Elk and Mule Deer Bow Hunt
News & Events
We have upcoming hunts which may be available to interested members. Member Paul Harris is planning an August Safari and has found a couple of Outfitters (Professional Hunters) that are competing for our business. They've offered ten day Plains Game hunts in South Africa, 12 animals for the incredibly low price of $4,000.00. The offered animals are not necessarily trophy class and include does and species selected by the PH. This sounds like a Game management hunt and the price is predicated on a group of six signing on for the adventure. Interested Members should contact Paul Harris email firstname.lastname@example.org
Don Parrish and Richard Hunter are planning a Fall hunt in Utah for Elk. Don and I were successful last October each harvested trophy class bulls. Don nailed his with his bow and will again attempt to duplicate that effort. The hunt is made off ATVs and some prior experience would be helpful. Contact Don Parrish for additional information.
Neil Bayley and Houston Smith are going to New Zealand for Red Stag and welcome others to join them. Contact Neil or Houston for information.
Gary Ford and Rory Howard have plans for a trip to Spain in December for Ibex and what ever additional game is found ready for harvesting.
Barry Barnett will again be lead on the annual trip to Manitoba, Canada for duck and geese in October.
I'm still looking for 10 committed hunters for a two day Hog hunt at the Tejon Ranch. Hunts are available all year and can accommodate up to 12 hunters in the party. The price for 10 hunters is 5,000. (500. per hunter) Lodging and meals included. A Tejon Guide is provided to direct hunters to where the porkers hang out. Also to help with field dressing.Contact me if interested.
In recapping news I thought went out in November but evidently lost in cyber space. It was chronicled that the Canada duck and goose hunt was spectacular. Limits taken by all participants and it was said the ducks fell like rain.
Kevin Mitchell, Barry Barnett and Gary Ford went to South Dakota and slaughtered wild pheasants there.
Not sated, Gary Ford, with his dogs Belle and Buck joined me and my dogs Zeke and Doll for a Preserve hunt at the Antelope Valley Sportsman's Club to shoot at Pheasants, Chukar, and second season doves.
Next Gary Ford and Barry Barnett were off to Texas to hunt Aoudads. That's one of several exotic game animals thriving there. They had a very successful hunt hosted by Texas members Lonnie Davis and James Belt.
I'm looking for a turkey hunt, preferably central California but will go anywhere.
Stay safe and legal, God Bless
Elk and Mule Deer Bow Hunt
Sept 5 - 10
Oct 16 - 22 Archery Mule Deer
Dec 26 - 31
Whitetail Deer Bow Hunt
My name is John Alexander..... and I'm a hunter!.... I heard Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf say this once at an NRA convention, and I thought to myself how profound and righteous that statement was, as he talked about how he was taught to hunt by his father and grandfather and how we should pass on the hunting and outdoor heritage to our children. As a hunter I can truly say that I've been lucky and fortunate. Not just the fortune and luck of going afield and harvesting an animal or getting my limit of ducks, or even catching the biggest fish. The luck I refer to is having spent 40 plus years of hunting, and the pleasure of meeting and making friends. I've made some friends for a life time, just from hunting and fishing.
I've tried to instill this same thinking in my children.... And this past fall I had the pleasure to take my 16 year old youngest son, Ian on a West Texas Management Mule Deer Hunt with Burton's Guide Service of Ft. Stockton, Texas. We drove all the way from our home in Oakland, California. Traveling with us was my 28 year oldest son Sean, who, thank heaven's, helped me drive the 18 hours and 1,400 plus miles.
We began our journey on Thursday after midnight and reached the turnoff to the ranch that Friday at 3pm. The ranch consists of over 30,000 acres of arid semi desert hill country. Located 8 miles from the county road outside of Ft. Stockton, is the ranch house, on the way in from the ranch turnoff, we viewed what I considered some of the best prime Mule Deer habitat in the country. We finally reached the ranch house and was met by my old friend and guide, Ken Burton. I have known Ken for the last 8 years, he was the guide who helped my daughter Spenser harvest her first Whitetail Buck. He's the one who guided both Ian and Spenser to some Whitetail Does, on their first youth hunt in Texas. It was the first time they ever shot a big game animal. I've never been more appreciative of how Ken talked and interacted with my kids during those years, and we have been coming to the Burton ranch ever since. Ken has seen my children grow up through the years, just as I have. He was surprised to see how much Ian had grown in just a year since our last hunt (that's another story).
This trip we settled into our rooms, had a bite to eat and retired for the night, in anticipation of a big Mulie coming into our crosshairs in the morning. Morning couldn't come soon enough... After a wakeup call at 4:30am, breakfast of deer sausage and scrambled eggs, washed down by a steaming hot cup of coffee, we loaded the ranch truck with our gear. While waiting for Ken, a tall lanky kid came up to us, introduced himself "Hi y'all, my name is Austin and I'm your guide". This person look really young to me so I asked Austin how old he was. He replied "Sixteen Sir".... I asked myself, "What have I gotten us into?" Then I proceeded to climb into the truck with my son, as Austin got behind the wheel of his Ford 150. I thought to myself, "This kid looks too young to be driving...no less a 4x4!"
We drove to the deer stand we were going to hunt out of this day, about 2 miles from the ranch, still pitch dark when we arrived. So far so good, I thought as Austin instructed Ian and I to climb up the stand and secure our guns and gear. Austin went to go park the truck. About 5 minutes later we heard him climbing the stairs of the stand. When he reached the top, he opened the door, stuck his head in and declared, "Let's Hunt!" He didn't realize how profound that statement was.
We settled in. I sat to the right, Ian on the left and Austin in the middle. Before long I was dozing off, only to wake up to the sound of a timed feeder going off about 130 yards in front of the stand. It was beginning to become daylight and looking out with my Steiners binoculars toward the feeder, you could start to make out a herd of mulies. They were just stuffing themselves under the feeder, along with a half a dozen javelina....Still not shooting time...
About 20 minutes later it was clear enough to see that it was a herd of does with a couple of nice bucks in it. Austin whispered, "John, there's a real nice buck standing 30 yards right of the feeder.... Do you want him?" I thought about it, and with this being the first day of the hunt, I said "Let's wait and see if something better comes in". As it got lighter I was hoping I wouldn't regret my decision... Until this bad boy turned looking toward the stand and I saw his massive spread.
I told Austin..."I'll take him!"....guess what, I waited 30minutes for that buck to give me a shot.... which he never gave me. He was too busy chasing two does and before I knew it, he was over the hill and gone. While all of this drama was going on, Austin asked his new best buddy Ian, "Ready to shoot your deer?" Ian's response was "Which doe do you want me to take?" Austin answered, "Doe?....you're not shooting a doe...Ken said you can shoot any buck you want!"
Through the flashing glimmer of early morning light, I noticed its reflection off of my son's braces. You could see a smile on that kid from ear to ear. I was also grinning ear to ear.... Ken had told me earlier that Ian could harvest a buck, since he didn't harvest his first buck the prior year. This shows you what kind of integrity this man has. I wanted it to be a surprise for Ian, and boy was it! Not 5 minutes after my Buck had crested the hill, my baby boy had put the crosshairs of his Nikon BDC scoped Browning A-Bolt in 7mm., loaded with Hornady 165 grain bullets, on the shoulder of a nice 4x4 Mule Deer Buck... As I taught him, one shot, one kill. The rest is history. We all climbed down the stand in anticipation of walking up to a good deer... and there was no question... for Ian, it could have been a fork horn, and for that matter, for me as well... but it turned out be a very wide 4x4... a nice wall hanger. You could see my son was proud as he wrapped his hands around the horns of that big bodied West Texas Mule Deer, and lifted his head up, but I was prouder.
As for the old man, I returned that afternoon with my junior guide Austin, and harvested the buck that got away that morning....(Ian and Sean decided to stay in camp and watch the LSU vs Alabama Football game). I have to tell you, my hunt wasn't as sweet as the experience I witnessed earlier that morning with my son and his fellow teenage guide, and it gave thought to a phrase that my grandfather use say" If you take a child hunting... You never have to hunt the child". I agree.
We left the next morning - we came, we saw, and we conquered, not to mention having harvested some back straps and steaks for the freezer. Leaving early would put Ian back in school Monday, in time for classes, and this always makes my wife happy because he's not missing school. Before we left, we had a good cowboy breakfast of deer meat breakfast burritos and a steaming cup of coffee. Afterwards we loaded up the truck to go, but before we got in to leave, Ken and Austin approached us to say goodbye, and thank us for coming again this year. I told Ken, "No... I'm thanking you... You made it possible for my last child to get his first buck. When I walk into my den and look on my wall after a hard day at work, I will gaze upon two Mule Deer mounts. It will always remind me of this time, this day. I'll always have this cherished memory of my son, a lanky 16 year old guide from West Texas, and the lifetime friend and guide who made it possible. Austin, now had the same smile that Ian had the day before.
As my good friend and hunting buddy, Charles (C.W) Williamson says, "You can tell a lot about a man's character by hunting with them." In this particular instance, I discovered what kind of character my two sons have, along with my newly adopted 16 year old son from West Texas, who also happens to be one hell of a Mule Deer guide. Thanks Austin....Thanks Ken, God Bless you... and God Bless Texas! Until next time...."Good Hunting, and Keep your powder dry!"