I was fortunate enough to be invited by a buddy of mine to a nice ranch outside of Melvin, TX, for a trophy deer hunt. I've been pumped about it for weeks, since my best bucks to date are a 140 ten and a 130 eight. Both great bucks, but I was hoping to break the 150 mark.
I have always tried hunting the rut and calling bucks, but never had any real success. Yeah, I can get the yearlings and 2 yr olds in, maybe the occasional small 8 or so. But, never have I been able to bring in a shooter. Maybe I just haven't been in the right place, or just didn't do it right. That kind of hunting gets the blood pumping though, and this weekend, I got out of the blind and worked for one.
The weather in that area this weekend was looking pretty scary. Got out to the ranch on Friday and sat in the blind all afternoon/evening thinking that was the only opportunity I was going to get all weekend. Lots of young bucks chasing, but no big bucks. Sat AM the rain had held off and it was a cool drizzly morning. Same thing...lots of chasing, lots of does and young bucks, but nothing to shoot at. Went in for breakfast just in time as it started dumping rain on us. And the wind was howling. Decided around 10:30AM to get out and start calling along the ridge between thunderstorms. Glad we did. On the third stand, after having close encounters with a couple of nice 8's and getting rained on pretty hard, we hit the rattle bag. It was 12:30PM. We're looking out from halfway down this fairly steep ridge, into the big valley. The next ridge is about 500 yds across from us. After we were settled in and hit the first call, a nice buck popped over that next ridge trotting to the action. He stopped and glared at our side, but didn't see us. Then, he trotted down into the bottom of the ditch in the brush. 5 mins later, we hit the call again, and within another 30 secs or so, he popped up out of the brush, about halfway across to us. Here, I got a good look, and decided it was the one I wanted. As soon as he cleared the brush, I'd get off a shot. Wind was in our favor, he was nose down working hard to find some action. Then, he starts working straight up the hillside, quartering semi toward us, trying to put the wind in his favor. He's 175 yds out. I'm scooting around to get a better angle on him, as he's made his way about 90 degrees to my left from where we first spotted him. He stops behind some shinnery where all I could see was face and rack. I'm sitting against a big rock, leaning over a shooting stick. Heart thumping hard. Then, he starts TROTTING up the hill, quickly! By now, the rain is starting again...
I yell 'HEY' at him. Thankfully, he hadn't seen or winded us yet and he stops just long enough for me to squeeze the trigger. DRT.
That hunt was the most fun of my life so far. So pumped about it! Heart still pounding. By the way, it rained the rest of the afternoon and evening.