In case you may have forgotten how lucky we are to have a place to hunt, just take a look at the "camp cabin" we get to use. I have had the opportunity to hunt at Pete Wardenburg's ranches for at least 15 years and have enjoyed each and every hunt. Many friends and family members have experienced the beauty of South Texas and the awesome abundance of animals at the ranch.
Just a sample of the year-round residents at the ranch.
In previous years everyone was encouraged to harvest spikes (see above) or a doe if you wanted meat for the table. However, due to the drought conditions in 2011, we passed on spikes unless they were clearly carry-overs from the 2010 season.
Well, Jared and I hunted hard Thursday, Friday, and Saturday morning but had nothing to show for the effort. We needed to make a decision to return home for the OU/OSU football game or stay and continue to hunt. We choose to stay and it was a very good decision!
Jared was first to harvest a nice buck. Since the ranch decided to pass on spike bucks this year we started to look for bucks that DID NOT have brow tines/eye guards.
As fate would have it on Saturday nite a real nice buck came into the feeder that meet the criteria for a cull buck and Jared was successful with one shot.
This deer was clearly a cull buck at the ranch. He is probably 3 to 4 years old and has not developed as well as others at the ranch. Now the pressure was on me to harvest something to bring back to Arkansas and I only had one more opportunity, Sunday morning. Saturday nite was spent on the cell phone with Steph, Ann, and Laura getting updates on OU-OSU football. What a night
OSU 44 OU 10 GO POKES! How could it get any better than this!!
THIS IS HOW!!
The weather turned cooler Saturday night and Sunday morning and the deer were really moving around on Sunday morning. I went to the West Blind where I had previously spotted the 12pt and Slick Willie (see November posting) and hoped maybe they would return. Neither showed up, but I had at least 8 doe in the feeder and was in the process of selecting one of them for harvesting. I had made my selection and was nearly ready to fire when out of the corner of my eye I saw another doe running to the feeder and about 200 yards behind her was this trophy. I let him follow the doe to the feeder and settle down a little before trying to get a shot. I did not have to wait long as he turned sideways and gave me the perfect shot.
The deer is 13pts and scored 159.
At the time, this was the largest deer ever harvested at Pete's. This picture was submitted to the Baxter Bulletin (Mountain Home newspaper) and was published on January 4, 2012.
Needless to say, Jared and I had a great time at the ranch. He is going to try to do a European mount for his deer and mine in at Creagor's Artistic Wildlife Taxidermy. The Big Boy should be home by early April. What a weekend--Big Deer and OSU beats OU and wins BIG 12 football!!
The next big event for December is to find out if the LITTLE LOWE is a football player or a cheerleader. Ann and Jared are coming to Arkansas the week before Christmas to make the announcement so stay tuned for the next update.