It’s been said of West Texas, “You can look farther and see less than any place on earth.” On the drive from the airport with my dear friend Jeremy McMorris, his wife, Angie, and their kiddos, I figured that statement was about right.
That myth was soon to be busted.
Jeremy is the lead pastor at Liberty Baptist Church in Dalhart, Texas. He shepherds a vibrant flock of believers there, leads his wife and four sweet children, and loves to hunt. When the invitation came to come spend a week with them in late November, it didn’t take me long to answer. I booked my flight and started packing my gear—I was heading west!
Light had begun to break in the east as we eased into the field edge. Jeremy spotted a doe standing in the waist-high brush she was ready to bed in. As I glassed across to the far side of the “quarter section” we had permission to hunt, I spotted a buck moving left, then another headed to the right . . .
The two bucks met on that age-old battlefield for the doe’s affection. The fight lasted for several intense antler-crashing moments, ending with the loser heading out of town.
Hunting in the West is so different from hunting at home in South Carolina. While we hunt primarily from stands over food plots or shooting lanes, most of the hunting there is spot-and-stalk—glassing miles of endless crop fields, locating your prey, then making a plan to get within range for a shot. I was experiencing the excitement of West Texas-style hunting!
As the loser went into the adjoining field, we lost sight of the buck we were after. We moved down a fence row with heavy brush cover and eased out into the field to look. Not seeing him, but knowing he couldn’t have gone far, we settled in to glass and wait.
Jeremy used rattling antlers and a grunt call to try and entice the buck to show himself. After a couple of long minutes, we saw heavy antlers coming through the brush—he’d whipped the last guy and was ready to take us on, too.
As he emerged from the brush, steam was rising off his back and rut-swollen neck. It was that magical moment every hunter dreams of but few get to experience. Hunkered down in the broomstraw, we let him close to 150 yards.
The Christensen Arms Ridgeline did it’s job. At the crack of the rifle, my first West Texas whitetail was down!
The hunt that had started from a friendship born years ago from our common love for God and our passion for the outdoors had led to this massive buck . . . and this was only the first day!
Stay tuned for more dispatches from Ron’s special trip to Texas.