Our third day of hunting in West Texas was fairly uneventful . . . unless you count the flat tire we had leaving for home after the morning hunt. Jeremy and I had spent the morning out with our friend Kris Hogue, who is on the pastoral staff at Liberty Baptist, but with no success. Hey, you can’t find deer every day, even in Texas!
On Thursday we had an invitation to hunt a working cattle ranch 45 minutes outside Amarillo. We met our host, Jared McKinney, just before daylight and walked in to a big box blind overlooking a feeder a hundred yards or so away. The north wind was strong and cold, and the blind was a good place to be.
After a while, and seeing nothing moving, we headed out on foot to peer over into one of the many canyons that run across this 8,500-acre ranch. We spent the rest of the morning walking and glassing into these deep ravines. Jeremy had hunted there before, and the tracks were evidence that deer were definitely there, but we couldn’t fine them—there’s a reason they call it “hunting.”
After a warm lunch in town, we returned to the ranch to check game cameras and feeders before settling in for the afternoon hunt. There were several promising spots to wait the deer out, and Jared posted me at one of them.
As I sat in the pop-up blind at the head of a canyon, I was struck once again by the vastness of this country. I could see perhaps a half to three-quarters of a mile down the canyon and well beyond that across the tabletop-flat land surrounding me. I watched as the sun began to set, marveling at the beauty of colors too splendid to describe and reflecting on how very fortunate I was to be in such a place.
Just as the light was fading, I saw that telltale movement of an ear flicking. Well below my vantage point but close enough to get the juices flowing, I watched as the buck cautiously made his way out of the canyon and up the cattle trail towards the water tank that lay several hundred yards behind me.
Evening is a magical time in the woods or in the field. All the senses are peaked, for both animal and hunter. The buck continued up the trail and, at 80 yards, turned as if on queue and gave me a near-broadside shot. Dropping in his tracks, my second West Texas whitetail buck was down. My new Christensen Arms Ridgeline in 7mm-08 was quickly becoming my favorite rifle!
Day four ended with satisfaction as we field-dressed the buck, loaded our gear, and headed home. It had been a very full day.
Stay tuned for more dispatches from Ron’s trip to Texas.