The Texas javelina is found in the more arid or semi-arid parts of the state, with most occurring in the South Texas brush country, the Trans-Pecos' desert grasslands, and the Edwards Plateau's oak-juniper woodlands. Javelinas have long held an undeserved reputation for ferocity. They have poor eyesight and will often remain around humans longer than other wildlife when startled. When cornered, they can defend themselves very effectively with sharp canine like teeth or "tusks". Many dogs have been crippled or killed when trying to attack javelina. Yet aggressive encounters with humans are very rare. Javelina can be very troublesome to landowners when they become habituated to homes and human activities. They often sleep in caves, and cave like areas, and seem to find the crawl spaces under homes attractive. They may cause significant damage to yards and sprinkler systems because of their habit of rooting for food.
Javelina travel in small herds or "family groups" and seem to have a somewhat limited home range. In the winter, they are generally active in the early morning and late afternoon. Javelina are largely nocturnal during the hotter times of the year. They feed primarily on cactus (particularly prickly pear), mesquite beans, lechuguilla, sotol, mast, fruits, and insects.
Biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have conducted several studies to obtain information needed to manage this species, but there is still much to be learned.
Javelinas are omnivorous, meaning they will eat almost anything available. Studies in Texas and Arizona have proven that prickly pear carries a great deal of importance in the javelinas diet. This plant provides more than half of its diet while fulfilling most of its water requirements. This thorny diet, low in nutrients, is supplemented by green forbs, vines, and grasses. Aside from pushing the prickly pear along the ground to remove the longer thorns, the javelina pays little attention to the thorns on this tasty meal.
2011 Texas Javelina Hunting Seasons