The Party

We had been on the Brady Lease, for four years and the membership had been reduced (by choice) to four other hunters and their families. During the deer season of 1991, our rancher said that because he liked us and knew we wouldn’t abuse the property, he was throwing in another six hundred acres, at no increase in the price. The only catch was that it was on two sides of Highway 190 and bordered the city limits of Rochelle. The south side of the property had one big “L” shaped field bordered with very, thick brush and this area was the deer magnet.

The rancher and I went to visit the acreage, and to say the least, I was impressed because as we bumped along the rutted, dirt, track, the first animal I saw, less than one hundred yards away, was a massive buck, tall rack, heavy horned, with at least a twenty inch spread! The rancher said, “I’ve named that buck,’ Big Boy’. I see him all the time and I believe it’s time to shoot him.” Of course, not expecting to see any deer in the middle of the warm day, so close to the highway, I wasn’t armed, so I just looked on in awe!

There is nothing that could have prepared me and the other hunters for the great number of deer that we would see on that property, right in town, although not a big town, and bisected by 190, a busy east west highway. But one hunt stands out in my memory.

Brad and I were out to get “Big Boy” and by 3:00 PM we were in our “hides”, mine was nestled into a brush pile overlooking the short side of the “L” field and his was on one end of the long side, in a twisty, four foot, deep, dry creek bed.

Approaching 5:00 PM, we hadn’t seen anything but a few crows, and then, all of a sudden, coming out of the thick, brush, deer were everywhere. Brad was masked from my view but we both could see the far brush line, and there, looking out from behind a mesquite was “Big Boy”!

Almost dusk, the big deer moved to our right, two hundred yards away he was joined by another buck almost his twin and they moved down a fence line, passing from my view. Brad’s M1A roared. And in his words, “Dad, the two deer were side by side and I hit the one closest to me. He hopped once and took off, jumping the fence. He’s down somewhere over the fence! Let’s go find him.”

It was almost dark, our flashlights showed blood spattered on the ground where the buck was hit and climbing over the fence, more blood. One problem however, not three hundred yards east of us in a nice, ranch house, a party was just getting started. Cars driving up were casting their headlights out across the field where we were looking for the deer. Here come headlights, drop down, get back up, follow the blood trail, more headlights, drop down and finally, deer horns reflected in the headlights.

Not a hundred yards from the house, we found the deer, it was a nice one! We each grabbed a leg and ran (slowly) back to the fence. Somehow, we ‘rasseled the hundred-twenty pounder over the fence and finally, could admire the buck, not “Big Boy”, but a real trophy, a perfect eight pointer, good mass and we guessed a eighteen to nineteen inch spread! At the party no one noticed us, and they partied on without a hitch.

We loaded the deer in the Jeep and headed for the closest processor, Richland Springs, twenty miles away. Brad decided not to have the head mounted, (big mistake), told the attendant to just cut the horns off and (bigger mistake), he’d pick them up with the meat. The next week when we stopped at the processors, the fine set of horns had disappeared!

Two weeks later, the best deer hunter of our group shot “Big Boy”, knocked him down, he jumped up, ran off, the blood trail petered out, the hunter never found him and “Big Boy” was never seen again!