I just got back Sunday night from my first hunt, and I've got to say I'm hooked. We drove like 3 or 4 hours to get out to the lease out in Schleicher County, waaaay out in West Texas middle of nowhere. It wasnt a bad drive because both me and Topher (my best friend) were excited. He was excited to be getting away from the world and into the deer lease and I was excited to be going hunting for my first time.
On the way there I was asking a ton of questions about how to do certain things like dress a deer or turkey and what to shoot, what to pass on and those sort of things.
We got there at about 1030 or 11. The setup they have for the camp is 3 campers parked around the "cookin' barn" which is a fairly large shack made from freezer panels and 2x4's where they have all the cooking ovens, a couple couches, a long table, the showers and bathroom/library, TONS and tons of hunting supplies, (they are all bow hunters, I was the only one with a rifle out there) and of course a TV to watch the videos from the hunts. It was a really cool setup plopped in the middle of the 1000 acre lease.
They had 5 lease vehicles that they used to get out to the different blinds: The Go-Cart, the Jeep (an old open Jeep CJ), the Mailcar (an old post box jeep), the MoFo (an old Bronco with the top replaced with a high seat, no doors, tailgate, or front fenders), the Momma Dodge (an old 80's Dodge 3500 that has been out at the lease FOREVER).
Saturday morning we got up at like 430 and got dressed and went into the cookin barn to get all of our gear. Everybody decides which of the 15 or so blinds they are going to and goes their separate ways. I went with Topher the first morning just to get a sense of how things worked.
We went out to the blind and had a quiet morning, Topher saw one doe in the distance and we had a cow practically stick his face in the blind. We went back to the camp, b/c we figured nothing was going on at this feeder.
So we went back to the camp and started the fire and waited for everyone else to trickle in. Couple people took some shots, most didnt, nobody killed anything.
Topher's cousin Clayton plugged in his video camera to show us the arrow proof turkeys he shot at that morning. He shot at two turkeys, one arrow skimmed the top of the turkey and ricocheted off and another was an absolutley perfect shot that hit right in the back at the base of the neck and for some reason fell off when the turkey started flying. Apparently didnt penetrate.
We all ate breakfast and then they all started making adjustments to their pullstrength and practiced out on the targets behind the barn. I took out my rifle and made sure everything was good. That evening about 430 we all decided again to go out.
I went out to the one rifle blind they have on the lease, which has about a 270 degree field of fire that is about 400-450 yards to the fenceline. Big open area. I got setup in there and about 30-45 minutes into the hunt I saw a couple does heading away from the blind up north, too far for a viable shot. But about 30-min to an hour after I saw those does, I saw a deer come out of the treeline about 100 yards upwind. It was a good 6-point buck. Well good to me. Theguys had all been telling me what was shootable and what I should leave alone. I could see that his rack was about even with the tip of his ears which was the standard for shootable that they told me for conservation, buck growing purposes.
He was giving me a head on angle, which i know not to shoot, but I put the iron sights right on his right side of his chest and waited. He was going after those two does i saw earlier i think. But then he turned just slightly to his left and gave me a quartered shot. My heart was going nuts and I started to squeeze my trigger, but then he trotted off behind a tree and went behind my blind. He only stayed in that quartered position for maybe 1.5 seconds.
I followed him in my sights when he went behind my blind. He came as close as 20 yards as he passed!! But I knew I couldnt shoot him b/c there were a ton of trees in the way and I would have to shoot through them, but more importantly that that was the direction all the bow blinds that everyone else was on, so I couldnt send a bullet off hoping it hit b/c it might hurt someone.
That was awesome though! I went back to camp and went to sleep about 10 or so and got up really eagerly the next morning. I went out to the rifle blind again and was out there for about 2 hours when I saw some brown bodies moving around in the distance heading my direction.
The came about 50 yards in front of my blind! The only problems were that both the doe and the buck were pretty small-bodied, couldnt be more than a year or so old. Plus, they were both trotting at a fairly good pace, which would have made proper shot placement a little more difficult, especially with buck fever and all. The doe was trying to get away from the buck who was trying to get lucky
. The only other reason I didnt like the shot was that the buck was either a forkhorn or a really tiny 6 point, so not worth shooting this season.
We saw a nub buck on the drive back to camp, and Topher had shot at a doe who ducked under his arrow. He called her a ninja doe
. We later found a little fat on his arrow, so he just barely grazed her back.
We all started to leave then, and it was clear that no one wanted to. I couldve stayed out there for a month! Lol
They all said that the experience that I had with the 6 pointer (which was me saying "I shouldve shot him!"
for the rest of the weekend) was something that all hunters get that lays the bug in them to keep coming out. And theyre right! As soon as we left the lease to go back home, all I could think about was what I needed to get to be more prepared for next time!
Overall, it was a great experience and I cant wait to get back out there and find that 6 point again.