View Full Version : TX Whitetail Hunt-MY FIRST BUCK! *no pics yet*

12-13-2006, 1:53 PM
So I was born and raised in South Texas. I'm 27 years old and moved out here 4 years ago. I've been hunting with my Pop growing up, I just never ended up filling my tag (He did, though).
A few months ago I decided I wanted to go deer hunting on my buddy's ranch in Bandera (Population 995), just 30 miles NW of San Antonio. He runs his family's ranch out there. We used to go shooting on his place and always had an incredible time. So I give him a call and let him know I'm headed his way. I give my Pops a shout and ask him if he wants to go, too.
In the meantime, I start looking for a used deer rifle to buy. Knowing the market is OBSCENELY inflated out here, I scan the classifieds back home. I found a Remington 700 in 30.06. It had a old hard case, a Bushnell 4x10 scope and a box of Federal ammo. $400. I send my dad to take a look and he ends up buying it for me. I figure it'd be a versatile gun, able to take the majority of North American big game. It seems to be an older one, no floorplate. One of the previous owners removed the sights, but the set screws were still in. So he gets it sighted in and I order some airline tickets. My dad and I head out to Bandera last Friday and check in the hotel. Standing outside (Temps in the low 30's and sleeting), I noticed about 7-9 whitetail grazing in the field across the street of the hotel. Good sign, I thought. So we get out to my buddy's place around 5 AM on Sat. It's cold as hell. We both get in our respective blinds watching the same oat field. We saw 3 whitetail doe and a little 4 pointer. We both want to shoot an axis deer because they are suposed to be better eating than whitetail. My buddy T. says he doesnt eat whitetail, axis ONLY. Mind you, this is a Texas Hill Country boy saying this. We sit in the blinds until about 9 and my Pops picks me up in the Dodge. T. says the axis come out in midday so we return at noon and get in our blinds. A few hours later a couple of does jump the fence into the field and start grazing. Another one joins them about 200 yards to my left in front of my dad's blind, followed later by 2 more 4 pointers. A little while later, an axis doe starts to wander by the fence, but avoids to open field. Around 4 PM, I see 2 more does jump the fence. Right behind them I see a dark bodied buck and the outline of his rack following the does. He jumps the fence and starts grazing. I radio my dad and say, "Here we go."
"How many points do you see," he replied.
"I count six," I reply after I leveled my rifle on him. It was a decent size whitetail buck. He was almost inhaling the corn we had laid out and was moving around a lot. So I'm all set, crosshairs right behind his shoulder and I can't decide whether or not I want to take him. Should I wait for an axis? I was torn. In the midst of my indeciveness, the radio crackles.
"He's a good buck. If you want to take him, do it."
"Shuddup," I hissed back. I still hadn't decided if I was going to take him. So I just watch him for a minute, still trying to make up my mind.
"Just take a deep breath and drop him," cracked the radio AGAIN.
"SHUDDUP," I hissed again. I wasn't nervous, just undecided. I REALLY wanted an axis, but I figured what the hell...I take a deep breath and the bastard keeps moving around. He finally sets still offering a nice right side broadside shot at about 80 yards. I pull the trigger and the 30.06 jumps. I look up, and to my horror he's off and running. He starts running towards my blind, and then cuts to my left, jumping a fence. As he's running parallel to me, I can see the bloody patch on his left side from the exit wound. I chamber another round and miss a shot to his neck. I've read 4 Peter Henry Capstick novels the last couple of weeks. I guess I was trying to 'pay the insurance.' I couldn't tell you why. He jumps another fence and disappears into the oak and cedar.
I start a litany of cursing that I shall not print here. Then the adrenaline kicks in and I start shaking a little. The patch of blood was a little too far back but not far enough to be a gut shot (although it was in the back of my mind). At this point my Pops is checks in on the radio saying he was going to bring the truck around. I climbed down from the blind and jump the fence.
To say I was excited or anxious would be a slight understatement. I start looking for the blood trail. I find it about where I figured and start following it back. Stop. Scan. Stop. Scan. The low cedar and tall live oak made for low visibility. His blood trail was easy to follow so I knew I made a solid hit.
I found him about 40 yards from the fence. I walked up to him and poked him a few time with the barrel. I told him sorry that he had to live the last minute of his life like that. I also thanked him for the experience and the food.

12-13-2006, 1:55 PM
He was a nice 8 pointer. Not the biggest guy on the block, but plent big for me. His rack was well worn with about a 13 inch spread from the last tines. He was also dark bodied. My dad brings the truck to the fenceline and I lead him back. We have the photo op and what not. I don't know how to describe how I felt. I was in a daze; excited but restrained for lack of a better word.
We drag him back and pitch him over the fence. After loading him up we take him to the guttin' station, a slab of concrete with cedar poles and winches. This was the educational part. Never having done this before, I was in for a treat. So to make a long story short, I gutted my first deer. T's girlfriend got in on the action, getting bloody. Believe it or not, her family owns a meat processing shop about an hour from there, packaging about 600 dear a season. When cleaning him out I noticed my shot went through his lower lungs, leaving nasty holes about the size of a quarter.
Anyway, my dad went back out to the blind. He came back an hour later only seeing an axis doe and spike. The next day we went out again, but didn't see anything worth shooting. We packed up and headed for Dzuik's Meat Market in Castroville, TX. In 2 weeks I am having a HELLUVA cookout.
Anyway, I'm planning on going back next year. Maybe sooner since there is NO SEASON on axis deer!

big jon
12-13-2006, 3:08 PM
We have a Grandpa that lives in San Antonio, he`s been sick and it looks like I might be spending sometime with him after my surgery next month, My wife wants to take me sightseeing but I`ed rather do a hunt like yours:)

12-13-2006, 3:32 PM
Congratulations on the buck, and welcome to the club!

Now one word of advise, if you find yourself deer hunting or for that matter any hunting here in CA, leave the radios at home. They are illegal to use while hunting in this state.

12-13-2006, 3:35 PM
I did not know that. We were using them in case something bad happened, ie. an emergency. I had a blast though.
Big Jon, sorry to hear about your Grandpa. Hope all is well. FYI, look in the paper (San Antonio Express-News). My Pops saw adds for hog hunts for $100. Some of those ranchers would love to have guys get rid of hogs on their places. It would almost be the same amount as a hunt out here. T's brother was trying to give a hog away that he'd shot on his place next door. I couldn't afford to process it and ship it out here. Also, nonresident hunting tags are $300. I'm not sure if you need them for hogs though. I'd check with TX Parks & Wildlife on that. I do know there is no season on axis. Sooo, there is no limit. Whitetail season ends first week of Jan, although there is an extended season for spike/antlerless until the last week of Jan.