No Thanks, Just Browsing

Finally got to the lease last weekend. Man, what a great Turkey Day escape. Started off by visiting the friends in Navasota for a T-day feast. Got to see the new herd and visit with friends. Good food and friendly talk, what a deal.

Friday, dad and I packed up and headed off to the lease in Freer, TX. For those of you who don't know where it is, just head south on Highway 59 from Houston and turn right at the Stars and Bars painted gate approx. 30 miles north of Freer in Duvall County. Mind you don't run over any wetbacks crossing the highway as you make your way down. We pulled in around lunch time. It was pretty nice for a South Texas winter weekend. Highs were in the 60s and it was pretty sunny out.

I should back up a bit. Dad and I finally sighted in our heavy lumber the weekend before last. I am in love with Carter's Country on Treaschwig Rd. in Humble. They have a 100 yard range that is completely blocked by most wind with tall pines and high berms. Dad put me on some Barnes X jacketed hollow-points and I was dialed in at 200 yds. My groups were quarter size and 2 inches high at a hundred. I could knock a bit more accuracy out if I switched from boat tail to straight tail bullets.

Moving on. I got to my stand by 330 p.m. I was in a long sleeve T-shirt and my tan BDU pants. Tan works well for camo and I had enough green, including my shemagh, to break up my outline in the brush. Anyway, I was up in a 30 ft. tower blind with a busted door. Had to use my shemagh as a door, and one of my hunting partners in another blind said it worked well, he couldn't tell the difference from his location. Not five minutes from the time I quieted down and got my binoculars out I had game in each sendero. Blue quail in the feed pen to the north of me, a bunch of rabbits in the east sendero, a doe and her fawns in the south, and javelinas in the west road.

Time for target practice. I had to make sure my zero was spot on and the javelina presented a prime target at 100 yards. Dropped one and the others scattered. Managed to flush a nice 100lb. hog out to the feeder, but he didn't stick around long enough to shoot. I was not worried about the deer behind me. They scattered to the other feed plot and regrouped with a couple of spikes and some more does. I was in radio contact with the rest of my group and they were keeping me posted on the deer. I advised one guy to the east that the black hog was headed his way. He saw it at 350 yds, but held off, thinking it was bigger than I stated. The other javelina came back about thirty minutes later, and I dusted another one rooting up the corn I laid out. He was ranged at over 175.

The hollow-points worked as advertised. Little hole going in, and big holes coming out. Ideally, I want to save as much meat as possible. The rule is no neck shots this year with the fear of 'mad cow/deer' disease. If I can get a good quartering shot into the chest from the front, I can save the front quarters and still make effective use of the hollow-point stopping power.

Day two was a half bust. It rained in the AM and we decided to sleep in. I went out and corned some roads of likely areas to hunt and got some repairs in on a stand I hunted later that afternoon. Finally saw the first sign of illegals running through our property. There was a campsite at the end of the main sendero leading up to the #1 blind I hunted that afternoon. That blind happens to be on the far south side of the property and I was out of contact with everyone else. I had to walk in from the main lease road about a mile to get to the feed plot. I carried Roscoe in his thigh rig with extra ammo and a nice Benchmade Nimravus on my hip. Had to make it very obvious to anyone glassing me from a distance that I was not to be trifled with. My Sako .30-06, who I call Ventilator, was carried in the low ready all the way in. It is about nine pounds total and is no bother to carry long distances. Besides, I like to glass different senderos and having the rifle over the binoculars keeps me ready in case of a snap shot.

Speaking of a snap shot...boy, did my Tac Tuesday training ever pay off. Those past lessons with shotguns and carbines helped put me in a position to 'ventilate' a coyote. As I walked the last couple of yards to the stand, I rounded the corner to glass the feeder before I climbed into my stand. There, in the middle of the feed pen, at 165yds., eating the peanuts out of his dookie, was a coyote. He looked up and saw me standing there. Before he could take one step to bolt, I had the safety off and put some Barnes X hurt on his scrawny ass. Dropped him like a hot brick with a well placed shoulder shot. Took me an extra ten minutes to clear him from the feed pen, and when I got to my stand, there were several large 8 and 9 point bucks working the sendero I just came down. They paid me no mind, but I paid them close attention. Since this area of the lease gets the least bit of hunting, I plan on parking my ass right there for the rest of the season. Each buck was big bodied and had nice racks. Never saw a rack inside the ears. That means any deer I take will be over eighteen inches at the outside.

Time is short here, so I must be off. Remind me and tomorrow I will regale you with the bit about how I almost double tapped three javelina when I came out of the stand at dark.

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