The north wind blew at sunrise on the day that would end in success with the taking of my wide flaring La Perla 12. And the temperature was comfortably cool at daybreak, around 50 degrees. The wind direction was not ideal for our first choice location to begin hunting so we stayed on the move checking senderos for early morning rut action. Matt and I saw several good bucks but not the shooter we were after. As it turned out my 12 point would show up that afternoon as stated previously in “Part 1”. Meanwhile that morning, miles away at the opposite end of La Perla Ranch, David Morris took the wide spectacular typical 12 point that he had hunted for several days. This was definitely the same buck that David had passed up last season. This year the buck was even better than last. And this wide symmetrical 12 threw Dave quite a unique curve ball before it was all said and done. In short, Dave got his buck quickly and cleanly with a single well placed shot his Remington 700 XCR 7mm Rem Mag, typical David Morris. But watch for the 2012 La Perla Ranch hunt episode coming up next season on Tecomate TV. The fruitful ending of Dave`s La Perla Ranch hunt is a classic unexpected whitetail conclusion.
At 4:30 PM that afternoon my buck had barely hit the ground when Matt McCullah and I sat side by side in the brush relieved by our third afternoon achievement. I was elated, what a buck! The wide 12 laid motionless at the sendero`s edge just 75 yards in front of us. We had yet to approach our fine trophy whitetail when Matt pointed out that there might be a problem. He commented almost immediately after the buck fell in his tracks. He had watched the buck fall through his viewfinder of his camera when the shot rang out from my Remington 700 7mm Rem Mag. In addition to seeing our 12 drop, it appeared to Matt as though a young 8 point that had just cleared my buck before the shot had reacted strangely to the shot, as if possibly injured. Upon the shot the young 8 point lunged up and back strangely before he dove head first into the thick thorny brush alongside the sendero. I was positive that the small buck had cleared my target buck before squeezing the trigger. But what did the bullet do when it exited my trophy? It was certainly possible, albeit unlikely, that the bullet could have deflected and/or fragmented, and the bullet or some part thereof may have struck the young buck after passing through the point of my buck`s shoulder and exiting his rib cage. We gave the video scene it a quick look-see on Matt`s view finder.
After thoroughly reviewing the footage of the kill shot that dropped my buck on the spot where he stood we were seriously concerned. The young 8 point did react peculiar when I fired. We could clearly see that the bullet exploded a juicy prickly pear pad low and down range from my buck and also 50 yards or so down range of the young 8 point too. That alone told us that it was unlikely that the 8 point was injured by the bullet even though the bullet may have in fact followed an unpredictable and unlikely path after exiting my buck`s torso. That`s certainly possible and regrettably unpreventable and unpredictable. But just moments later, and shortly after our review of the kill shot footage, and still prior to recovery of our prized trophy La Perla Ranch 12, the two year old 8 point stepped back into view in the sendero, maybe a bit bewildered but clearly not at all injured. What a relief as we watched and filmed the young buck as he nervously paced along the sendero. He was cautious and alert for several moments, possibly speculating about what had just occurred. We checked the buck closely from stem to stern with our Leupold Mojave binoculars, both sides, up and down. And Matt filmed. The 8 finally went on his way back into the brush 25 yards or so down range from our fallen trophy, none the worse for wear. Now relieved, we rushed down the sendero to put our hands on my prized La Perla buck!
Matt McCullah and I had just begun admiring our trophy 12 around when my cell phone began to vibrate. The caller was David Morris checking in on our afternoon hunt progress. Elated by the news that my buck was down, recovered, and on film, David and Matt Carman made the short trip from La Perla lodge to celebrate on the scene. Tecomate cameras captured the excitement when David joined us on the sendero. It was at this moment that we all became aware of a case of mistaken identity. David Morris tipped us off immediately when he took his first looked at my magnificent trophy 12 that was before us. The buck I had harvested was not “the” wide flaring buck that I was sent after. Such is life when you hunt bucks that are the product and beneficiary of the Tecomate food plot system. There is no doubt that proper application of Tecomate management system produces more, bigger, and better bucks than you may imagine. Today this was a welcome dilemma, a welcome unintended consequence of Tecomate`s strategy. Darn, too many wide flaring 10 – 12 point bucks walking around this ranch, so many that a hunter can get confused and take a colossal mature buck like mine, all the while hunting another buck of the same description . What a problem? What a blessing. No harm done. All were happy and I had a tremendous trophy whitetail in the bag.
David Morris and I had both taken super trophies at La Perla on the same day. It was all smiles that evening around the lodge. La Perla Ranch owner Gary Schwarz called to congratulate us on our trophies. Three of David`s friends and business associates would arrive the next morning. I would enjoy the pleasure of hunting with veteran outdoorsman Shawn Harris from Albany Georgia who was at La Perla to enjoy his inaugural trip to the brush country. David Morris would hunt with Tyler Carson of Valdosta Ga. And Tecomate La Perla Ranch guide Mark Thomas would hunt with Stan Rodgers from Salem Oregon. The trio of first time brush country hunters would seek Tecomate La Perla Ranch trophy 8`s!
Posted by David Shashy