Got this report the other day from our friend Wren. Note: All these deer came from free range with native browse and local genetics, from a property with a MLD management program. Having hunted low-fence ranches with similar programs down there in the past, I cannot tell you enough how impressive these bucks are:
(Wren’s 158” 9-point)
Mike: We are still hunting hard down in South Texas, it has been a very good year for racks, and our management program on the ranch combined with a couple of “wet” years really has shown great results.
Our harvest plan called for taking 152 deer this season, spit evenly between bucks and does. Due to some very wet weather and the cycle of the fronts coming through and coinciding with weekends, we have lost a lot of hunting days because of limited access to a large portion of the ranch, with standing water in the pastures and the road conditions. To date we have taken 35 bucks and 34 does. I seriously doubt we will end up with 80 deer harvested.
(Mainframe 10 with branched G2’s and a kicker that Don Long got on a hunt w/Wren)
With the fawn recruitment next spring we will probably lose ground on our target of 25 acres per adult deer, which will put more pressure on us regarding harvest goals for next year. We do not have a supplemental feeding program, instead relying totally on the native browse plants to provide the nutrition for our deer herd, so the acres per adult deer goal is very critical to the success of our management program.
(Great buck Jeff shot between Christmas and New Year’s)
I have sent some photos of various trophy deer we have taken this season thus far. One of the guys has yet to take his buck, I am headed down to try and help him get the job done.
(Patriarch Bubba Steen with his 156″ 10-point and Jennings Steen with his 168″ mainframe 10 with some kickers; Jennings shot the buck that Wren was chasing, less than 50 yards from where Wren had filmed the buck during the rut last year)
I was graced with a sighting of an unusually large buck one recent Sunday evening. Best I could determine he was a 12-pointer that should gross in the high 170’s or low 180’s. I will be sitting in the area where I watched him chasing does in hopes of getting some video footage and still photos of him. My hand got numb keeping my fingers on the touch screen and record button in standby mode, waiting for him to stop long enough to allow me to start recording, but it just did not happen and I ended up looking at him through the binoculars during the last 15 minutes of fading light. I had buck fever from just looking at him. Regards, Wren
Man I love South Texas, especially in January when it’s nice and warm, and when most of the hunting is done in latitudes to the North. It’s special country, arid and sunny, with a raw if barren beauty, filled with sleek, gray, short-haired bucks with racks the color of used motor oil, the sight of which can buckle a hunter’s knees. Alas, I have lost my best low-fence ranches to hunt down there, some sold and others having gone the way of the high fence, and so I live vicariously through reports from friends and hunters who do it right like Wren and his comrades. I’ll get back down and hunt those brush-country bucks some day, in January of course.–MH