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#6991460 - 12/11/17 12:34 AM Val Verde Buck down
cibolo Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: central texas
This harvest was probably one for the decade. We purchased this place in 2015. We really did not know what to expect. Every year before the season we see a lot of good young bucks who vanish during the season and a few mature bucks that vanish as well during the season. This last year we did a lot of dozer Work. Installed cattle panels around the feeders and started feeding more protein. Well fast forward to this weekend everyone slept in except me and my dad. Since the rut was not really on everyone is waiting for next weekend. So I went out with the AR to maybe shoot a pig or a Ram if one decided to grace me with there presence. Watched a few does and a young buck chasing but still not full on. Loaded up the side by side and started heading back to camp. Come out of the canyon and turn on the fence line and there is a big bodied deer in the road. I stop pull up the binoculars and immediately realize this is a big mature buck that as far as I know we have never seen on camera.
He is swollen up and I decide to take him.

This is when I do my best Bill Dance impersonation and thank the lord my camera man (dad) was hunting solo this morning. My sling gets hung up on the shifter when I pull the rifle out of the rack. I finally settle down and chamber a round but it did not sound right. That is because the clip was not all the way in from when i unloaded it to leave the blind. The clip then falls out and bounces on to the muddy ground. My back is screwed ip and I am going to see the ortho tomorrow to look at MRI to look for options on knee surgery. So this was not easy grabbing the clip. I get it clean it off and the buck is cooperating. Load a round and the buck turns and starts heading up the fence line. I whistle he turns broadside and I send the .308. I loose him in the sun. I feel confident in my shot and wait. The problem is I have to drive past where he went in the brush to get to camp. I wait 45 minutes then walk up and donít see blood. I head back and get the side by side and Drive in. I jump him and he heads down the canyon. I round up the crew at camp and we head out. We find blood,bone,and meat on the fence line and it looks like shoulder. So i think i Hit him a little forward. I decide to call a tracker even though he crashed hard he was not leaving much blood after the initial shot. So everyone leaves and I wait on the gentlemen I found on
texasbloodtrackers.com. I was not expecting much to be honest. I have called dogs out before only to end up with
Scent dogs or greenhorns who saw it on TV and went out and bought a high dollar GPS and put their Labrador to work. When everyone left i went down further towards some standing water and found one pin drop of blood and then a little further down some more bone and meat. I marked them and then had to head back to camp to wait on Caleb Hill of Del Rio. He is finishing up with some clients near Brackettville but said he can be at my place around 3. Our place is kind of hard to get to and very little cell reception so I go out to the county road to meet him. He arrives with his wife and they follow me down the long main road(caliche). We are running and I make a corner and then there is a Y that leads to my place. I look back and they are not there. I circle back and about a quarter of a mile i see the super duty and Caleb underneath the rear and his wife standing. He hit a rock and sliced the side wall. So now we are changing a tire and daylight is burning quick. Get that handled and get to the area around 4:30.

I purposely stop About 50 yards before the first sign of blood for a couple of reasons. One to see if maybe the buck doubled back and to see if this dog knows what she is doing. The Blue Lacey named Champagne is hands down the best tracking dog I have ever had the pleasure to see Work. She finds the original shot goes to the fence where the buck turned to head back where he came, then goes to the brush and cactus where he laid up. She then proceeds to run to the first sign of blood At my first marker,then my second one. This is when I tell him what i had done. Hoping it didnít piss him off but he completely understood. Basically everyone wants to be a cowboy until itís time to do cowboy sh&$. This dog is on that Buck like white on rice. His wife is following behind us and she is in work out clothes basically with tennis shoes. She is a trooper and Caleb is a lucky man. She even broke the lug nuts loose while he jacked up the truck. So back to the track, me and Caleb move down into the canyon. Now we have a very steep canyon wall at the bottom with caves and old Indian drawings. By the time we get down there Champagne is all ready down there and across the dry creek and in a stand of thick cedars. Thatís when we heather bay. She is going nuts and I am looking at this drop and itís a good 1,000 yards to an area that is manageable for my old knees to descend. Caleb and his 29 year old knees basically does a chimney climb with boots and a cowboy hat where others would repel down. So me and his wife make our way down further up the dry creek. Champagne is baying and then squeals and stops baying. I am thinking the worse, that this buck hooked her. Well it did and caught her in the rear. After a brief pause she is back to business. This buck realizes that with the open patches in between the thick cedar this dog is wearing him out. So he hobbled down to where i Hinted that morning and down into some of the thickest vines,cactus, and mesquite you can imagine. All the while me and his wife are holding back(well i canít keep up with my knee anyways). Thatís when we hear a shot and then a couple more and then he is down. It takes us about 10 minutes for us to get down there by crawling and pushing through thick brush. We take pics with the buck who is at least 6.5 and stinky and rutted up bad. I made sure Champagne is in the pics. Then we make the Long trip back up hill but on the road this time to fetch the side by side for the retrieval. It is dark by the time we get rolling back down. Finish up pics at camp and then head back to Del Rio and settle up on his fee. That is the best money I have spent in a long time.

This was the first mature good buck taken off of this place. It was special for a few reasons. One is this was the first buck I ever harvested on a place we owned. 2 it was a mature good buck. We have let a cousin take a cull last year and I had the honor of taking a veteran on a bow hunt to harvest a spike during this bow season. The shot I made was bad and I think my scoped got knocked but the range will tell me the truth later this week on that matter. However the main reason is the area where we caught up with the buck is the same area I spread my Catahoulaís ashes last Christmas after having to put my girl down during Thanksgiving last year when she took a turn for the worse with her liver cancer. This is also the last area she got to go after a hog the week before we put her down. She was like a pup that weekend and you wouldnít of known she was hurting. She passed the following weekend and this is the same canyon where she tracked her last hog, spread her ashes, and recovered the first mature trophy buck with a blue lacy/catahoula mix. Lu was smiling down wagging her baseball bat tail from doggy heaven.

Caleb Hill (210)262-5510 is a damn fine young man and has one of the best tracking dogs I have ever seen Work. He knows his craft and Champagne is an awesome dog. If you need assistance recovering/ tracking an animal in Val Verde and surrounding counties I highly recommend him.

I will post pics later.


Edited by cibolo (12/11/17 01:00 AM)
_________________________
"Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." - Thomas Jefferson
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

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#6992587 - 12/11/17 07:40 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
WesTex7 Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 09/14/13
Posts: 64
Loc: Midland, Texas
Great story. Now let's see those pics.

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#6992632 - 12/11/17 08:21 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
dogcatcher Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 84323
Loc: Abilene or on the road...
up
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#6992668 - 12/11/17 08:50 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: WesTex7]
SnakeWrangler Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/22/11
Posts: 31602
Loc: Over yonder.....
Originally Posted By: WesTex7
Great story. Now let's see those pics.
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#6992699 - 12/11/17 09:11 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
cibolo Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: central texas


Edited by cibolo (12/11/17 09:18 PM)
_________________________
"Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." - Thomas Jefferson
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

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#6992707 - 12/11/17 09:19 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
cibolo Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: central texas
Sorry this is the only way I could figure out how to post them.
_________________________
"Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." - Thomas Jefferson
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

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#6992710 - 12/11/17 09:22 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
Tux Man Offline
Outdoorsman

Registered: 01/10/14
Posts: 78
Curious, what did the tracker cost?

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#6992722 - 12/11/17 09:32 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
cibolo Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 02/05/08
Posts: 2968
Loc: central texas
$250.00 to show up and $250.00 if the animal is recovered.
_________________________
"Error of Opinion may be tolerated where Reason is left free to combat it." - Thomas Jefferson
"If we ever forget that we're one nation under GOD, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

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#6992725 - 12/11/17 09:35 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
dlrz71 Online   content
THF Trophy Hunter

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 9594
Loc: Arlington, Tx/Coke Cnty
Great write up and pics!!! Congrats on a fine buck. cheers

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#6992735 - 12/11/17 09:42 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
txshntr Offline
T-Rex Arms

Registered: 09/24/10
Posts: 34998
Loc: Mansfield, Texas
Great write up and deer! Congrats on the memory on your own place up

Always good to know a good dog and handler cheers
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#6992751 - 12/11/17 10:00 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
Stub Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/27/05
Posts: 17689
Loc: The Outer Limits
Congrats on a nice buck and memory cheers
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#6992758 - 12/11/17 10:14 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
Stratgolfer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 08/15/13
Posts: 670
Wow, a lifelong memory. Nice buck and a great backstory.
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"I was called by the Yorkers a outlaw, and later by the english a rebel" Ethan Allen

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#6993424 - 12/12/17 12:50 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: dlrz71]
Pitchfork Predator Online   content
THF Celebrity

Registered: 01/25/13
Posts: 13253
Loc: Murphy, TX Dickens county
Originally Posted By: dlrz71
Great write up and pics!!! Congrats on a fine buck. cheers
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#6993500 - 12/12/17 01:45 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
DH3 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 11/18/14
Posts: 551
Loc: Katy
worthless

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#6993527 - 12/12/17 02:03 PM Re: Val Verde Buck down [Re: cibolo]
TxAg Offline
Extreme Tracker

Registered: 01/15/07
Posts: 3576
Loc: Live in Katy, Hunt in Llano Co...
Hell of a story, congrats on recovering your buck. Sounds like things got a little western.

We have had to call a tracking dog twice at our place, for buddies who got a little "buck fever." That dog was a Red Lacy as well, and I have to say it is amazing to watch those dogs work. One buck went over 600 yards from where it was shot, and was very much alive when the dog caught up with it. No way we'd have recovered it without the dog.
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