USA: Texas Hunting Season 2020 / 2021

AustinL

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The second weekend of the season found us back out looking for “his” buck

That Morning proved in eventful but we will be back at it in the afternoon

That afternoon expectations were high as the shadows grew and deer started to filter in. All does and young bucks including one “young” 8pt. At first glance I dismissed this buck as young skinny neck small body etc. the more I watched him the more things didn’t add up. His skinny neck transitioned awkwardly into a large brisket, hip bones protruding and a big Roman nose. All signs of a buck long since past his prime.

I quickly snapped a few photos and sent them to the landowner who quickly confirmed my suspicions with a simple text

Old turn the little man loose on him.

That was all we needed to hear and we began readying for a shot it must have taken 30 minutes the angle was always bad or other deer were in the way. As light faded the buck started to move off across the valley and stopped one last time, broadside and in the clear. The grendel barked and the buck dropped at the shot.

back at the skinning rack a quick check of his teeth indeed showed a buck past his prime.
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AustinL

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Been busy with the holiday and getting a few more sits in the blind with the boy so I am behind on updates.

Lets turn back the dial to Friday November 20th, it’s been a long week but me and my son are packed up and once again have the truck pointed north. We are meeting my parents at our families place on the banks of the double mountain fork of the brazos. While whitetail and hogs are on the menu this weekend our primary quarry are mule deer with this being opening weekend.

Are mule deer season is relatively short and by and large with limited country to hunt we have to be pretty low impact and a lot of years don’t see mature bucks show up until the rut kicks in typically a week or two after season closes. I didn’t have high hopes for taking a buck this weekend but wanted to get some glassing in try and get a idea on what the deer were doing.

After arriving around 10:30 pm that evening we got unloaded, visited a bit and then set our alarms and retired to bed. 5:00 came early and we made plans for the day. I was going to set a stand on the edge of a large wheat field that is frequented by does and young bucks. We were going to set here for the first couple hours then push out that ridge to a big canyon and glass for the remainder of the morning.

As daylight crept up on us I noticed a deer in the field 600 yards from us but did not have enough light to identify it. I kept searching in the pre dawn light expecting more deer to appear yet there were none yet. Moments later as they always do a lone mule deer doe materialized on the edge of the wheat 260 yards from where we sat. I continued to scan the field and surrounding canyons looking far any other deer. It was now almost 7:00 and we were well into legal shooting light but heavy cloud cover held back the rapidly rising sun. As I finished up a scan of the wheat field I finished at the line doe but this time there was a tank of a buck back behind her watching from the brush on the edge of the field. I instantly knew this buck was a shooter carrying a solid 4 point frame but most importantly was an old buck.

I wasted no time in getting my trusty .280 ready in case the buck presented a shot. Once on the gun I could no longer locate him at first when suddenly he appeared in a small opening again gazing out at the doe. Would he follow her out into the field? I elected not to wait and find out as he was offering a good slight quartering too shot at 250 yards. I calmed my breathing and settled my crosshairs on the on-side shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The mornings calm quickly interrupted by the bark of the gun at that moment I lost my sight picture to the muzzle flash but heard the resounding hit of the bullet finding its mark. At the time of the shot I still had only seen the one buck and doe. After the shot the bush came alive with deer everywhere there must have been 12 deer and they all starting filtering past us headed for the safety of the big canyons behind us. I quickly scanned the heard making sure there were no suitable bucks for my son and like that all was quite again. With my binoculars I looked back to where the buck was standing at the shot and finally saw the tops of his antlers laying there where he stood. My son couldn’t wait to put his hands on him so after watching for about 10 minutes we made our way over to him. As we approached i knew without a doubt this was the best and only third mule deer buck we had killed in 13 years of owning it. He was also rutting hard and we could smell him from a distance. I know he is not a giant by western standards and even for some other parts of the state but for these deer in our little pocket he was a tremendous buck and since it was so early we decided to ease back and glass the big canyon and opposite ridge. Before we left I snapped a quick picture as he lay and text my dad. He responded asking if we needed help to which I told him our plan. My son really wanted to “stalk one”.

We slowly started making our way back stopping to look as we picked our way towards my glassing spot. Along the way we came upon a large boar hog and after a short cat and mouse game trying to get into position for my son to get a shot the boar tired of this and eased over a ridge and into the safety of the next draw. Do we proceeded on and soon arrived at my glassing spot. On the far ridge I quickly picked up a mule deer doe skylined on top. Soon after a small Whitetail cruised across to top of the ridge popping in and out of view as we went. Another group of does and fawns 5 in total were feeding on the face below the crest of the ridge. We watched these deer for about 30 minutes it was now 8:00 an hour since the shot and they had just fed up over the ridge. My son looked at me and said I think we should head back it’s time for breakfast

on our walk back to where we had parked the 4 wheeler in the dark that morning. I tried to use it as a teaching moment on walking softly. I can’t believe such a small kid can make so much noise with just his feet. We had to work on that if we are ever going to “stalk” anything. We are proceeding along we I spot two heads ahead of us about 80 yards with a slight rise between us. I quietly stop my son and confirm with my binoculars that one is a mule deer doe and the other a nice wide buck. Not as old as mine but a great deer for my sons first mule deer if we can get a shot. I quietly set his big pod up for a kneeling position and set the gun into the cradle. My son gets into position and chambers a round the doe finally moves out of the way and I whisper if you feel comfortable shoot him right in the white patch on his neck. My son squeezed off a shot but pulled it just left of the deer. At the shot he just stands there. We quickly chamber another round. He really wants to be with that doe and takes a few more steps towards where she went, he is now obscured by brush by I know he is going to come out on the other side and should present a better shot. He starts off again in the direction of the doe and comes out of the brush now only 60 yards from us and quartering towards us. He stops is whisper to shoot him in the shoulder and barely have the words come out of my mouth when my sons grendel barks again this time a solid hit. The buck hunches up and runs off disappearing into a thick patch of mesquites. I give my son a huge hug and we relish in the moment. I take a moment to reload his gun and we proceed to where I last saw him and find him down just beyond that point. Again I snap a quick picture with my son and his deer as it lays and text his grampie the good news.. along with the caption we’re gonna need some help now.

we get both bucks loaded up and take some good pictures. Then the work begins as the temperature would be getting much higher than I would like to leave them hanging we set to caping and quartering the deer.

Never did I expect to kill one buck this weekend much less two.
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Ragman

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Been busy with the holiday and getting a few more sits in the blind with the boy so I am behind on updates.

Lets turn back the dial to Friday November 20th, it’s been a long week but me and my son are packed up and once again have the truck pointed north. We are meeting my parents at our families place on the banks of the double mountain fork of the brazos. While whitetail and hogs are on the menu this weekend our primary quarry are mule deer with this being opening weekend.

Are mule deer season is relatively short and by and large with limited country to hunt we have to be pretty low impact and a lot of years don’t see mature bucks show up until the rut kicks in typically a week or two after season closes. I didn’t have high hopes for taking a buck this weekend but wanted to get some glassing in try and get a idea on what the deer were doing.

After arriving around 10:30 pm that evening we got unloaded, visited a bit and then set our alarms and retired to bed. 5:00 came early and we made plans for the day. I was going to set a stand on the edge of a large wheat field that is frequented by does and young bucks. We were going to set here for the first couple hours then push out that ridge to a big canyon and glass for the remainder of the morning.

As daylight crept up on us I noticed a deer in the field 600 yards from us but did not have enough light to identify it. I kept searching in the pre dawn light expecting more deer to appear yet there were none yet. Moments later as they always do a lone mule deer doe materialized on the edge of the wheat 260 yards from where we sat. I continued to scan the field and surrounding canyons looking far any other deer. It was now almost 7:00 and we were well into legal shooting light but heavy cloud cover held back the rapidly rising sun. As I finished up a scan of the wheat field I finished at the line doe but this time there was a tank of a buck back behind her watching from the brush on the edge of the field. I instantly knew this buck was a shooter carrying a solid 4 point frame but most importantly was an old buck.

I wasted no time in getting my trusty .280 ready in case the buck presented a shot. Once on the gun I could no longer locate him at first when suddenly he appeared in a small opening again gazing out at the doe. Would he follow her out into the field? I elected not to wait and find out as he was offering a good slight quartering too shot at 250 yards. I calmed my breathing and settled my crosshairs on the on-side shoulder and squeezed the trigger. The mornings calm quickly interrupted by the bark of the gun at that moment I lost my sight picture to the muzzle flash but heard the resounding hit of the bullet finding its mark. At the time of the shot I still had only seen the one buck and doe. After the shot the bush came alive with deer everywhere there must have been 12 deer and they all starting filtering past us headed for the safety of the big canyons behind us. I quickly scanned the heard making sure there were no suitable bucks for my son and like that all was quite again. With my binoculars I looked back to where the buck was standing at the shot and finally saw the tops of his antlers laying there where he stood. My son couldn’t wait to put his hands on him so after watching for about 10 minutes we made our way over to him. As we approached i knew without a doubt this was the best and only third mule deer buck we had killed in 13 years of owning it. He was also rutting hard and we could smell him from a distance. I know he is not a giant by western standards and even for some other parts of the state but for these deer in our little pocket he was a tremendous buck and since it was so early we decided to ease back and glass the big canyon and opposite ridge. Before we left I snapped a quick picture as he lay and text my dad. He responded asking if we needed help to which I told him our plan. My son really wanted to “stalk one”.

We slowly started making our way back stopping to look as we picked our way towards my glassing spot. Along the way we came upon a large boar hog and after a short cat and mouse game trying to get into position for my son to get a shot the boar tired of this and eased over a ridge and into the safety of the next draw. Do we proceeded on and soon arrived at my glassing spot. On the far ridge I quickly picked up a mule deer doe skylined on top. Soon after a small Whitetail cruised across to top of the ridge popping in and out of view as we went. Another group of does and fawns 5 in total were feeding on the face below the crest of the ridge. We watched these deer for about 30 minutes it was now 8:00 an hour since the shot and they had just fed up over the ridge. My son looked at me and said I think we should head back it’s time for breakfast

on our walk back to where we had parked the 4 wheeler in the dark that morning. I tried to use it as a teaching moment on walking softly. I can’t believe such a small kid can make so much noise with just his feet. We had to work on that if we are ever going to “stalk” anything. We are proceeding along we I spot two heads ahead of us about 80 yards with a slight rise between us. I quietly stop my son and confirm with my binoculars that one is a mule deer doe and the other a nice wide buck. Not as old as mine but a great deer for my sons first mule deer if we can get a shot. I quietly set his big pod up for a kneeling position and set the gun into the cradle. My son gets into position and chambers a round the doe finally moves out of the way and I whisper if you feel comfortable shoot him right in the white patch on his neck. My son squeezed off a shot but pulled it just left of the deer. At the shot he just stands there. We quickly chamber another round. He really wants to be with that doe and takes a few more steps towards where she went, he is now obscured by brush by I know he is going to come out on the other side and should present a better shot. He starts off again in the direction of the doe and comes out of the brush now only 60 yards from us and quartering towards us. He stops is whisper to shoot him in the shoulder and barely have the words come out of my mouth when my sons grendel barks again this time a solid hit. The buck hunches up and runs off disappearing into a thick patch of mesquites. I give my son a huge hug and we relish in the moment. I take a moment to reload his gun and we proceed to where I last saw him and find him down just beyond that point. Again I snap a quick picture with my son and his deer as it lays and text his grampie the good news.. along with the caption we’re gonna need some help now.

we get both bucks loaded up and take some good pictures. Then the work begins as the temperature would be getting much higher than I would like to leave them hanging we set to caping and quartering the deer.

Never did I expect to kill one buck this weekend much less two.View attachment 377429View attachment 377430View attachment 377431View attachment 377432View attachment 377433
Wow! What a day! Those are a great couple of bucks, congrats to both of you!
 

Ridgewalker

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