IN TEXAS - DECEMBER 2003
A colleague at work
owns some 60 acres on the
YO Ranch outside of Kerrville
here in Texas. He invited me and Lora to come hunt on his land, and I finally
had a chance to go. Lora didn't go because she decided the rifle she had just
wasn't sized for her. So I took my neighbor Mark with me on the hunt.
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... oops. This day staryed very early.
After getting to bed at about midnight (went to a most excellent Trans-Siberian
Orchestra concert on Friday night), I got up early at 0300 and started packing
the truck for the hunt. My neighbor Mark came over and we left about 0330. A
little over 2 hours later we pull into Frank's place on the YO Ranch. He showed
us around a bit and we unloaded the truck and got dressed to hunt. We went out
to the blind in the dark and flipped a coin to decide who would hunt from which
side of the blind. Frank has a blind with two windows overlooking two feeders
and a cleared lane. Mark won the toss and chose feeder one and I got feeder two
and the cleared lane.
After an hour or so, we saw two deer appear at
feeder one. One was a buck and we think one was a doe. But we couldn't tell
because it was still a bit too dark. We aren't allowed to shoot a buck with a
certain number of points, so we needed to be sure before the shot. It was still
too dark to shoot by the time the deer left the feeder. A little bit later a
deer walked through my feeder. But I didn't get a shot. I think it was a doe.
After light got better we hadn't see anything else. Frank was just about to go
outside to get another shooting platform (the windows are a little high) when I
saw three deer approaching my feeder. I told Frank, and he grabbed his
binoculars to check them out. He told me they were Axis, and two were shooters.
I got my rifle and sighted in. The two shooters were almost side by side. The
larger of the two was in the back, but I had a clear shot. As I settled down
and got the scope on the back Axis, she turned and that blew my shot. So
instead of waiting, I decided to take a shot at the other one. I got my scope
on that one, and took the shot. Unfortunately I shot too quickly and didn't get
a good hit. The Axis was hit but it was a bit too low, and as it turned out she
turned as I shot and the bullet went through from front shoulder to rear hip
instead of straight though the body. The other two ran about 10 yards and
stopped. They almost came back to the feeder again, but my Axis fell and they
both took off. After a little while waiting to see if the other two deer would
return, we went out to check on my Axis. She was still alive, unfortunately, so
I had to shoot her again.
We took the Axis back to the cleaning area
after taking some pictures (see the pictures on the right) and got her weighed
(110 lbs) and gutted (80 lbs). We then headed back to the house for breakfast.
A little later we went over to the YO Ranch restaurant. Lunch was good... and
Ted Nugent was there with his family! He was staying on the YO Ranch that
weekend, and was going over to the lodge later to take pictures with all of the
hunters on the Ranch that weekend. We took a drive through the YO Ranch's
exotic game area and saw lots of interesting animals, including three giraffes
and a zebra.
Later, we went out again to hunt for the evening. Nothing
showed up, though, so it was a long cold wait in the blind. However, Frank made
some awesome pizza so the evening wasn't a total loss. Several animals showed
up behind the house at the pond. Some whitetail and we think a couple more
Axis. Late that night, about midnight, Frank woke us up to tell us about a very
large hog at the pond. Mark, who handn't had a shot yet, decided to take a shot
at it. There was a half moon up, so it was hard to see to shoot. After he shot,
we couldn't find any blood or hair so we decided he hadn't hit it. We did
search around for about a half hour, but could find no trace. So back to
14 DECEMBER 2003
woke up about 0330 for some reason and decided to check out the pond. From the
house I could see something there, but I wasn't sure what it was. I woke Frank
up and after looking through his binoculars and me spotlighting the animal with
his red-filtered light, he concluded it was a raccoon. Ok, sorry to disturb you
Frank, back to bed again.
We got up early again, and headed out to the
blind. It wasn't as cold as yesterday, but it was still cool in the blind. We
sat there until the sun was full up, but nothing showed up again. So we decided
to try flushing game. We split up and walked through the woods trying to get
some game to move. Nothing.
Frank had said we could shoot some target
practice if we wanted, so I decided to take him up on it. He had some 1/4"
steel plates hanging from hooks and the only one I could see (because of the
tall grass) was about 30 yards from the picnic table by the blind. I sighted in
on the weld line in the middle of the plate. Bam! The plate split in half and
went flying! We picked up the pieces and found that my shot hit right on the
weld line! I hung up the half with the hook and took another shot - and put a
bullet clear through the plate! You can see the plate on the right. My shot is
the smaller of the two holes on the bottom. I took another shot and missed,
then shot one more time and again put a bullet clean through the plate. No more
bullets left, so back to the house for a late breakfast. Frank made breakfast
I had to get back to San Antonio for a computer
show (I was upgrading my business computer) and for my flag football game that
night. Since Mark hadn't shot anything yet, he decided to stay on and ride back
with Frank later. Just as I was getting ready to leave for my game, they came
driving up with my Axis and one that Mark had shot on an early hunt that
afternoon! So a successful hunt by both. After my game (we lost by 2 points,
drat!) we took the deer down to be processed. The meat is supposed to be the
best of the venisons - very close to beef but with no cholesterol. When I get
back from Christmas vacation we'll see!