A doe “flitted” across our path as we were headed back to camp for a quick bite to eat. She appeared out of a whitebrush thicket her tail held at “half mast”. Likely she was just starting to come into estrus. Before I could say anything to my guide and friend Chris Treiber, hunt manager on central Texas’ Sandstone Mountain Ranch, a buck erupted out of the brush right on her tail. The two turned and ran directly away toward a rocky point that extended over a broken savanna. A quick glance was all I got of the buck but as he ran I could count nine points up and a short drop on one side. I guessed his spread to be no less than 24-inches, outside.
There was no time for a shot. Soon as the pair disappeared over the edge of the point said Chris, “Give him about thirty seconds and let’s see if we can see him again. Think I know that buck. He’s at least six years old! Saw him several times last year, but only one time before this year. He’s one I’d really like to see us take.” I agreed.
Try as we might we could not find the pair once they disappeared. As we continued on to camp Chris and I talked. “Last year that buck was occasionally seen in a narrow, secluded high valley bordered on two sides by “uplifted” rock walls. Earlier this year I planted a few Tecomate seeds there. The soil there is quite deep and it produces an abundance of native forbs as well which the deer seem to truly love! The valley runs east to west and forms a natural corridor which deer travel from one of the lakes to dense thicket bedding areas. Think I know a place where we can set up your Nature Blinds Stalking Shield, be well hidden and just might a chance at seeing that buck and possibly some others as well.” A plan was quickly devised and set to action.
That afternoon hidden behind my Shield, secreted between rock and brush, we waited. Several deer appeared and fed through the area including no less than eight different bucks. But not the one we were after.
Next morning. we were back at our “stand” before first light. Deer started filtering through the area we saw several bucks, including a most interesting “velvet horn”. I was glassing the fuzzy antlered buck when I spotted the wide nine point with the short drop, coming our way. I found him him my Trijicon scope, put the crosshairs on him and waited for reasonable shot.
Just then I saw movement to my immediate left, then watched a mature typical ten strode by immediately in front of me. When he thankfully walked way I again put the crosshairs on the wide buck. I waited until he fed toward us, then squee3zed the trigger on my .300 Win Mag Ruger FTW Hunter. The 200-grain Hornady ELD-X struck the buck and dropped him in his tracks.
Our ambush plan had worked to perfection. You gotta love it when a plan comes together!