By Kristin Morris
My hunt took place on my family’s El Cazador Ranch in Jim Hogg County in Deep South Texas. My father and I had seen this deer two years earlier and knew this was the year to take him. Though he was old when we had first seen him, he had grown tremendously over the past couple of years.
Since I wasn’t going to have much time to hunt during the December rut, I had flown down from Auburn University, where I was attending college, to hunt during the bonus time granted my our Managed Lands Permit. The wide 10-pointer I eventually took was the primary buck we were looking for, but several other old bucks were also fair game. For a day and a half, we saw hardly any mature bucks. The bucks were fat and well fed and just weren’t moving. Then on the evening of October 20, our luck changed.
My dad and I decided to try a new spot since the wind had not been in our favor for the past couple of days. We were sitting at a crossroads when we saw the wide 10-pointer we were looking for in the distance. We climbed down from our stand and tired to sneak on him. After a 10-minute stalk, we got within 100 yards of him. I stepped into a small opening to get a clear shot, but he caught sight of me and ran. My dad and I hurried over to a nearby stand, hoping to catch him crossing a sendero. We climbed the stand and set up. After about five minutes, he stepped out of the brush about 250 yards away. I took aim with my .25-06. When I fired, he jumped and ran about 30 yards before going down. We hurried over to him, my heart pounding with excitement. When I walked up to him, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was huge, even bigger than I had dreamed.
Even more astounding that the buck’s actual antler size was how much he had grown over the past two years. When we had first seen him two years earlier, he had grossed about 138-points based on a shed antler we found. Now, he was a 25-inch-wide monster grossing 175 1/8 points and weighing 230 pounds! Amazingly, his teeth showed him to be 9½ years old. Wow, that’s nearly a 35-point jump … after he was past his prime! That’s unreal.
You may ask how that’s possible? Well, El Cazador used the Tecomate Food Plot System, with protein-rich Lablab as the centerpiece of the program, to increase the nutritional plane of the deer. What Tecomate food plots have done to increase the body and antler size of our deer is remarkable. We have seen the antler size of mature bucks increase by 20 to 40 B&C points and body weights increase by 30 to 40 pounds.
My buck eventually won the Muy Grande Women’s Division, setting the all-time record for that division. To harvest such a great buck was a wonderful experience, but to know that we helped make him such a healthy, beautiful animal made him even more special.
Posted by Tecomate Wildlife Systems