Javelina, also known as the collared peccary because of their white collar around the neck, stand 20 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh 35 to 60 pounds. Although javelina have very poor eyesight, that doesn’t mean it will be easy to walk up on one to get a picture. Javelina are still good at making out movement, not to mention they have fair hearing and a great sense of smell.

Javelina prefer mesquite habitats with an abundance of prickly pear cactus but can also be found in semi-desert canyons, cliffs and watering holes near cactus. These animals are primarily herbivorous, animals whose primary food source is plant-based, and like to travel in small family groups feeding on roots, insects, fruits, bulbs, beans, worms, invertebrates and reptiles.

New Mexico has a vast amount of public land where you can find javelina. With that in mind, here are a few good starting points. First are the Big Hatchets; these mountains are not only a long way from anywhere, they have excellent javelina habitat and are very easy to glass. Second, the Florida and Tres Hermanas mountains south of Deming. Both of these mountain ranges are steep and rugged, but it’s the brush-filled sand washes at the bases that hold javelina. Hiking up the sides of these mountains provides a great place to sit and glass. Last is the Cedar mountain range just southwest of Deming.

Ross Morgan is a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

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