Opening morning(rifle) of Whitetail season in Texas was on November 5,2011. I was in the blind by 6:30 a.m. CT. It was about 55 degrees with a light wind out of the west and the weatherman was calling for a high in the mid-70′s. This was far different than the opening days of deer season in Michigan where I grew up.
I was hunting in Bandera, Texas on a small ranch of about 320 acres under high fence. The fence was really there to keep the ranchers Ibex goats and Mouflon sheep in and coyotes out. Deer could come and go if they wanted and at times they did. The rancher was familiar with most of the deer but as does went into heat some new bucks would always show up. I had hunted this same place last year and was able to take a nice 8pt. I was very happy with that deer and knew that deer were on this ranch, but with the drought deer were not going to be that big. Bandera has a lot of deer, but it is not a hot spot for huge antlered deer like other parts of Texas. You can certainly find large deer, but like all things it is a matter of how much money you want to spend and truth be told I didn’t want to spend $1,500+ on a deer. The rancher set me up in the blind and said shot any buck I wanted, he would only charge $500. Now to many of you, spending $500 to shoot a deer sounds crazy. In Texas we do not have large tracts of public lands to hunt. You can put in for some limited draws on public lands, but if not drawn you are going to have to wait till next year. I can’t lease a 300+ acre piece of property and drive to it (multiple times), put out feed(multiple times), and the other costs for $500 so this really is a good deal.
As the sun came up, I could see a doe and a small spike buck at the feeder. The rancher had put out some alfalfa and I was looking for a certain buck that had a wider spread than the rest. As I sat there watching, a series of bucks showed up, a large 6 pt, a pair of spikes and several does. After sitting there for a little over two hours the wide buck showed up. He came in behind the feeder and he kind of milled around not sure if he should go to the feeder or not. I leveled my rifle on him and waited for my time to shot. After a few minutes he worked from behind the feeder station to in front of it. I undid the safety on the rifle and settled in to pull the trigger. I was only at about 70 yards and was using a 30-06 and a Federal 150 gr round of ammo. I leveled the crosshairs on the buck and took a breath. As I exhaled I slowly squeezed the trigger. The round hit the deer right behind the shoulder and the deer spun around and dropped dead. I was excited, no tracking on this deer! WIth me on a cane, I was happy that it had just dropped. Another season done for me. I am planning on heading out to get a doe to have turned into sausage. Hope your season is good! Let me hear from you about the deer or anything else that you get to harvest.