USA: My 2018 Texas Deer Season

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports USA & Canada' started by AustinL, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    0FD075A6-B15D-4A9A-B19E-61E9FDAA0895.jpeg I should have started this some time back since we have been hard at it since the benginning of October but with all the rain things have been relatively uneventful. That changed this weekend, I primarily hunt two properties our family place in Fisher co and then we do a lot of culling of does and mgt bucks on a place down here in the hill country.

    This Saturday morning was pretty slow with the sighting of a single doe and young 8pt early, as I was preparing to call it quits I noticed a great buck typical 12 with a couple of cheaters. He was fun to watch as he cruised through looking for does. I gave him plenty of time to exit stage left and prepared to leave once again. Unloaded the gun closed the windows and packed up. One last look and there what is that a deer? Nope grab the binoculars and a quick check reveals a plump Sika spike. This is a larger high fence place with a small herd of elk and some blackbuck antelope. In years past we typically have shot any other exotics that end up inside the fence. A quick text to the landowner confirmed it was game on. I quietly reloaded my gun slowly raised the window and as they say the rest is history.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2018

  2. JPbowhunter

    JPbowhunter AH Enthusiast

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    Man do i love sika! Congrats
     

  3. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    38838D76-68FD-44B5-B925-5F8CA3F12500.jpeg 57FCB4C5-73DC-4B02-9461-95AE8B3119AC.jpeg During the ride back to the barn I dropped into a valley and noticed a buck chasing a doe up towards the top. A quick look with the binos and I thought he looked like the kind of deer we we’re looking for and made note as he was not far from another stand. That afternoon was agin mostly uneventful though I did get to watch a couple of young bucks terrorize some ladies.

    Sunday morning found us back at the barn making a plan for the day. This morning the wind had shifted and was favorable for the area I wanted to hunt.

    This morning was eventful and I got to watch a heck of a show with bucks chasing does from the moment it was light enough to see. While entertaining it proved somewhat problematic as you could never get a good enough look to determine age and much about antlers at several hundred yards. This carried on all morning when as fate would have it I looked back to my left and there was a buck and close. He was not the deer I was looking for but he checked all the right or should I say wrong boxes.

    4.5 + check , clean 8 check, short tunes check. Given the heat of the rut and knowing he would not be hanging around long I quickly reached for my gun propped in the corner. As I tried to stealthy slide it out the window of the blind he saw something he didn’t like and did an about face. With this I had the crosshairs settled on his chest but really did not want a frontal shot so I waited. When he turned to leave he took two steps and paused to look back one last time, this was to be his final mistake and the
    little 100 gr. pull out of my.243 crashed into him behind the on shoulder and coming to rest neatly under the bid on the off side. A mere 15 yards later and he was down.

    I should take a moment to mention that all field photos were taken by me using my iPhone. I have a pretty compact handy tripod that allows me to get these shots by myself using the timer
     
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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Awesome whitetail buck and what a deal on sika!
    Congratulations!
     

  5. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    Ok let’s wrap this weekend up Sunday evening found me back on in the blind where I had harvested my buck that morning. I had originally planned to watch some new country but given the wind of number of other guys hunting we were limited to a few spots I let everyone else make there selection and happily headed back to the same blind as the morning. This time with my son to accompany me.

    This is always a bit more of a production and certainly about time spent so we take the 4wheeler to our location and stash it away in a grove of small oaks. We quickly climb into our blind and get settled in for the evening.

    Snacks check, hearing protection check, water check...yep we are now all set for the long haul. It’s now 4:00 pm and the dinner bell rings at 4:30 not that the feeders are seeing much activity.

    As we settled in for our wait we got out my phone to play a game of checkers, all the while I was scanning the surroundings for deer between moves. It didn’t take long and I started to see movement in the bowl across from us numerous bucks seemed to be harassing a doe but glimpses were quick and did not allow enough time to tell much about them. I did notice that most of the activity from this morning and afternoon happened in the vicinity of a giant old live oak...how I longed to be tucked away into that old oak at that moment.

    With that I was snapped back to reality as my son nudged me, dad...dad i need to go potty. Are you kidding me, number one or two. Number one was the answer thank goodness I can handle this. I dug down into my pack and pulled out an almost empty water bottle finished it and handed it to him. Here pee in this I said, this was the first time he has used a deer blind urinal and he was giggling so bad I was afraid he was going to spray the whole blind but he held it together and we all stayed dry, crisis averted.

    At this time most of the activity is over 300 yards out but with the rut that distance has no bearing. It isn’t long till movement catches my eye on the hill below me. Sure enough here comes a doe with a buck hot on her heals, I know it won’t be long before they make there way up in front of me. At this point I still don’t know much about the buck but he looks like a better deer. When the doe appears in one of my lanes the buck on her heals is not the same as the buck I first saw in pursuit. This buck was one that I knew was a “shooter” from a management perspective the instant I saw them. I had my son put on his “ears” and tried to prepare for a shot but as quickly as the game they left headed back the direction they came from. I was able to watch them in and out of the brush as they bounced around until they were back over by that big old oak. I knew if we were patient we might get another chance.

    As the light started to fade a doe came running in with mouth open and the buck right on here heals. We sprang into action once again my son got his ears on and I got the rifle in position but just as quick they disappeared again i knew it would not be for long and I was right. Here they came again and when they hit my lane I let out a BAAHHH and he stopped to look back but was facing away with the only shot being a “Texas heart shot” I elected to push my luck. With that they ducked back into the bush but only for moment as the doe broke back across my lane the buck still on her heals BAAHHH BAAHHH they never even slowed down and back into the brush they went. By this time I was beginning to wonder if we would make it happen, if we would get another chance. Fate however was on our side and they hit the lane one last time and with that I almost yelled BAAAAHHHHH and he
    Came to an abrupt halt long enough for me to settle the crosshairs on his shoulder and squeeze off a shot. At the shot he jumped, gave the classic signs of a heart shot and disappeared into the brush for the last time.

    We gathered up our things and made our way to where he was standing where we quickly sorted out the trail and made the short 40 yard track to the downed buck. He was exactly what I thought he was 5 1/2 and very sub-par for the property.

    Now I have work to do with three deer hanging in the cooler to process on Monday.
     
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  6. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Fanatic

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    Pretty nice deer hunt, and special to share with the little guy.................thanks for posting..........................FWB
     

  7. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    Just finished up a build for his first deer rifle. A 6.5 Grendel on a Howa mini action set in a Boyd’s stock with 12 3/4 LOP

    He will get it the weekend after thanksgiving and then we will focus on range time. Hopefully he will be ready to do work on hogs this year and will try for his first deer next
     

  8. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Fanatic

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    Austin.........that sounds like a sweet set up.............the little Grendel will have plenty of punch for whitetails and hogs. Having the rifle, cartridge and child all matching size is a special thing.......make the most of your hunting time with your kids...............they grow up all too quickly.........FWB
     

  9. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    Spent the last weekend chasing mule deer on our place and have a good group of does nailed down with a couple of young bucks. Hoping by next weekend with it being the last of the season that they are close enough to the rut to bring the big boys out of there holes. Stumbled across a few aoudad and some young whitetail bucks as well but there is more time for that.

    Will be back up next weekend to wrap up our mulie season and give my son his new (first) deer rifle so I know we will send some rounds down range
     

  10. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    Work, kids activities, holidays and all that goes with it has kept us pretty busy.

    Needless to say I have been hunting pretty hard as we are trying to hit the quota numbers we need off the ranch. Still have a few does to go but we have till next month to get there.

    I did also manage to pick off this big male coyote early one morning.

    Most importantly we have been putting a lot of range time in with my son and his 6.5 Grendel. We are trying to get him his first deer and have come close the last two sits. Just had to many bodies it was hard to get a doe broadside in the clear. When we got one standing still it would either be a bad angle or would have another deer behind gun up and ready for almost 30 min for two sits but no shots fired yet. Very proud of him though for being patient and waiting for the right opportunity

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  11. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    AustinL, how old is your son? Reason I'm asking is that I just recently put a Boyd Featherweight thumbhole stock with a 12 & 3/4LOP on a 6.5 x 55 Swede. Trouble is my grandson lives about 800 miles from me. So I can't really have him try it on for size. What bullet and load are you planning to use?
     

  12. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    Shootist we loaded the 123 gr. Hornady SST gun fits him great but recoil is a bit heavy for him to shoot more than about 5 rounds in a session and I don’t want to risk developing a flinch.

    I am considering backing off the powder charge a couple of grains or going to be 100gr hornady interlock to help with that some. Also have ordered a cabelas shooting shirt that has a removable recoil absorber/pad in the shoulder.

    For now we have been shooting 25-50 rounds with his .22 per session then ending it with a three to five shot round with The Grendel. Oh yeah to answer the actual question he is 7
     

  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    My grandson is 8, I went with the thumbhole stock hoping that small sands could reach the trigger better. I had an old "gallery gun" laying around so I sent it home with him last October. At 25 yards the kid just tore a hole in a "shoot & see" target. He is also hell on pop cans at 20 yds. with his air rifle. BTW I had a muzzle brake installed that reduces recoil by 37% . I put 20 rounds together today with 120 Gr. Barnes TTSX at 2615 FPS (according to QuickLoad) I hope to take it to the range sometime in the near future. I have a buddy that lives in South Africa that bought his son a 6.5 x 55 Tikka. According to him that gun didn't shoot the 120 Gr. bullets as well as the 140(s) so he went back to 140(s) with a slightly reduced powder charge. His son was 10 at the time.
     

  14. AustinL

    AustinL AH Veteran

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    I looked at thumbhole stocks for that same reason but I am a lefty and I have never found a thumbhole that wasn’t dedicated for lefties that I could shoot as well so went with a standard walnut stock for this build. I am considering a break for this as well would really like to go the suppressor route and kill two birds with one stone but would not have anything in place in that regard till next season.

    My son is pretty tall for seven but I bet that gun fits your Grandson well
     
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