USA: Canada Meets Texas At The Rockin G Ranch

Ragman

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After joining this forum last summer, I spent many hours reading hunt reports from around the world. One of the sponsoring outfitters was from Texas, which as a new member on an African hunting forum, I thought was unusual. But as I read his reports, I became intrigued, especially after reading about @ActionBob's hunt and the old ram that gave them the slip. Shortly after that @gizmo offered that ram up for a discounted price and I was really interested. I started reading everything I could find posted about the Rockin G Ranch and decided to take the advice @Bullthrower338 gave on living life and taking what it has to offer. One phone call to gizmo and I was sold. I had always wanted to see Texas and this was the perfect opportunity.

Before long I was getting on a plane and starting the day's travel...Regina to Calgary to Houston to Amarillo. I was picked up by one of gizmo's guides and then we went to have my first Texas steak at a local steak house. As we were leaving, gizmo met us outside in his patrol vehicle to introduce himself. As he was still on duty until late that evening, he said that he would arrive late that am and see us in the morning.

The first morning was a sleep-in day (as were the second and third, which was cool by me!) and it was my first opportunity to look around in the daylight. The first thing that I heard when I stepped out the door was turkeys. Looking into the fields, they were everywhere. So in my first 10 seconds of looking around, I saw more turkeys than in my previous 47 years!!! I am a bit of a bird geek, so seeing new bird species is one of my favourite parts of a trip. After an excellent breakfast, and a look around the place, we headed out to look for my ram. First thing that we see is about 2 million mule deer! They were everywhere and remained out all day every day I was there. When we arrived at the area where the sheep live, the first animals we found was a group of five Catalina goats. Cool looking animals. Before long we spotted a group of sheep and after glassing them for a while, realized my ram was among them. We made a plan for a stalk and headed into the mesquite to try getting around the herd. As the herd was not spooked, gizmo was hopeful that we could get it done before they were onto us and headed into the nearby canyons. We stalked to where we had last seen them, but they were not there. I looked to the right and saw them bunched up and looking at us, so now we figured they were going to head for the safety of the rough country. We looped around and got close again, but they were still balled up and we were unable to get a shot. As they moved off, we made another loop around and came out to see them at the edge of the field. From my position behind gizmo, I could only see part of one of the Black Hawaiin rams, but sat down and got on the shooting sticks. Gizmo said that my ram was in the middle of the group, so we waited to see what they would do. Finally one of the other rams started back out into the field. Soon I was able to see them all as they were walking in a line. I asked gizmo if the last one was mine, and he said yes. When they stopped I asked if I should shoot and he said yes. One shot later and the crafty old ram was on the ground. He made a beautiful trophy.
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After we got my ram back to the ranch, I got to see another new bird species for me...a roadrunner. Pretty exciting for a Sask. boy! We then said goodbye to gizmo's guide Bud, and headed out to check his two hog traps. One was sprung and empty, the other had seen no action. So we continued to drive around the ranch and show me the sights. We went by the field we were going to hunt that evening for hogs and to gizmo's surprise, there was a group already in the field. We decided on a route we would take to put a stalk on while avoiding the turkeys and were off. Before long we were 150 yards from the group, so I put the bipod down and got prone. I picked the hog that I thought to be the biggest and shot. She dropped immediately and the rest exploded out of the field back to the cover of the trees. I was never too excited by the idea of hunting hogs, but that changed the second that sow hit the dirt. I am officially addicted to hog hunting!
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Day 2 started in a relaxed fashion as well. After breakfast we headed out to check the hog traps. The first one had four in it! After a barrage of bullets, they were all dispatched and we got them lined up for photos.
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As we approached the second trap, we could see that it was sprung, but it was not hogs that were in it. Instead a young 6-point (3x3 in my native language, lol) mulie buck was caught. And he was pissed! After a lot of careful maneuvering to keep our hands and faces from being perforated by his sharp little antlers, we were able to get a wire on the door from the inside and pull it up. After 10 or 15 seconds, the buck realized he was able to get out and was gone!
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That evening we laid out prone on a ledge over a bait-site for hogs. We were entertained by a little 6-point whitetail for about 20 minutes. While he was eating corn, gizmo kept hearing hogs skirting around the bait and soon they were gone. With a little less than a half hour of light left we decided to leave that spot and try to see of we could sneak up on another bait pile that was about a half mile away. As darkness started to set in, we were making our final approach to the feeder and gizmo said that he could smell a pig. We closed the distance to about 50 yards and a large, lone hog snorted and came to full alert. Now gizmo told me that hogs have terrible eyesight, and we had the wind in our favour, but instinctively I threw up the rifle for a quick shot. At first I couldn't find him in the scope in the failing light and had to bring the rifle down to get back on him. When I did, I rushed the offhand shot and missed. Dang.

On the 3rd and final day we didn't really have a plan. We had not reset the hog traps, so we just decided to take a cruise and see if there were any hogs out late, which there weren't. So after lunch we made a plan to go see Caprock Canyon National Park to hopefully see some aoudad. I'm very glad we did as it was a stunning place with the red rock cliffs and rock formations. No aoudad were spotted, but gizmo claims there was a lone Catalina goat sunning himself in the rocks. I could not for the life of me figure out which rocks, though! There is also a prairie dog town which was new to me. For a guy that grew up shooting Richardson's ground squirrels, I was sure craving my old Cooey .22 when I saw those fat bastards!
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When we returned to the ranch, we freshened up the bait site where I had shot my first hog, with corn and Kool-Aid (whoda thunk it?) and got set up in the elevated blind to wait for some more pigs. We were sitting there for over an hour when the first hog finally popped out of the brush. She was soon followed by a second and a third. They surveyed the area for a bit and then decided it was all good and started trotting out. They were followed by probably 20 more hogs of various sizes. This evening they came out upwind of the bait and never smelled it. After a bit we realized that they were not going to come to the corn and it looked like they meant to head to the far end of the field. Now something I learned about these feral hogs is that they never stand still. When gizmo told me that I was going to have to pick a pig and shoot, I had to reposition twice before one of the biggest stood still long enough for me to get the crosshairs on her. Once again, at the shot, she dropped in her tracks and the others were off like pork rockets. I was able to roll one more sow before they were into the cover. Thus ended my hunt at the Rockin G.
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I would like to thank Erik (gizmo) for being such an excellent host. From the relaxed atmosphere of the hunting style to the sight-seeing, to the cooking and to even just sitting around talking about hunting, football, bullriding and movies, he makes you feel at home. This hunt exceeded my expectations and I look forward to returning to feed my new hog addiction!!!
 

Royal27

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No surprise you had a great time with Gizmo!

Congrats!

And those roadrunners are cool, aren't they?
 

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Aaron, thanks brother. I had a great time and that hog hunting never gets old. Nothing like a target rich environment.
 

gizmo

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The roadrunner in question I named Bob. He's quite a character and has become the Rockin G mascot. Hell if your not careful he'll crawl up in your lap.
 

Pheroze

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The roadrunner in question I named Bob. He's quite a character and has become the Rockin G mascot. Hell if your not careful he'll crawl up in your lap.
Ok, seriously, has a roadrunner ever gotten the better of a coyote? I need to know.

Great report and a quality outfit! You guys in the west get great hunting opportunities.

I just thought of a new trip for us Cannuks: the SAAM course and then a hunt with Gizmo! Good training for that safari!

It's Friday and martinis make me exuberant...
 

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Glad to see Gizmo delivered ;)
 

Royal27

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I just thought of a new trip for us Cannuks: the SAAM course and then a hunt with Gizmo! Good training for that safari!

That would be one heck of a time!!!! I've done SAAM and would like to go again someday. Erik is on the list too for some of those pigs as part of a big bore hunt!
 

Mekaniks

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Right on! Congratulations :D Cheers::D Cheers:
 

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That would be one heck of a time!!!! I've done SAAM and would like to go again someday. Erik is on the list too for some of those pigs as part of a big bore hunt!

I needed it for that damn boar the 2nd night!
 

Royal27

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I needed it for that damn boar the 2nd night!

I did the Safari course for DG and would recommend it to anyone before a hunt. I was so much better prepared than I otherwise would have been.

I'd like to go back and do the precision course next time.
 

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Ok, seriously, has a roadrunner ever gotten the better of a coyote? I need to know.

Great report and a quality outfit! You guys in the west get great hunting opportunities.

I just thought of a new trip for us Cannuks: the SAAM course and then a hunt with Gizmo! Good training for that safari!

It's Friday and martinis make me exuberant...
Actually roadrunners escape coyotes all the time. It's not quite as dramatic as the Sunday morning cartoons but entertaining none the less. That being said I've seen several zig when they should have zagged and get nailed. I'd still like to see one drop a safe on a yotes head.
 

Pheroze

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...I just thought of a new trip for us Cannuks...

...ummm just for the record "Canuk" has just one 'n'! I suck as a Canadian....:oops: Good thing our Prime Minister was a drama teacher and not an English teacher :LOL:
 
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Royal27

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Actually roadrunners escape coyotes all the time. It's not quite as dramatic as the Sunday morning cartoons but entertaining none the less. That being said I've seen several zig when they should have zagged and get nailed. I'd still like to see one drop a safe on a yotes head.

 

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Royal27

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Lmfao, those are my favorite cartoons. I can still sit and watch them and laugh.

I always wanted Wile E to catch the roadrunner, just once!
 

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Right you can't help but root for the poor bugger
 

ActionBob

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Congrats to both Ragman and Erik.... And thanks for the report, it brought back memories... I'll be down there again for sure... I really want to hunt those turkeys as well!
 

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