I have been dancing around waiting for the site to get back up so that I could let you guys know the outcome of the hunt we had with Jay.
It was a challenge for not just us, but for Jay! He has a set up that his brother-in-law made for him. It consists of a bench rest sighting in vise, a fishing rod holder cut out into a wooden table top mounted to his chair, a ball joint from a car, some pipe and several tightening devices, including bungy straps. The trigger is activated by Jay sucking into a tube. It was awesome and took some time to get all set up.
We started Saturday morning in one of the blinds I had built for him close to the cabin. Well, much to our disappointment nothing came out that morning. Next stop, a big breakfast and planning for the afternoon hunt. I had another blind (at my personal feeder I bow hunt) that I really wanted Jay to hunt at. It's a very rough ride with large rocks and washouts. So, his van with the lift was unable to make the trip, due to low ground clearance. We brought our dove tailed tailer with a fold down ramp to try out, just in case it might work. Sure enough, with ratchet straps and two men riding with him on the trailer, he made the trip in grand style. Jay was riding like a king around the ranch.
The funny thing about the trailer thing is that I've had it for sell since October. For some reason, a few people that said they definitely wanted to buy it, never showed up to get it. I have to think that there was a lot of help from above that had me keeping that trailer for this very reason. There was also a lot of help from above in making this entire trip come together like it was written from some great hunting success book!
I have my feeder set for a noon feeding. So, we were able to load up and drive across the ranch, get set up and get Jay ready before the noon feeding. The feeder went off and within 10 minutes we had a doe standing at the feeder. Now, for some strange reason my knowledge of a semi-auto rifle was tucked back in my brain and not available for reference. I had let the slide load the bullet very quietly and slowly, so as to not spook any deer in the area. When the doe came out, Jay was able to get on her and sucked on the straw. NOTHING happened! After a quick check of all the systems, everything was hooked up great, but the mechanical trigger wasn't firing the shell. So, Jay does it again and again, and again and again with nothing happening. I thought he was going to hyperventilate by the time my brain started working and I knew I had to load the shell again with the slide having all it's force. I pulled back the slide and let it slam shut. Man was that loud! To me at least. It sounded like a bowling ball hitting the pins in the alley as quite as it was out there! All this time the doe is standing there watching me run around behind the blind trying to fix things. Jay said, "Is it ready" and the second I said yes, the rest of the word yes was obliterated by the sound of that 30-06 roaring. After a short tracking job, we found a doe with a shoulder shot!
We did the picture thing, a lot of hugs, high 5's (As Jay told me "High 5 elbows") a lot of hooping and hollering, a few tears were shed and we then went back to the cabin for lunch. The next feeding was at 4:00. So, we are back there again that afternoon. After only a few minutes, turkey seemed to appear out of everywhere. Jay had never seen wild turkey before, so he got to watch as 30 or 40 turkey fed in front of him for over 45 minutes. At 5:00, Jay whispered to me, "there's a deer"! I looked up to see a spike coming through the clearing out past the feed pen. We didn't know that a couple of 7 pointers had stopped behind some trees and were watching as the spike was checking out the area until the guys in the tower blind told us later. It stopped out at about 75 yards and Jay asked me if the switch (an electrical transfer switch that turned everything on) was on. I said, "yea...." BOOM! He didn't even let me finish! I watched as a DRT (Dead Right There) spike hit the ground. I was jumping up and down with joy. I asked him where he was aiming and he said, "At his head!" I told him he was getting a little cocky with his earlier success! He had hit that spike in the neck, just below the jaw. Talk about a great shot!!!!
Two deer in less than 5 hours apart!!! His freezer will be full with those great tasting deer steaks now!
We were able to get all of this on my video camera, complete with wireless microphones to capture every minute of the hunt. Willie filmed the entire hunt from my tall box blind that overlooked everything.
I want to thank TOO (Willie of Texas Outdoor Organizers) ( http://www.outdoorstexas.com/pages/1/index.htm
), Double Drop Tine (Ted), Jay's brother-in-law (Don) for bringing Jay, Mrs Hag for all her help and for being my loving and supporting wife and to Sportsman's Warehouse. The insulated coveralls and tobogon they donated were perfect. Jay loved them and he definitely needed them. Without coveralls, Jay wouldn't have been able to stay out there in that North wind. Without even just one of the volunteers that I listed, this wouldn't have happened. I can't express enough gratitude to each of you with just words!!! They are all top notch in my book!!!
All I can say is that it was an awesome experience that I will never forget. My hat's off to everyone and especially to Jay for not giving up on life, having a dream and doing what he could to make that dream come true!