Day 11: Bite

Decades ago I was an avid backpacker always curious of wildlife in the area I was walking through, especially by the time I was to set up my tent for the night. One never wants to be pitched on any animal trail or under a tree with dead branches, but I liked to see if there was any scat, hills or holes for homes, or animal tracks in my immediate area.

When I moved to the southwest USA I realized I needed to learn about the wildlife here. With big open sky I saw more vultures, hawks, and ravens. At night, I would often hear coyotes howling or in a frenzy chasing after a rabbit. Before setting up my tent I would scout a site to be away from rocky areas where snakes and lizards frequent and check on animal trails and tracks.

Animals do check out our tenting areas despite our best efforts to keep smells not on site. Thus we cook meals away from our sleeping area and tie any items of concern up high and away from us too. It is helpful to know if you are in an area where javelina pass through. They are an animal I have no fondness for and yet they are often around. Their food of choice is prickly pear cacti.

I believe I can tell the size of each javelina relative to the size of the bite taken from the cactus. Also, if you walk down a trail and there are numerous freshly bitten cacti then it could be one javelina working its way down the trail too. Actually, I am not sure if any of this is true, but those are my thoughts.

I think at this point it is best to show a photo of a javelina bite from a prickly pear cactus. Here you are:

At least a couple of bites into prickly pear cactus from a javelina.

The bite marks indicate a decent-sized javelina enjoyed this plant some time ago and no worry about setting up a tent in this area as long as I stay away from the thorns!

3 thoughts on “Day 11: Bite

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s