We had the privilege of hunting the Martinez Ranch in Uvalde Texas again this year. It started as a weekend for the guys but soon turned in to a Father/Son hunt as soon as the boys caught wind of it. . My friend Jimmy had hunted with me on the ranch last year but didnít pull the trigger on anything, we saw plenty of does and a few young bucks but we were after culls. He was excited to head back and he brought his son and nephew with him. My buddy Mauro hadnít been to the ranch but we had talked your place up since last year so he and his boy were excited for the hunt.
We arrived Thursday evening and met with Mike, the guide, to get our paperwork signed and he checked everyoneís license. He met everyone except my son, he wouldnít be there until Friday evening. After talking for a bit and getting to know each other we decided to meet at 6 AM.
Friday Morning: That morning the kids slept in and we went out ourselves. I sat in the blind by the cabin, I think #1, and I was covered with deer. Right before daylight I had a pair of hogs to the right but they seemed kind of small so I didnít pull the trigger. There were a few does that were in and out of the brush being chased by some smaller bucks. That morning I had 2 mature does and a young doe running and had a spike, a 6 point cull, a 7 point cull and a Nice 10 point in and out of the brush chasing. I didnít pull the trigger that morning; I figured we had plenty of time to hunt. We climbed down at 9 A.M as everyone that was going to shoot had already taken a shot.
Jimmy, shot his Hog before sun light at the one east of the number #1, I think Mike said it was #2 and didnít have much more come out.
Mauro took an Axis doe in the stand in the left corner as soon as you go in by the pasture. He didnít have his binoculars and his scope didnít have any magnification. When we heard he shot, we helped track and noticed it wasnít a lethal shot. I told him you drew blood, we better find this deer because youíre paying for it if we find it or not. Well I bumped her while we tracked and noticed it was an axis and told him to finish her off. We loaded her up, he knew he was responsible for his shot and needed to report it with Mike.
Friday Evening: I had to meet my wife in Sonora to pick up my son so I didnít hunt, the other 2 sat with their kids with no luck, the weather had changed within a few hours. It had gone from cloudy, to raining and then to sleet.
Saturday Morning: I sat with my boy in a pop up blind only 20 yds from the feeder. This was his first hunt and he hadnít slept all night yet he moved like he had slept 12 hrs. The set up was 100 yards from the front gate, it had been a hot spot but we had no luck. The weather wasnít the best that day it had rained and sleeted all night and continued in to the morning. I think the rain hitting the pop up we had set up kept the does on their toes, we saw 4 yearling does and an older doe that kept her distance, plus the feeder didnít go off so they didnít seem interested. With the feeder not going off I set up a game camera just to see what and when anything came in.
Jimmy sat in the #1 and his son missed a doe to the right of the feeder. Clean miss, shot right under her.
Mauroís sat in the same blind from the day before, he had a few bucks come in along with a doe and his boy shot over her. Another clean miss.
When we checked to make sure the doe was a clean miss, my son spotted a cotton tail and laid the hammer down at 40yds.
We decided with the weather not on our side, we should grab some lunch and sit a few hours earlier than we had planned. We had lunch and me mike back at the gate around 1 in the afternoon.
Saturday Evening: I sat in #1 again with my boy and had a few young fallow bucks eating to my right around 2, a few minutes later a whitetail came it. I looked her over for about 20 minutes making sure she was wasnít a nubbin buck first, then I checked to see if she had a young one still on her and she didnít so I decided to take her. She gave me a broadside shot at 100 yards and I double lunged her and she fell over 10 yards off the road. We were covered again, I saw 8 different does that had yearlings with them, one doe had twins and another had a real small fawn. I had a 4 point come out to the right but the axis pushed him out.
Jimmy and Mauro were rattling and grunting and saw some good bucks come out but didnít get any pics of them. We were looking for culls and does, so the big boys were off limits.
Sunday Morning: Jimmy and I along with our kids were the only ones that hunted. I was in #2, and he was in #1. I dropped a sow at 200yds to the right at day light, we had 2 boars come out at the feeder but they wouldnít sit still long enough for my son to take a shot. We had 3 large groups of turkey make their way in and one group headed towards jimmy.
Jimmy, had a few doe to his right at the end of the sendero and they spooked off. He saw a nice buck with a gash in his leg but was pushed out by the turkey. His nephew took a shot at a turkey and missed, then he handed it over to Jimmyís boy and he shot a Jake.
I have hunted the Ranch 5 years now, just looking to fill the freezer with meat, but after seeing all the good bucks on the place I may have to come back for something with some antlers. I have brought my wife, nephew and now son and would recommend it to anyone looking for a good hunt with high shot opportunity. We all enjoyed hunting the Martinez Ranch, and our kids loved the experience. We always have a great time and we werenít let down. Our boys are ready to go as soon as we left, the atmosphere was great, you can hunt on your own or they have a guide ready for you to go. The blinds are set up so youíre not just looking at a feeder, you can shoot to your left, front and right, both the hog and doe I shot were to my right and not at the feeder.
Give Dustin an email, theyíre south of Highway 90 in Uvalde so their buck season ends on the 18th of January, and their spike and antlerless is open until the 1st of February.
Dustin Martinez at Dustmann@aol.com