USA: Texas Cull Hunt At Rockin G Ranch

Ridgewalker

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
Aug 8, 2016
Messages
7,814
Reaction score
10,057
Location
Colorado
Media
247
Hunting reports
Africa
3
USA/Canada
4
Hunted
South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
Texas Cull Mule Deer Doe & Granddaughter’s First Big Game Hunt

Gizmo advertised a good deal for his cull mule deer doe hunt on AH. It sounded like a perfect first big game hunt for my 12 year old granddaughter, Leah, and if successful, it would get us some tasty meat for the freezer! Erik said they would furnish a single shot kid’s size 243 Winchester and 100 grain factory ammo which sounded like an excellent outfit for a young lady.

After a brief discussion with Erik on the dates, I bought the hunt. Telling the deal to the granddaughter, we decided she should go to the range every weekend before the hunt to practice shooting off sticks. She did well. I was proud of her skills and they improved every trip.

Her confidence grew each trip we made. I eventually threw in a couple of prairie dog hunts. She made some excellent shots at over 130-140 yards from a seated position on the PDs. I only had a 22 WM rifle that fit her OK, but she did well.

We left home about 8:00 am and drove to Amarillo where we spent the night at an RV park in my cab over camper. The winds were bad the whole way and unfortunately the first two days of the hunt as well. We had stopped as soon as we got into Texas and purchased her license, so she was good to go!

Justin, her guide for the hunt, greeted us when we drove up to the lodge. We unloaded our gear and headed to the shooting range.
ACC3E8EE-42DC-4C56-B66D-2F635AAF17C9.jpeg


They had installed a nice life size steel deer with a swinging steel target zone. The deer was spray painted white and the target zone was red. Leah took her time shooting it off sticks, but hit it perfectly all three times. She and Justin felt good about her shooting off sticks. The hunt was on!

89D685BF-D9D2-4B00-91E1-9E90826385D8.jpeg


As mentioned the winds were bad spooking the game and making it feel cold. We drove around in the side x side looking for deer. Justin had seen a number of them while driving around before we arrived, but it had been calmer until just before we showed up! Ugh! This wasn’t good.

Each time we would spot game and make a stalk, they would spook and disappear or run out of range. We took a break and returned to the lodge for a bit of rest before the evening blind hunt. We hunted the first evening from a high blind, #3 I believe, where Justin had thrown out some corn in hopes of drawing in a hog or possibly deer. Again no luck.

We returned to the lodge for a delicious shredded brisket dinner. A hot shower felt good. For me, my evening 2 glasses of red wine. Even though the wind was blowing, we had to sneak out onto the south leeward side of the house to see if we could hear some coyotes howl. They apparently didn’t like the wind either. Early to bed for an early rise and sit in blind #1.

Day two at blind #1 there were a couple of whitetail does and a couple of whitetail bucks. No doe mule deer or hogs. We stayed until we couldn’t hold our morning coffee any longer, then headed back to the lodge for breakfast. Scrambled egg, bacon and cheese burritos and more coffee.

Heading back out we spotted three doe mule deer in a north winter wheat field. The stalk was on! Justin followed by Leah and me bringing up the rear. We snuck to 90 yards. A perfect distance closer than she had practiced! The doe was looking at us but calm facing our left. Sticks were up. The grand babe settled the crosshairs and a few seconds latter the shot rang out. She was shocked! She just missed the chest by a slim margin! Later she told me privately “But Pappy I had the crosshairs centered on the front legs and half way up!” I thought maybe it was buck fever and didn’t think much about it since it was a clean miss.

B71FE9D9-2E27-4024-A485-74A587B19782.jpeg


Back on the side x side in search again. We stopped at blind #3 to see if anything had touched the corn. Not only had they touched it, but the hogs had eaten every kernel! Justin broadcast some more.

We decided since nothing was showing in the wind, we would drive to the high fenced area to see what we could find. Stopping at the gate Justin put Leah in the driver’s seat while he unlocked the gate. She was in kid heaven getting to drive the side x side!

5244FB41-B48A-4BA7-94AE-B073D2136D4C.jpeg


We saw several different varieties of sheep, aoudads, some breeder mule deer, red deer and a couple of other exotics. All were very spooky in the wind.
1F2A7304-36AE-4940-8440-B0D2ACC317AA.jpeg

78EE169F-EBA4-49FD-8E1C-90AB1F19CB06.jpeg

52496768-655F-4913-AC03-4887C88C1D2C.jpeg


After our tour we headed back to the low fenced south side. We saw a flock of hen turkeys and decided to try a stalk. A couple of blown attempts, they grouped up and began shuffling around maybe 125 yards away in deep grass. Sticks up! Leah settled in and squeezed the trigger. Bam! Feathers flew along with at least two dozen turkeys! Justin congratulated her on a good shot. I saw feathers fly, but I didn’t see a bird go down. Old eyes I guess.

We moved up and started searching. Here’s a feather and there’s a feather, but no turkey. I sensed Leah was suddenly a little up tight. We looked for at least a half hour finding blood spots and feathers, but no bird.

Finally we spotted it hiding under an eroded bank. Justin moved in to try to grab it, but it took off running and disappeared in the high grasses. We looked and looked, but no turkey. Leah had apparently broken a wing, but didn’t do enough damage to kill it. Justin told her “You know coyotes need to eat too.” That seemed to help calm her emotions.
1F7693A9-A968-49FB-920C-9251595FF49D.jpeg


We headed back to the lodge for a break before the evening blind hunt. A bit of a nap. Walked the dog and let him flush some quail and it was time again to head out. We started out and had to return because Leah was feeling sick. No big deal because we had another full day and the forecast said it would be calmer the next day. Good to find out!

A steak dinner that night was tasty! Went perfect with my nightly red wine. We went to bed early to try to get a solid night’s sleep.

Up before daylight with our coffees. Headed to blind #2. Settled in and waited on shooting light. As the morning came it was getting light enough to see through the binoculars, a couple of whitetail were at a feeder 140 yards away. A half dozen doe mule deer were 300 yards away at the far end of the field. Leah waited in calm anticipation for the first deer to get in her comfort zone. Soon the does were working their way closer and closer. A few yards at a time they came. Suddenly there were bucks and does all over playing checkers as they shifted around. Two young bucks performed a mock battle for us.

BF07C417-348E-4F13-B97F-86332806E7A3.jpeg

15FD26D4-DA72-4034-8101-6DCFEF366359.jpeg


Suddenly a group started moving from the feeder, coming right in front of the blind maybe 50-60 yards out. Justin told Leah to get ready and when they get right out front he would tell her which one to shoot. Sure enough it was all happening. Justin told her which one to shoot; Leah fired; the doe staggered then started running toward the fence where she staggered and stood. Justin reloaded the single shot and pointed out a second doe for her to shoot. BAM! Her second doe! This one ran down the fence line and snuck under the fence disappearing in the deep grass and mesquite trees.

E5AFA2A3-38A5-464F-A2CF-C032DA66BBA9.jpeg


Loading up the first deer, we headed out for the second. Justin did an excellent tracking job finding one drop of blood after another. We finally caught up to the deer. Justin perform a coupe de gras shot with his 308 and she was down for good.

AC154A90-85DD-4CDF-B59C-E4CEE166B59F.jpeg


Great experience getting to blood track and get an idea of how to do it. Leah felt bad that the first shot wasn’t the only one needed. I too was a bit concerned because I watched as she slowly squeezed the trigger and I knew she did her part well. She held the rifle very steady.

After watching Erik’s son Seth practice caping the deer for a bit, Leah decided she had enough of the gore.

D73BA945-D4F6-4E35-80AF-30670564927C.jpeg


We decided to go over to the shooting range just to practice. After she fired a couple of rounds at the life size steel deer target, it just didn’t look like she was hitting it. I used the last round off the bench with a backpack for a solid rest. Aiming "dead center of the butt of the deer target where the white paint was nice and smooth, I squeezed the trigger. Complete miss of a two foot square area at 100 yards!

Leah was lucky the deer were half that distance! Apparently the scope had gotten knocked out of zero bouncing around in the side x side. Probably my own fault since I held the little rifle during our travels. Now I believe because the turkeys were all bunched up, she didn’t hit the one she was aiming at. Lesson learned...check your sights more than once!

I’ll take luck any day to skill and apparently Leah was lucky with her shots from an out of zero scope. I’m wondering how long the scope had been out of whack since she had missed the very first deer. Oh well! As they say “all’s well that ends well!” We’ll be picking up her butchered deer when we return to the Rockin-G-Ranch the first week of January 2019 to chase some sheep!

8B7B931E-E07F-46E6-A3A7-978B96505703.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 617ED5E7-B02E-459F-9A59-83AA133956CE.jpeg
    617ED5E7-B02E-459F-9A59-83AA133956CE.jpeg
    109.4 KB · Views: 220
Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks for the write up PHIL and as always we really enjoyed having y’all! I just got my good 243 back from the gunsmith so this next one we’ll have a proper rifle to work with.
I’m so happy we were able to help with the young lady’s first big game hunt and it means a lot to me that you chose us to do it with.
Thank you and we are super excited to hunt with y’all again in a few weeks.
 
Erik, Leah wanted to stay “just one more day Pappy?” So glad we have a chance to return. She was elated when I told her we were going back!

Justin was just excellent with her!

As before I too had a wonderful time!
 
I’m wondering if anyone can find the turkey hiding in picture number 8?
 
Very nicely done! Congrats to the young lady and kudos to you for taking her hunting(y)
 
Congrats to they young lady! Always nice to see kids getting introduced to hunting!
 
Really excellent! What a fun trip for her. Now I'm looking forward to your ram hunt!
 
Ridgewalker, sights / scopes being "off" are a real bummer. I hope Leah recovered from her disappointment once she found out about the scope being knocked out of whack. Maybe you need to engineer and build a portable gun rack / holder for ATVs. As I recall none of the vehicles used to Haul me to "hog" blinds had provisions for "holding" a firearm.
 
Congrats to Leah and proud grandfather !
 
Great adventure! Looks like both of you had a fantastic time.
The youth of our world truly are the future of hunting. Really nice to see people taking the time to introduce and mentor our kids to the great outdoors
 
Well done guys!
 
Congrats !
 

Forum statistics

Threads
48,856
Messages
1,007,661
Members
83,273
Latest member
DinaMcnult
 

 

 

Latest profile posts

made it to camp yesterday afternoon! had a braai with some awesome T-bones ready to start hunting for sable today!
made it to camp , had a big Braai last night with some awesome T-bones! ready to start the day!
steve white wrote on wesheltonj's profile.
Well, sir, I am mighty impressed with the quality of the shell cordovan belt. I have several pairs of shoes that are shell cordovan, but had balked at paying over half that price for just a belt. Wouldn't be surprised if this belt doesn't last the rest of my life--for its color application. It sure is a universe removed from the cheaply constructed yet expensive stuff being put out there. Worth the price I paid.
getting ready for a 5 day sable hunt!
joelpend wrote on tward1604's profile.
Norma 404 Brass. A personal check is good and will clear in one day when I electronically deposit.
[redacted]
Thank You
 
Top