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Mexico Monster Muleys #7617470 09/27/19 02:30 AM
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So, there I was, up in the high rack, watching an absolute brute Muley, sauntering along a dry wash bed only 75 yards away. Brian, SHOOT, I whispered, as I tugged on his shirt sleeve. What, Where, Brian retorted, as I am watching this huge racked buck, bulldoze his way through the brush towards an opening a scant twenty yards away. Brian’s glasses were up in an instant, as my pulse raced, SHOOT, I exclaimed, he’s almost gone into the brush! Wait a minute, I’m trying to score him, Brian replied. My heart sank as I watched that Big Muley drop down into the wash head and get swallowed up by the brush. Why didn’t you shoot, I asked? My heart was still pounding in my chest. I didn’t get a good count on his left side before he disappeared, came the response. Dude, BIG is BIG, you could have scored him on the ground, I replied. Just then our guide, got out of the truck, looked up and asked, why you not shoot, amigo?

We circled around to try and get another angle on the road, but the big buck had just vanished. So, we headed back to where we last saw him and headed out on foot to track him down. The old bruiser was Wiley and wary, as we learned while tracking him. He knew every spot, and vantage point to observe us, undetected, whether we were in the high rack or on foot. So after tracking him for a couple of hours, it was getting close to lunch time, so we headed to an arroyo, to eat lunch, play gin, and take a siesta. Not many lunches as enjoyable as machaka burritos, sitting in the shade in an arroyo, while sitting in the dirt and playing gin. Obviously, I was still ragging on Brian, for raising his binoculars, instead of his rifle. Brian for his part, just said to shoot truly amazing animals, you have to know exactly what you are shooting, and not just guessing. Still, I retorted, BIG IS BIG...and that buck was big. He was so big and mature, he reminded me of a bull moose in full rut swaggering about before a fight.

So I got ahead of myself, this whole adventure began while Sitting in Pronghorn camp last year. Brian’s Brother In law, Richard runs a hunting outfit for trophy Pronghorn in New Mexico, with upwards of 500k acres under management. Accordingly, We were somewhere in New Mexico, (hey, I was lost the entire time I was there) sitting in the bunkhouse, playing gin (he likes to play gin, and I enjoy trying to play gin.) Brian asked me if I wanted to venture down into Mexico, in January, and follow along as he hunted the Monster Mule deer down in Mexico. Since that has been a bucket list item of mine for many years, I immediately agreed and started making plans, for the trip, logistics and all. Basically, I was being invited to tag along and that was perfectly fine with me. He said he needed to drive down, with his trailer, and bring back a couple bucks that he had shot on previous excursions, that were finished and waiting at the taxidermist. Just about the time, I was in full daydream mode about Mexico, someone walked through the door and said we really needed to check out the latest record book pronghorn, that just rolled into camp. And we were out the door, on to other matters.

After driving to Brian’s house, the trip into Mexico was very enjoyable, especially since I was excited about finally crossing off a bucket list item. The drive can only be explained as a separate story unto itself, complete with a 3 inch snowfall at the border crossing. It was a two day trip, but I was excited to be making my way to a huge ranch filled with large racked Muleys. When we came to this small town, we filled up the tank, and topped off the cooler. I remember, asking Brian why we were just sitting here. We are waiting a guide who lives here, to get us to the ranch. There is no more pavement, only pig trails from here on out, he added. Suddenly, this small vehicle approaches, and this huge man steps out of the passenger side. Pleasantries are exchanged in Spanish (I am not very conversant in Spanish), he loads his gear, climbs in and we are off down a pig trail. Almost five hours later, we turn off of the pig trail onto a ranch road. Hey, the ranch road is much better than the main pig trail I shout, excitedly! Needless to say, we are all best friends by now and the ranch headquarters is coming into full view.

Upon arrival, the entire staff comes out to greet us, shows us to our quarters, and helps us get situated. AMAZING, is the only true description I can come up with, that seems appropriate. Brian, comes out of his bedroom, says it’s 4 Star, Amigo, none of that tent city stuff we saw a few hours back. Just then, we were beckoned to the main lodge to explain the layout. I look over at Brian, and retort, I can’t believe I forgot my tennis racket, as we pass the tennis court along the walkway Towards the main lodge. I’m up for some shotgun tennis, he replies.

As we enter the main lodge, we are greeted by Alvaro, our host and the owners son. After explaining the headquarters, meals, and guiding strategy, Alvaro begins showing us some picture of Muleys that have passed the feeding stations. There are bucks that score from 170 to 200, on a regular basis. Essentially, they offer all types of hunt options from ground Bow to stand to high rack, and even spot and stalk. This is a low fence operation, encompassing over 50,000 acres (72,000 if memory serves). Brian states, I am looking for a 300 inch deer, and our host, responds, yes we do have a few on the ranch, as he gestures over to the trophy wall. As you can see we have some really top notch genetics on the ranch. Just then, a hostess walks in an announced that dinner is served, and we proceed to the dining room.

I should start this paragraph by pointing out that in Fifty years of hunting camp dining, I can not recall ever having better service, or better food, or better conversation, or better after dinner drinks. Guess, I am not used to this type environment, But I can say, I left the table happy. Nettie, the cook, not only owns her own restaurant in Mexico City, but she is also in charge of the ranch in the absence of the owners. But the FOOD! Nettie instantly became my best friend! I was chasing recipes the entire time we stayed. We had food, I can’t even pronounce the name of, and it was simply amazing. Enough said.

Over the course of the next couple of days, Various members of Brian’s family, and hunt crew, began arriving, so things really got rolling from a hunting and entertainment standpoint. There were a couple of 190 point bucks brought in, some 180’s, as well. The stories got really interesting at the bar, after dinner, each time a new bunch arrived in camp. Then as folks left, it seemed to settle back down, a bit. Most of the crew were there for a few days or maybe a week, but not us. We scheduled in two weeks, best I recall. Not sure how long we really stayed, but I do know I just plain couldn’t make it home for my 60th birthday, on the 20th, and we left Brian’s house on New Years. In fact, I didn’t roll back to Texas until well after my birthday. Also, I can say with certainty, there is this place in Hermosillo, called the Americano Hotel, that is as hard to leave as is the ranch!

So, back to our hunt. We saw this buck on the morning of our third day, and hunted the buck almost exclusively for the remainder of our trip. We figured the buck left the pasture we were in, so we hunted the other pastures, hoping to get a glimpse of him, to no avail. We did cut his track a couple of times, while spot and stalking, but that is as close as we came. We hunted him from before daylight until after dark, always, trying to find that massive buck, but each day he eluded us. It was a grind, to be sure. The odds were never really in our favor, despite the confidence we have in our abilities. The truth, is that buck knew his bedroom better than us or the guides, and he was truly an amazing animal to pursue. We did not even want to consider the many other bucks we encountered, which were worthy mounts on most every wall, because we were after Muy Grande. It’s what you might call trophy hunting!

I remember the sadness I felt, when we had to tell everyone goodbye. We had made friends, from complete strangers. I even noticed crusty old Evaristo, both a guide and a ranch hand, had tears welling up, as we said goodbye. Are you coming back, he inquired? If the Lords willing and the creeks don’t rise, I responded.

While sitting in the Americano Hotel and visiting with a South Texas high fence operation owner, we heard some disturbing news. It seems, that the tent camp hunting outfitter, was using helicopters to spot bucks, and had apparently been flying outside their ranches territory. The Mexican authorities take poaching very seriously and had dispatched several wardens to the area. Not sure who was involved but someone sitting nearby said they had hunted with the outfitter before and had been guaranteed a 200 inch buck, which they didn’t get the opportunity on such a buck, in fact, not even close. Kind of crazy how unscrupulous some folks can be. They will tell you anything to get your money. Sad.

Anyway, much more to the trip, but the end of this particular story. While we were fishing down the Baja peninsula in June, Brian asked me if I wanted to head back to Mexico again in January. Seriously? My wife is still mad I didn’t make it home by my birthday and spent all of January in Mexico, now here we are fishing the Baja, and she is twisting off big time! Then, I remembered back to the trip and asked, so where we going and can I make it back home by my birthday? He said this year we are going to hunt Rancho Grande and Rancho El 60, but I can’t guarantee you will make it home by your birthday, because the rut will still be in high gear. Dude you are killing me, I respond. Count me in, I guess. I got an extra tag if you know anyone, he says. NO, I will not be bringing the Missus, I retort, guess I’ll just have to take her on a trip to Belize in November, to smooth it over. Ok, count me in, dang it, that WAS FUN!

So, I did take a few pictures on the trip, but I don’t know how to post pics...if I find someone to post them up, I will add them. Hope you enjoyed the read as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you! It was a fantastic trip and I do look forward to our next adventure!

Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7617564 09/27/19 10:38 AM
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Great read, but need some pics!

Good luck on the next trip.


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Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7617608 09/27/19 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitchfork Predator
Great read, but need some pics!

Good luck on the next trip.

X2


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Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: Pitchfork Predator] #7617611 09/27/19 12:18 PM
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I think I can get one of my TFF buds to post up some pics...just got to wait for them... To wake up!

It was a really awesome experience, for me. Got word last night, it was the # 5 rated ranch, in terms of quality racks, in Mexico. Altar desert region in Sonoran desert, has some really big bucks. It was crazy, from pavement to pavement, time wise, took around seven hours to traverse (not sure of the distance in miles.) There were only three ranches across that entire expanse. The roads on the ranch were highly improved, as they had their own dozer and road grader.

One other item of note, Alvaro our host. He was in his late twenties, and one of the best individuals I have ever met. The entire time we were there, I could only think, I hope my son will grow into the type person, that Alvaro is today. I caught myself listening to every conversation to see if I could find even one negative to say, he is human, like everyone else. I never found anything negative with him.

Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7618553 09/28/19 02:12 PM
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Sounds like a really amazing adventure. Add me to the list of people that are looking forward to seeing your pictures!!!

Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7619009 09/29/19 01:36 AM
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Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7619012 09/29/19 01:40 AM
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Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7619016 09/29/19 01:47 AM
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Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7619200 09/29/19 02:30 PM
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Those are some really impressive antlers, especially that buck mounted on the wall. Any idea of what he scored and how wide he is?

Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: EddieWalker] #7619367 09/29/19 06:59 PM
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Not really, Eddie. There were several that size on the wall, unfortunately the light was not good enough to get pics of them. They are top notch bucks though...and basically, the size of the buck we were hunting. With that said, I am going to write another story, about the trip home, and I will be showing the two bucks we went to pick up from the taxidermist. I should be able to give you some particulars on those bucks, assuming Brian is willing to share the info with me...bear with me for a week or so, and maybe I can provide some stuff you can wrap your head around.

BTW, if you go back to the picture of the dining room...the light above the table. As I recall, that light was made from sheds picked up after deer season was over.

Last edited by crapicat; 09/29/19 07:04 PM.
Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: EddieWalker] #7619891 09/30/19 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by EddieWalker
Those are some really impressive antlers, especially that buck mounted on the wall. Any idea of what he scored and how wide he is?



Eddie, I was able to find out that the buck asked about, was in the 240’s and the spread was over 30 inches. He was harvested by the family on the ranch. As a non-typical, it is not a world record, which would be about 277, if memory serves. I hope this information helps.

Re: Mexico Monster Muleys [Re: crapicat] #7619926 09/30/19 02:26 PM
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Very nice, thanks for sharing with us. Makes me want to go.


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