avoid the Trooper area since I didn’t want to hit him. Brian and I were yelling throughout the whole process. As soon as the adults realized the rocks were not going to stop, they backed off a little and Trooper returned to me. By this time, Brian had Sydney as well. We hooked the dogs to the leashes and headed down the hill. Our last view of the javelinas was them retreating to the edge of the clearing, but not necessarily running away.
Exciting, huh? Dangerous too. The javelina who chased Sydney – presumably because she got too close and made them feel threatened – was probably surprised when they made it to our clearing and found 3 more pack members, two of them being tall and super loud. Our numbers gave us strength but that might not work every time.
Solution – We’re going to start carrying a pistol and numchucks.