USA: A "Cull" Hunt At Rockin G Ranch


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Apr 10, 2017
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South Africa, Zimbabwe, OK, TX, UT, KS
This report is a little delayed, but I wanted to share my honeymoon hunt at the Rockin G Ranch. I've been less active on here the past couple years. Life got in the way and quite a bit has happened. Got divorced, switched jobs a few times due to buyouts, got married to a wonderful woman who's my best friend, started a new job, bought some know, all the normal stuff.

Anyways, after we got married in late October we spent a few night in Marathon, TX at the historic Gage Hotel. It was wonderful, but we wanted to do something special. My wife had also been previously married and while she had hunted before, she had never really been able to hunt mature, big game animals (usually shooting culls, done some varmint hunting, dove, etc). She had also never hunted via spot and stalk. So we talked to @gizmo and booked one of the cull packages he had posted last year and managed to sneak in between some other hunts he had booked already. When we had set the hunt up, I had talked to Erik about possibly adding a "trophy" animal - perhaps an axis or fallow as my wife had always wanted to hunt both of those. I also had in the back of my mind a red stag.

Location: Rockin G Ranch; Turkey, TX
Dates: 12/9-12/12, 2021
Hunt Package: Red Deer Hind, Fallow Doe (x2)
Method: Spot/Stalk; Rifle
Guides: Justin, Billy
Rifle: Custom 28 Nosler, 195gr Berger Elite Hunter

Day 1
Got in (late) the evening of 12/9 and so we missed out on hunting. We did eat the first of many wonderful meals prepared by Kelly. I can guarantee you won't go hungry!

Day 2
We ended up not having much luck this day - the wind started blowing and kept blowing all day. We did venture out a little bit, saw a few animals moving around in the morning but the wind was brutal. We still had a great day around the lodge, laughing and cutting up with Justin, Billy and Kelly. It was actually a really relaxing day and we enjoyed it. T (the wife) ended up getting to love on the dogs and now wants a Drathaar :LOL:

Day 3
So I will go ahead and give y'all a warning now. The concept of a cull hunt is completely lost on my wife. My checkbook should serve as a warning for anyone thinking of bringing their significant other here, because Justin will not have your back. They will encourage your wife to shoot lots of things that are not cull animals. :Facepalm::LOL::LOL:

We get out and start glassing - it was pretty cold after the front had blown through. We see some fallow does across the canyon, but they are grouped up pretty tight and T is unable to get a clear shot. She had a small window at one point, but she was shivering pretty good and this was her first time shooting off sticks so she made the right call and did not shoot. She did say a few choice words that I think made Justin blush:S Rant: I don't think Justin has ever heard someone sit and trash talk deer like T. It was pretty entertaining! We continued to hit a few glassing spots and we end up seeing the red deer. We are looking them over and see a nice stag. Justin takes a close look and he's a shooter he says....a quick conversation with the wife and I tell her if she likes him to kill him. Again - she's never hunted exotics, never shot anything bigger than some west TX whitetails, and she's amazed by how big he is. She and Justin work through some brush and get set up. As she gets on the sticks, he spots them and looks like he's about to take off. For some reason, he decided to trot off a few steps and then stops to have another look. Well that was a mistake. T squeezes one off and the stag literally drops face first into the dirt. T lost him on the recoil and starts asking if she hit him, because she was looking to see him run off but didn't see any movement. Justin and I try not to laugh too much, and tell her he's dead right there.


We probably could have tried to get a hind as well but since this was T's first spot and stalk animal, plus the first exotic/non-deer big game kill, we took some time with it. Incredibly grateful to Justin and Billy as they completely understood and encouraged it. It's nice to hunt with folks that aren't concerned with just stacking up animals. After pictures we head back to the skinning shed, eat some breakfast and unwind a bit.

We head back out in the afternoon, and continue to hit glassing spots. While glassing, Justin spots some hinds moving behind us. We grab the sticks and the rifle and get situated. Justin is picking out the animals as they move through the brush, looking for an opening. Finally, one hind pauses in a clear shooting lane and I squeeze the trigger. She's hit hard and takes off down the other side of a small hill. We go find blood - there wasn't much - and eventually find her buried up under a cedar. I hit a little higher than I would have liked, but she only ran maybe 75 yds.


We continued to chase the fallow does around that afternoon, but were never able to catch up to them. We headed back toward the lodge and went to one of the low fence fields to check out the mule deer. Low and behold there was a pig at one of the feeders....can't have that now can we. T and Justin sneak down and close the gap. Rifle goes up, pig goes down. Gonna have to watch this new wife of mine - she's a hell of shot.


Day 4

Final day, we've got 2 fallow does left on our original hunt plan. We set out and again start playing cat and mouse with them. We hit several glassing spots, trying to locate and close the gap on them but they will not cooperate. Meanwhile, everything else seems to know we are focused solely on fallow, and proceed to show off for us the entire day. I think we saw every animal on the entire ranch. But it was a great day and T is hooked on spot and stalk hunting. Justin was a great teacher, working with her on how to move through brush, how to get on the sticks quickly, getting comfortable shooting off them, etc.

We were cruising along just checking out a few animals, planning on getting back to pack and head out as it was now Sunday evening and I had a new job to start on Monday morning. We see a couple whitetail bucks milling about that we had seen a couple times the past few days. T had become a little obsessed with one of them. I prefer a nice symmetrical deer, but she loves that wonky look that some deer get. This guy was massive, and seeing as how she had never shot anything that probably went over 100-110", she just couldn't stop looking at him. Turns out that a whitetail hunt Rockin G had sold that year had been cancelled and Justin made me an offer I couldn't pass up. I told T to get the rifle and follow Justin. We made our way through some brush and crept up behind a bigger cedar that was between us and the deer. Justin took some time to look the buck over, making sure he was the correct deer we discussed and that he wasn't broke off. T got on the sticks and...well you know the rest - one shot, perfect high shoulder. I really got to remember not to piss her off....

We get over to the deer and T is able to put her hands on him. She got a little emotional (if she asks, I didn't tell anyone that she cried) and it was a pretty cool moment.



All in all, I cannot recommend Rockin G Ranch enough. They are wonderful people, it's a gorgeous place, and we certainly will be going back. @gizmo will be doing the taxidermy work for us obviously, so stay tuned to see how the wife's stag and deer turn out.
Great report! Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your wife and yours shooting !
Congrats! @gizmo runs a great operation.
Congrats on a great hunt. Thanks for taking the time to post a report. Nice looking trophies. Very memorable for everyone involved I'm sure.
Congratulations to you and your wife! Awesome trophies, you both had a good hunt!
Thanks for sharing your story.
@cagkt3 Cole, looks like you and your new wife had an excellent time with @gizmo, thanks for the report!
Congrats and thanks for sharing!

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