Finally, in early December, The Bucks of Tecomate headed to Texas ... ah, Texas! I was very happy to be back on my El Cazador Ranch. Wow, did it look good! I knew there were giants afoot in that scruffy-looking brush! I would soon find out just how right I was! The StealthCam photos yielded one BIG surprise after another. Despite a long drought during the first half of the year, we seemed to be headed to a banner year on El Cazador. What is possible with the Tecomate Management System amazes even me ... and I had very high expectations!
After we finished our management buck hunts, the time came for us to start filming The Bucks of Tecomate shows. Our first guest hunter was brand new VERSUS president, Jamie Davis ... on his first hunt ever! And, what a hunt we had! On the afternoon on the third day, we saw a buck Jamie wanted. Yeah, you guessed it ... he came in too late for the camera! The next morning we returned to the same spot and had a red-letter day (you won’t believe some of the video we shot that morning) that ended with Jamie shooting his first deer ever, a 23-inch wide 7½-year-old 9-pointer scoring 145! Jamie had "drank the coolaid!" He’s a diehard whitetail hunter now. He loved it, the whole experience. I can say without hesitation – whitetail hunters have a friend at the helm of that great hunting network, VERSUS!
Next up was my old buddy Christopher Merritt, the head of Beretta USA. Christopher and I had some real excitement the year before when he came to the ranch in search of his first whitetail ever. We rattled in a Boone & Crockett 10-pointer grossing 190. (Who says you can’t rattle in monsters?) Since Christopher was hunting a management buck, I pulled him off that buck and explained to him that the buck was a "family deer!" Man, has Christopher gotten mileage out of that! My daughter, Kristin, later shot that buck, the first deer ever killed with the new Sako A7! Business demands cut Christopher’s trip short, and he went home after a day and a half without a buck. So, when he came this year, he was still looking for his first whitetail. I did something I never do – I told Christopher that I GUARANTEED he would go home with a big buck this year. Unbeknownst to Christopher, I had a surprise waiting for him – a mounted replica of Kristin’s 190! When I presented it to him, I told him he was now officially "family" and this was his "family" buck and that he could go home now ... my obligation was fulfilled.
Christopher was delighted with the replica, which now resides in the lobby of the Beretta headquarters, but he said he wasn’t buying the "go home" thing but was digging the "family" thing. He couldn’t wait to go after his own "family" buck. We did, and he shot a great 162 10-pointer! This will be fun hunt when it airs next fall.
More to come on The Bucks of Tecomate 2009 Season Hunts ...