Turn the clock back to the 1800s, and the Stasney’s Cook is “Lonesome Dove” country. The ranch spreads across more than 30,000 acres of Texas landscape almost the way it looked back then—minus the oil derricks and wind turbines, of course. The ranch is home to a lot more hogs, deer and turkeys than it was back then, too.
If you’re looking for “real Texas,” the ranch’s Wildlife Manger, Johnnie Hudman, is an honest throwback to those days. He’s an NAHC Life Member and simply as Texan as Texas gets. The assembled hunters were fortunate to have Johnnie, who is a lifelong Albany-area native, as host and head guide.
The weather during the hunt started warm and grew warmer and windier each day. By the end of the hunt, hogs were pretty much active only at first light and last light—but the Life Members enjoyed great success. Robert Teel from Pocatello, Idaho, took three hogs with a combination of rifle and .41 Rem. Mag. handgun. John Ernst of Riverdale, Utah; Dave Bergmark of Garden Prairie, Illinois; and Ward Long of Little Rock, Arkansas, each took two hogs.
All of these Life Members outclassed yours truly once again because of the “curse of the camera.” We were trying to do double-duty on the trip by taping an episode of “North American Hunter-TV” and take a mature boar with a bow. We stuck with that plan through the first 2 days of hunting, and then decided to switch to a handgun to pull an episode out of the fire on the third and final day—and we managed to get it done. An eating-size boar of about 100 pounds made the mistake of leaving his hidey-hole earlier than usual that last afternoon, and I got where I could make a shot with the 7mm-08 Rem. T/C Encore pistol.
More Than A Chase
The accommodations and hunt schedule served perfectly to bring the Life Members all together for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the huge dining hall. And the food was delicious: family-style and ample. A comfortable seating area in the hall spawned great conversations of firearms, past hunts, future hunts, travel, the weather, life back home … and, as always, we solved all the world’s problems from hunting camp … now if somebody would only listen!
With Johnnie making the wake-up rounds at 5 a.m., no one lingered too late in the rocking chairs before retiring back to their quarters. The setup at the Stasney’s Cook can easily accommodate 15-20 hunters, so our group of five plus a cameraman and a guest enjoyed nearly “private” accommodations including bedrooms, baths and even a honeymoon cabin for Robert and his wife, Pen.
Because of a special deal we cut with Hunter’s Specialties before the trip, we were able to provide an iKam Extreme to each of the hunters. This is basically a set of interchangeable-lens shooting glasses with a digital video and audio recorder built into the frames. Dave and John in particular shot several hours of footage each to allow members who weren’t there to see how much fun the NAHC Life Member Hunts are. In fact, they shot so much footage, the TV guys back at headquarters are going to need some time to sort out the best stuff, but it will soon be posted on HuntingClub.com and YouTube for all to enjoy.
Hunts On The Horizon
The next NAHC Life Member Hunt is coming up this November 11-16 in Nebraska with Gobble-n-Grunt Outfitters. The game will be big white-tailed bucks. Life Members, their guests and NAHC staff Will Hunt on 70,000 private acres where sand hills and farm country meet—this is the kind of property that produces trophy whitetails.
For more information about the Nebraska whitetails Life Member Hunt with Gobble-n- Grunt Outfitters, please check out “Member Benefits” on page 94 of this issue.