Genesis Scottish Open

The Renaissance Club



Javelina Digest

Arizona golf course cooks up genius solution to hungry javelina problem

October 26, 2023

Earlier this week, we shared a video from Seven Canyons Golf Club showcasing the destruction caused by herds of boar-like creatures called javelinas. The clip showed various sections of the Sedona-area course chewed up (literally) by the hungry peccaries and it soon went viral, racking up over 30 million views in just a few days.

The story became something of Rorschach test, with one half of the public expressing sympathy toward the golf course and its employees and the other half siding with the adorable little javelinas, who were simply trying to survive an unusually hot, dry summer in their natural habitat. It became a referendum on the sustainability of the sport as a whole and quickly spiraled into one of the biggest golf stories of the week.

This made a tricky situation for Seven Canyons general manger Dave Bisbee even trickier. Javelinas are classified as “big game” under Arizona law and cannot hunted, trapped or relocated except under extreme circumstances. So Bisbee, working in conjunction with the Arizona Game & Fish Department, was forced to cook up an outside-of-the-box solution:

Chili oil.

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Apparently, while we humans love to drizzle the stuff on everything from pizza to lo mein, javelinas aren’t as fond of the spicy oil. For now, the club is perfecting its recipe at its on-site restaurant—“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 told ABC News—but it's also working with suppliers to acquire a concentrate for a spray. So far, the results have been far more positive than their previous experiment with granules of coyote urine, which Bisbee likened to “bacon bits for their [the javelinas’] salad.”

The end goal is not the elimination or removal of the javelinas—wildlife officials estimate up to 450 javelinas may currently inhabit the golf course and its surrounding areas—but to encourage them to move on to greener (or should we say milder?) pastures until the weather cools down and does the job for them.