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Tuesday, November 29. 2011
On Monday afternoon I went out around 4:00 PM and sat in the stand until dark and the only thing moving around were some dove flying by. Being stoked to get a deer, I was up at 5:00 AM this morning, but the call of the bed was too much, needless to say, I didnâ€™t go out.
Suzanne sent me some pictures from her Ipod, I went out and collected an excellent â€œshotâ€ from the game cam on the feeder and they do fine to tell â€œthe rest of the storyâ€ about the excellent buck Randy harvested. The first shows the buck feeding the time being incorrect, because I havenâ€™t changed the camera to Daylight Saving. At the time of this â€œshotâ€ Randy was observing, not shooting for 10 more minutes.
After the buck was found, loaded up in Lesterâ€™s 4 wheeler, he drove Randy and all of the kids up to his gate on the County Road and then he made the decision to drive everyone around to my house. Following in my truck, Suzanne took this picture and from the left, Lester, Jeremy, Randy, the buck, Wesley and Will.
Randy cleaned the buck on the ground, of course after we hefted it up and back out of the 4 wheeler. Here, heâ€™s sharing some tips on cleaning a deer with Will.
All involved showed determination and, what I call, â€œsticktuitvnessâ€ in the subsequent tracking, finding the quarry and the recovery of the prize. This tale of the 2 day buck hunt will go down in family history and be told, I'm sure, around many campfires in the future!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 15:30 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 27. 2011
Friday was a beautiful day, minimum wind, a lot of deer movement, but no shootible bucks seen. Saturday was a day taken off by me because Sara, my grand daughter, had a beautiful, baby girl, another great for me! So, Suzanne, Rebekah, Wesley and I ,drove over to Killeen to visit with Sara and the newborn. The picture shows a proud Great Grand Pa holding Callyn Elizabeth. As we were driving over, Randy, however, went out Saturday morning and even after sleeping in, saw at least 10 doe and yearlings.
A funny thing happened on Randyâ€™s way out to his blind to hunt on Saturday afternoon. For no real reason, he took this â€œshotâ€ of a big deer track and he followed the tracks all the way past the tripod stand he would use to later shot a deer. Sunday morning this distinctive track would be instrumental in finding the buck!
Later Saturday afternoon, this was a different story. Randy saw a big buck, he texted Laura with a â€œShoot or no shoot,â€ she asked me the same and I told her to text Randy and ask, â€œHow big and was it limping?â€ His reply was, â€œNo to the limp and 4 inches outside its ears.â€ My reply to Laura was, â€œShoot!â€ He did, his .243 boomed, but we later found out that the shot was about 3 inches low, plowing into the bucks lungs, but not a knock down, kill â€˜em on the spot one. Telling Laura to text him with, â€œIâ€™m on my way with the tractor,â€ I walked outside and about the same time the â€œnortherâ€, with a cold north wind was howling!
Bundling up, then starting the tractor, I chugged toward the blind and upon arriving, found Randy looking for the deer. Apparently his shot had not felled the buck on the spot. We looked in one direction and the other, finally, it was almost dark, after about 30 minutes, we found where the buck had gone down, with a copious amount of blood on the ground then we knew the shot had been a killing one! Following the blood trail, it led us to our property fence along the County Road and we assumed that he had jumped over.
Meanwhile, Colton had shot a nice doe, had cleaned it and was on his way to a big date. This was the big doe that Wesley and I had seen on Wednesday afternoon.
Back to the tractor, back to the house and we drove around to the spot the buck had cleared our fence, no blood, but there was a splash on the other side of the road where he jumped the neighbors fence, cutting across her pasture. It was after 8:00 PM, it was getting plum cold too, so we figured to wait until morning to continue the search.
Sunday morning was real chilly, 37 degrees, Randy called both neighbors, the lady wasnâ€™t home, but Lester, my neighbor to the southwest said we could hunt for the buck and he would come out and help us. Going on into town for Sunday School, I announced to my class that we had a buck down and were still looking for it, so by acclimation, the class said for me to forgo todayâ€™s lesson and, by all means, find the buck!
Picking up Spike, our wonder Dachshund and having 5 Grandkids, Suzanne, a good tracker, Randy, who is color blind and canâ€™t see the blood, and Wesley, who with Spike ultimately found the buck, we all drove around to Lesterâ€™s gate and awaited his arrival. Letting us in his pasture, he went around to get his big 4 wheeler and by then, Randy, Suzanne, Wesley and Spike were burrowing through the thick stuff, following the blood trail, the trackers lost contact with Spike, then breaking through the briars, in a small clearing, Wesley spied the dog guarding the deer, a nice 9 pointer, with a 16-1/2 inch inside spread. The "shot" of the trackers shows the thick stuff Wesley crawled through, Wesley missing, was taking the picture. Loading up the deer, Lester was nice enough to drive the buck around to my house so Randy and Will could begin the clean up.
Success was ours, a real team effort, after 14 hours we found the buck, with the cool weather, it was still cool in the middle of the day on Sunday, the meat was good and pictures taken. We persevered in our hunt for the buck and it really paid off!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 17:45 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, November 25. 2011
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Tuesday, November 22. 2011
Yesterday, being my birthday, was celebrated in a tripod stand on the west side of my place. Seeing nothing right at sunup, at 7:15 there was a nice buck trotting along just outside of the fence thatâ€™s the property line. Giving him a couple of grunts it looked like he went on his way, but not 5 minutes later he showed up right along the fence, looking for the buck that challenged him.
It looked like he was looking my way so I froze, but my rifle was on my shoulder, half way into firing position. Being able to see him through the scope, he was nestled behind a mesquite and if I shot there was a good chance the bullet would be deflected, so he trotted on, never knowing how close he came to being a roast for Thanksgiving!
Right at 7:45 here came a young 6 pointer, previously â€œshotâ€ at the corn feeder. Heâ€™s the one with the long brow tines on the left of the "shot" and Iâ€™m glad heâ€™s made it this far into the season because next year, heâ€™ll be a real shooter! He sauntered up to a cedar tree, rubbed his pre-orbital gland on the spines then peed on his tarsal glands, marking his rub. This was classic, but I had decided that I wouldnâ€™t try to take a picture or video because yesterday morning I was out for meat, not good pictures.
The weekend wasnâ€™t a loss because Colton and his girlfriend, Lauren, hunted Saturday afternoon and they scored with 2 doe, making our total 3 doe and 2 spikes. We need to take at least 3 more doe and 3 spikes so for the midpoint of the rut we can concentrate on the big ones.
Planning on going out yesterday afternoon, my plans were changed by the weather, because we were under a severe thunderstorm warning beginning at 6:00 PM. Opting on passing up the hunt, not wanting to get hailed on, large hail was predicted, so I called it a day. For the past 18 months, weâ€™re way behind on rainfall so any will be appreciated, even the hard variety!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 08:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Sunday, November 20. 2011
At my hunting lease outside of Millersview, Randy, Paul Culbertson, Son and Son-In-Law in order, and I, along with Sonny and Red, had just put up a nice bevy of quail, 15 or more, had knocked down 3 on the rise and were going after the main bunch that had fanned out over 300 yards ahead of us. We were in no hurry to press the quail, let â€˜em spread their scent around, so we took our time and off to my right I saw a deer horn poking above the knee high grass. Always alert for sheds, better to use for rattlinâ€™, I ended my quail chase and sauntered over to check the horns out.
Closer inspection revealed they were still attached to a, recently shot, now dead, but not smelling yet, buck. It was plain that it had been gut shot, it was hit right in the middle, very poor shot placement, but not wanting to miss out on the fast singles action that lay ahead I made a hasty triangulation of land marks. Marking a shin oak grove, a lone mesquite tree and a distant butte, I went on after the birds.
Some excellent dog work from Sonny and Red, helped us to collect 3 more cock birds and taking a break from the action, I told the boys about my earlier find and the huge horns! Both were anxious to walk back and see the buck, but as we walked, we figured out we didnâ€™t have a saw, nor was there one in the truck. Finding the buck was easy, but after the oohing and aahing, we could figure no way to collect the horns, so I decided to come back the next Saturday with a saw and by then I would need a mask too!
The next Saturday, Randy, Brad, Paul and I, along with Sonny and Red began our quest for the horns, but not before collecting 3 quail pointed by the dogs. Hunting into the wind, finding the buck was easy, we just followed the scent, no need for the landmarks, and after donning face masks, began hacking with the saw. The horns, pictured below, were still huge!
After securing the horns, back in Houston the next week I called each lease member and asked them if they had shot at, wounded or missed a good buck. Each man said that for the past several weeks they hadnâ€™t even fired a shot. My boys and I believed the buck was gut shot on an adjoining lease, jumped the fence on to our lease, died a slow, painful death and we wondered about the true story of this great buck, who shot him and didnâ€™t even have the courtesy to ask our rancher for permission to look for their trophy!
Two weeks after collecting the horns, the hunters (AKA tenderfoots) on the adjoining lease flagged me down while I was chasing quail and asked me if they could cross over to look for a deer they had shot (shot at, I thought). â€œOf course,â€ I said to them, adding, â€œLeave your guns on your side of the fence, but come on over and Iâ€™ll help you.â€ The blood trail was light, soon disappearing, but we looked for 2 more hours with no luck, so I helped them back over the fence and they went on their way. After the search, I believed that I had figured what had happened to the trophy buck.
For 3 years the horns graced the horn wall in our old ranch house, then I took them down to my friend Warren Blesh, owner of RRR Ranch, and an official B&C scorer, to have them scored. Scoring them he found they hit 160-1/2 gross and netted 157-1/4. He told me that anything over 130 was considered a trophy and that I should round up a deer head, attach the horns and have a real, good one hanging on the wall! Another friend and softball buddy, Mickey Donahoo, also a taxidermist, said he could take a caped deer and add these horns adding that he would even come over and cape one for me! I canâ€™t beat that!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 15:15 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Thursday, November 17. 2011
The previous May, having retired to my ranch outside of Goldthwaite, Texas, I was looking forward to, and planning on a bang up deer season, but as Robert Burns, the Scottish poet said, â€œSometimes our plans falter and go astray.â€ Before the season I had spotted some real nice bucks, but the first rut cycle ended for me without a clear shot.
Getting out of bed early the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 28, it was raining copiously so I decided to sleep in, telling myself that I would try hunting around noon. Noon found me climbing into tree stand that was near a corn feeder and several well used deer trails. Of course, as I climbed to eye level with the seat, it had caught water from the earlier rain and I had nothing to wipe it out with, not even a hankie!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 14:40 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Monday, November 14. 2011
Yesterday Layla and I made an all day trip to Paris, Texas to see our grandsons, Wesley and Will Culbertson, get baptized, 4-1/2 hours each way, but I sure went bed early last night, 8:30 PM and as I was dozing off I thought, This daylight savings time sucks! Up early this morning, I was sitting in a tripod stand before sunup hoping to see a big buck, because wisps of fog were drifting around, the wind was light, the moon was still up, the rut was in full swing and I just knew that today was the day I was going to get a big one.
Hearing an â€œIâ€™m around hereâ€ grunt, I readied myself for, hopefully a shot, but the first one around the feeder was a young spike that fed awhile. Soon, a bigger, young buck, the side facing me looked like a 4 or 5 pointer, chased the little one off. The little one walked toward my stand, walked right by me, but I declined a shot because I just knew a big buck was lurking near, so I passed. Hereâ€™s a â€œshotâ€, taken on the afternoon of the 4th, of the spike I passed on.
When I came in from my hunt, told Layla about the opportunity, she chided me saying, â€œI know you, you just didnâ€™t want to clean him this morning!â€ Answering her, I replied, " Don't worry, I'll get him tomorrow morning and you can clean it for me."
Glassing the young one, he only had one horn, obviously he was the victim of an earlier clash and came out second best. This early morning â€œshotâ€ shows the â€œunicornâ€ with only one horn.
Saturday afternoon, Colton and his girl friend, Lauren, came out and hunted in MaMaws blind and he shot a doe. Holding the light for him, I heard Lauren utter a â€œYuk,â€ when the guts plopped out, but I believe sheâ€™s going to be OK.
Sunday afternoon Tim Albee came out and hunted and on the shooting range, as he was checking out his iron sights, he saw a spike chasing a doe across the field on his right, and in true Army fashion, dropped it as it ran.
Posted by Jon Bryan at 14:35 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
Saturday, November 12. 2011
This year 2011 is looking strangely like the past years on the ranch, but this year, especially, we are encountering extremely high winds, it will blow hard from the southeast, then come roaring back with a strong wind from the northwest. Deer are skittish with high winds and curtail their movement, however Iâ€™m hearing that for the past few days over the County, buck sightings, chasing doe are increasing. Maybe this year will be like most of them past, when the best hunting for bucks will be later in the season.
This leads me to remember some past late season hunts and the first to mind is about a buck that depredated my peach trees! The day before I had spooked a nice buck, 8 or 10 points, out of my freshly, plowed garden. As I rushed inside for a rifle, I peeped around the corner and saw the buck disappear into the tall grass, this being one of our periods of ample rainfall, then he was long gone before I could get the scope on him.
Sitting in a blind the next week, on December 7, 2007, before the sun came up, I was thinking, will I ever get a good buck this season? A good chance had been last week when I flushed a shooter buck out of my garden, then as I checked my watch (again), it was 7:45 AM, when I heard a soft grunt come out of the thick stuff. Pleased that my game ears really worked as advertised, I got ready because I knew this was a buck announcing his presence in the area.
Within 20 minutes, a doe walked out and began to sniff around the fence of the feeder, slowly circling it, she acted real nervous, then jumped over the fence and began nibbling at the corn. She looked up, stared intently into the thick cover, then nibbled some more, stared some more and I tensed up anticipating that a buck would show soon.
Sure enough, out walked a nice one, either an 8 or 10, horns well outside the ears, a nice looking deer. For several seconds, more like minutes, he was masked by a cedar tree, so I set up on the opening where he should cross, out he walked and bam! He hopped, but didnâ€™t fall, staggered off as the doe jumped out of the feeder pen.
The buck was done for, so I unloaded my rifle, climbed out of the stand, and looked up, here came the doe. She stood 50 feet away from me, looked at me as if to say, â€œWhereâ€™d the buck go?â€ She circled the area once more then walked off, tail down, in frustration Iâ€™m sure, to begin her search for a new buck.
Walking over, I saw the buck down, a close look showed 10 points, then nudging him with no response, I went to get Spike, our wonder daschund, for a little tracking practice. Layla and I loaded up Spike and drove to the feeder, put him out, he made one cross wind trot, swing around, smelled the buck and headed straight toward it. He now took over the buck, guarded and nuzzled it and to get him away from the deer, I had to put on gloves to pick him up so we could load the buck.
Looking more closely at the fine buck, it struck me that this was probably the same one Iâ€™d seen exiting my garden, the stand is about 600 yards from it. Bucks range for miles, but this one may have stayed too close to home. Anyway, finding a hot doe was his down fall!
Posted by Jon Bryan in Hunting at 12:55 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
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