November 28, 2015
Location: Texas Hill Country
Time: 10:20 A.M.
Wind: 10-12 MPH NNE
Temperature: 38 Degrees Fahrenheit
Moon: Waning Gibbous
Pressure: 30.0 Holding
PLEASE NOTE: All of these posts are typed in the field in real time on an iPhone. Mistakes are inevitable.
The inclement weather that plagued my drive to the Denver International Airport tailed me to the Texas Hill Country. Driving rains slowed our trip to the lodge — rains that caused flash-flooding in the area — floods that sadly took the lives of five people. Mike Stroff, my host and guide, was bit concerned about how the deer would react to not only the rain, but the sudden, quick drop in temperature.
“This will shock these deer,” Mike told me. “The temperatures right now are in the mid-thirties, and these deer just aren’t used to this. It may slow the movement for a while, but once they adjust, it should kick the rut in more than it already is. I really think it will be a good few days.”
I didn’t sleep much that night. I never do the night before a hunt. I just can’t help it. I’m not sure what it is, but I just can’t shut my brain down. Thoughts of the unknown spark an indescribable excitement — excitement that every bowhunter reading this knows. Thoughts that cause my heart to race and my brain to run on overdrive. Have I mentioned that I love bowhunting?
Morning temperatures were in the thirties and a stiff northeast wind blew. The driving rain had passed, but a light, chilling drizzle fell. With more rain forecasted, Mike opted to put me in a Nature Blind. I know what you’re all thinking. A Nature Blind over a feeder, right? Wrong. This blind was situated in an area where three trails intersected — trails leading to and from a known doe hot spot.
I didn’t have to wait long. The first buck, a small 8 point, came from south. A few minutes later an old warrior came down the same trail. This buck was big-bodied and carried a heavy 5-point rack atop his dome. He was plenty mature, but I just wasn’t ready to attach my Texas tag to him. And it’s a good thing I didn’t. Hot on his trail, nose to the ground and grunting like a pig, was a beautiful 10 point (Both bucks were on the search for a hot doe). He had neat looking sticker off his right G2, and he wasted no time picking a fight with the bigger bodied 5 point. The two squared off for several minutes, pushing each other around like pair of football guards. It was awesome. Finally, the old 5 point decided he didn’t want to continue the brawl and dashed away in the brush. My focus immediately turned back to the victor. He was making a scrape at 26 yards, and was dead in my wind. The combination of being in the enclosed blind and my ScentBlocker clothing kept my scent from the buck’s olfactory system.
Finally, after ripping at the earth for more than a minute, the buck took the four steps I needed. My heart leapt in chest, but I forced myself to bury my Black Gold sight behind his shoulder. The shot from my Elite Impulse 31 broke clean, and the Wac ‘Em 3-Blade Expandable — the expandable I came to Texas to test — plowed through the buck. Blood, bright red bubbly blood, was already evident on his side as he dashed away. It was short dash. The buck didn’t make it 40 yards before piling up. I was elated.
Upon recovery of my arrow, I noticed the broadhead was perfectly intact and still razor-sharp. Very impressive. I will have a full review of the new expendables coming to grandviewoutdoors.com in a few days. Stay tuned. For now, I gotta get back in the woods. I still have some testing to do.
NOTE: I was not able to get a good photo with my iPhone. I will post a better picture in the coming days.