ARIZONA NEWS

Warmer than usual summer blamed for hungry javelinas ripping through Arizona golf course

Oct 25, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm

Operators of a northern Arizona golf course think they have finally found the right repellent for j...

Operators of a northern Arizona golf course think they have finally found the right repellent for javelinas ripping apart their turf — chili oil. (Wikimedia Photo/Wing-Chi Poon)

(Wikimedia Photo/Wing-Chi Poon)

SEDONA, Ariz. (AP) — Operators of a northern Arizona golf course think they have finally found the right repellent for javelinas ripping apart their turf — chili oil.

“Even though they’re Southwest animals, they don’t like Southwest seasoning,” Dave Bisbee, general manager at Seven Canyons Golf Club in Sedona, said Tuesday.

This is not the first autumn the golf course has been targeted by foraging javelinas. Bisbee said it’s occurred several times over the years, but the amount of damage he saw is rare.

The hotter than normal summer felt in various regions of Arizona is likely what has driven the pig-like peccary to take big bites out of the golf course. The Sedona area saw less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain this whole summer. Last year, the golf course was drenched with 18 inches (46 centimeters) of rain over the course of the summer storm season, also known as monsoon season, Bisbee recalled.

“We had zero damage,” he said.

The tearing of turf started happening six weeks ago. In total, the animals have hit about eight different spots from all sides.

The club has been working with the Arizona Game & Fish Department to “figure out a way to co-exist with them.” A herd of javelinas, also called a squadron, is typically made up of six to nine, according to the National Park Service.

Bisbee said he was told by wildlife officials the golf course has anywhere from 30 to 50 squadrons.

He knows of other golf courses in the state that have had similar issues. But theirs is the only one to draw enormous attention on social media.

Emily Casey, assistant superintendent, posted cellphone video over the weekend showing divot after divot. The video has been viewed more than 25 million times.

A similar situation happened five years ago after a particularly hot, dry summer, Bisbee recalled. That time, the club tried granules of coyote urine. That made things worse.

“It was like putting bacon bits in their salad,” he said.

For now, chili oil seems to be the most effective. The golf club, which has a restaurant, has been working with suppliers to get a concentrate to make a spray. They think it will help until the temperatures cool down next week, which should prompt javelinas to look elsewhere.

“We’re still trying to figure out the right formulation in the chili oil we put out. It’s a delicate thing for the grass,” Bisbee said. “It’s a continuing dance we do.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Surprise domestic violence incident: New details, footage...

Serena O'Sullivan

Surprise police give updates on domestic violence case involving shooting of baby, house fire

Police shared body cam footage of a Surprise domestic violent incident that spiraled into a baby shooting and a house fire on May 17, 2024.

25 minutes ago

Man was found dead after partying at Bartlett Lake Bash...

KTAR.com

Missing Arizona man’s body found dead in Bartlett Lake

A missing man was found dead in Bartlett Lake a day after his friends reported him missing, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.

2 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump, left, and President Joe Biden, shown during an Oct. 22, 2020, debate...

Jim Sharpe

The 2 (really) big things causing Joe Biden to trail Donald Trump in Arizona

Immigration and economy woes might be too much for Joe Biden to overcome in the 2024 election in Arizona, host Jim Sharpe writes.

4 hours ago

Executive order from Gov. Katie Hobbs expands reproductive rights...

KTAR.com

Executive order from Gov. Katie Hobbs expands contraceptive access in Arizona

Gov. Katie Hobbs issued an executive order protecting reproductive freedoms through increased access to contraception, officials said.

4 hours ago

The Wildcat Fire burning north of the Valley continues to grow as dry, windy conditions make it dif...

KTAR.com

Wildcat Fire north of Valley continues to grow due to dry, windy conditions

The Wildcat Fire burning north of the Valley continues to grow as dry, windy conditions make it difficult to suppress the blaze.

6 hours ago

An 11-year-old girl was hospitalized after almost drowning in Phoenix on May 19, 2024. (Pexels Phot...

KTAR.com

11-year-old girl hospitalized after nearly drowning when hair caught in Phoenix pool

An 11-year-old girl was hospitalized after her hair got caught in an underwater pool fixture in Phoenix, authorities said Monday.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Warmer than usual summer blamed for hungry javelinas ripping through Arizona golf course