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#6082941 - 12/14/15 09:13 AM Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
My second year to hunt outside Sanderson, TX on a 20 section ranch. The group is all friends that gather for this hunt once a year. The ranch owner cuts us loose on his place with instructions to look out for drug runners, mountain lions, kill any coyote seen, do not kill does and pick which ever buck you want.

This year I took a UTV as opposed to an ATV, I love it! We leave in the morning with rifle, and backpack laden with water. This country will suck the water out of you at rest! The UTV was more handy to carry some essentials than an ATV. After all there are some trails that lead more than 10 miles from the ranch house. I installed a rifle holder to the Ranger that allowed me to have the rifle ready to deploy if the need arose. I kept a 20 qt. Yeti in the bed all week, as well as had a place to stow my pack while driving.

Wear good boots. This country is all rock and incline and will beat down a cheap pair of boots, like it did mine.



Practice shooting from fixed objects at various heights. There are rocks everywhere that can help you hide and give a rifle rest.



Be vigilant always looking for a deer. They can blend into the terrain while staring right at you. The forward facing ears is what I looked for as well as any movement. The lack of trees to sway in the wind, means even when we had 15 mph south winds, virtually nothing on the terrain was in motion. I keep my head on a swivel while driving as well as walking. I did a great deal of both. It is not a hunt for a man that is out of shape. It is a hunt where you get out and search for deer. The closest I came to deer (that I saw) while driving the Ranger was 190 yards. I saw the does before the does saw me. I shut it down, grabbed the rifle, and got on foot behind a small mesquite. She got me, stared, ears forward, but froze as they often do. I had her in the rifle scope waiting on the buck I suspected was with her to show, and we stayed locked together for a good three minutes. She lost interest and headed south. I worked my way toward her direction to inspect for a buck. Sure enough he gave chase and only gave me a view of his body for a split second. They can disappear in the cedars and cactus like ghosts! I had the wind, but couldn't track them down in the brush.

Come with good glass, and the knowledge of how to use it. I used a serpentine pattern top down, right, up, right, down, and moved very slowly. Does and bucks are curious and will stare at you. I looked for anything that could be a deer, standing or laying down when the weather heated up, and it did! We had a tough time this year since the temps got to the lower 70's by 11 a.m. We saw no signs of rutting activity until Thursday.



A good range finder is a must! Living on flat land makes me terrible at judging distance while elevated. I'd look across a canyon to the other side thinking "that's 700 yards", range it with my Swarovski Laser Guide and it would tell me 450 yards. Very surprising. Which leads me to my next suggestion, be prepared for 500 yard shooting. I hoped for as close as I could get, and had every plan to get as close as I could, but there is plenty of potential for shots beyond 200 yards. Everyone in my party were competent to 400 yards, and most of us were competent beyond that. This is my kind of country! Bill killed a buck at 200 yards, Tim killed a buck at 350 yards, and Dustin killed a buck at 250 yards. All carrying rifles that delivered enough oomph to make an ethical kill. We tracked no deer all week.



Wear layers, and leave room in your pack to shed them into. I wore a fairly large pack with most the weight carrying water, and room for my coat to go into. It started in the 30's pre-dawn, and quickly climbed to the 70's by noon.

A compass is a must. GPS devices can die, know the direction to safety, even if it is only a public road. If any one of us got in a jam, and had to punt we knew which direction to go to be found. Use the GPS to waypoint your transportation, take off walking from it hunting for deer. Once you decide to get back to the machine, to move to a new location, you may need to waypoint on the GPS to find it. Carry a head lamp. Everything but the cedars has thorns on it, and the rocks are the perfect size to roll an ankle. Moon light is not enough to walk back to your machine if you are on foot at sundown. Tell your hunting partners the area you will be in. This is unforgiving country and it can kill the unprepared. We all have a healthy respect for the terrain and the fact that the land sucks water out of your body.

All you veteran hunters probably know all of this. I wanted to post this for the new guys, to give them some things to think about if they go off on a mule deer adventure.

I saw several bucks, but they deserved a pass to grow bigger. So I came home with an empty cooler, but a more clear head. Hopefully I'll get one next year, but if I don't I'll still enjoy the hunt in SW Texas where you can see for miles, and can hear nothing but nature.
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#6082957 - 12/14/15 09:19 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
ChadTRG42 Online   happy
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 09/16/09
Posts: 9433
Loc: Lewisville, TX
Sounds like a good time!!! (Oh, and carry duck tape!!!)
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#6082962 - 12/14/15 09:23 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
QuitShootinYoungBucks Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 11/01/12
Posts: 6482
Loc: Lubbock, TX
up up up
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#6082963 - 12/14/15 09:24 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Took some back roads on the way home, and went by Ft. Lancaster.



The observation post up the hill from it.



I love Texas history, and had to take photos of the markers. It is easy to look out and think of Comanches trying to maintain control of their land, Army soldiers patrolling, settlers moving west, and Texas Rangers tending to business. This is hard country that made some hard people that managed to carve out a life in it, or crossing it.





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#6082966 - 12/14/15 09:25 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: ChadTRG42]
FiremanJG Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 12/16/08
Posts: 17893
Loc: Wolfe City, TX
Originally Posted By: ChadTRG42
Sounds like a good time!!! (Oh, and carry duck tape!!!)


ALWAYS!!!
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#6082996 - 12/14/15 09:40 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
txtrophy85 Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 08/12/05
Posts: 22039
Your dead on about the distance being deceiving
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#6083019 - 12/14/15 09:51 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: txtrophy85]
RLoving1 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/21/10
Posts: 2275
Loc: Odessa Texas
Love the country, but I'm native to it and take for granted what you documented in preparedness. That Lancaster hill road has claimed a few lives in it's time! You drive off that road it will end bad...most times it's recovery not rescue!
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#6083031 - 12/14/15 09:57 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
grout-scout Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 08/29/09
Posts: 3589
Loc: Boerne, Texas
Imagine taking the original route down that hill with a wagon!

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#6083172 - 12/14/15 11:19 AM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: grout-scout]
therancher Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 07/09/13
Posts: 5349
Loc: Mountain Home, Uvalde, and Big...
Beautiful country. Our place was 15 miles west of Sanderson on the south end of the Longfellow.
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#6083807 - 12/14/15 04:36 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 10846
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Love the trans-pecos. cheers
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#6083914 - 12/14/15 05:33 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
texassippi Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 08/06/15
Posts: 413
Loc: North Texas
Never done a hunt like this. Always have wanted to though. Good pictures and thanks for sharing.

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#6084040 - 12/14/15 06:44 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
RedSnake Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 3002
Loc: Dallas / Nolan County
Good stuff JG!
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#6084054 - 12/14/15 06:52 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
CRAnderson52 Online   content
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/12/11
Posts: 2293
Loc: Highland Village, Texas
Man I love it out there. Had a friend of my dad that owned a couple sections out there that we've hunted the last twenty years. Unfortunately he passed away a few years ago and his wife just couldn't keep up with the place so she sold it.... Luckily for three times what they paid for it. It's definitely a different world. It took me a few years to figure it out but once I did I enjoyed every minute of it. Everything you said was spot on. Only bad thing about his place was a side by side wouldn't work. A four wheeler barely did, and only on about half of it. The other half you were on foot. Only had problems with illegals twice in all the years we hunted there. We always kept lights and music on full blast around camp which I think made them steer clear. Gods country for sure!
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#6084159 - 12/14/15 07:36 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
stxranchman Offline
Obie Juan Kenobi

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 52092
cheersNice pics and recap.
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#6084202 - 12/14/15 07:55 PM Re: Terrell county Mule deer hunt. Obervations & Photos [Re: FiremanJG]
Tophers Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/03/14
Posts: 118
Sounds like a fun hunt.

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