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Closing the Chapter on "Big Tex"

September 15, 2016

 

 

"Big Tex” has caused much unrest since the 2015 season commenced- Between hundreds of trail camera pictures last year showing core areas gravitating towards a neighboring property, one opportunity to harvest him during a mid-December late muzzleloader hunt, and just shy of 30 miles of boots on the ground with Schatzi our shed hunting German Shorthair Pointer to have failed to find his sheds this spring, we had high aspirations but realistic expectations for 2016.

 

Unlike many other shooters, “Big Tex” was absolutely elusive throughout the spring and summer months. Infact we only had a handful of photos of him during the first three days of July before he had pulled another Houdini on us. Our concerns were concreted- he was spending 99.9% of his time on a neighboring clear cut thicket just outside of our 2700 acre farm.

 

Using last year’s pictures and topography maps, we were able to connect the dots and dial in two ridges he was using at the time on the adjoining parcel. We then hung four new sets towards the end of July at topographical features that would encourage traffic coming off of the two ridges that we thought “Big Tex” had frequented.

 

As luck and dedication would have it, we finally had definitive proof days before a pair of clients arrived that this ghost was in-fact “Big Tex” and not another monster dubbed “Rolex” who has been a showstar for our cameras on a nearby section of the farm. For three evenings in a row, “Big Tex” payed one of the new sets a visit just past shooting light. We were confident with their late summer ritual of a pattern that all we needed to seal the deal was a drastic change in weather.

 

The front we had been waiting for moved through bringing cooler evening temperatures, appropriate wind direction, and falling mercury- it was time to send someone to that stand. Just as predicted, the rains came around 7pm and had tapered off shortly thereafter leaving behind a cool breeze and cloudy skies. This evidently had the deer on their feet much earlier as our client saw two younger bucks crossing a creek with a “very wide” buck shortly behind at around 7:35pm.

 

This wide buck stopped broadside at 22 yards just as our hunter came to full-draw. Upon touching the release with the 20 yard pin centered, the buck moved forward. The buck jetted off and up one of our steeper ridges. Upon inspection of the recovered arrow, our worst fears were confirmed. The shot was back with the faintest amount of blood at the point of contact. We immediately vacated the area to resume the track the following morning.