Every now and then I see a young buck on my ranch that I know is going to be very special when he grows up. Such was the case with a buck we came to call "Stickers." I first saw him two years ago when he was 4½ years old and made a mental note that I would go after him when he reached huntable age (that meant 6½ on my ranch). I didn’t see him at all in the field when he was 5½ but did get photos of him on StealthCam. When this season rolled around, he was one of the bucks we targeted ... if we could find him. In October, I once again got StealthCam photos of him and what a buck he was! As near as I could tell, he was a basic 13-pointer with at least 11 non-typical points. I figured he would score in the upper 180s! The problem was that he was almost impossible to see. It wasn’t until the rut was winding down that he finally showed. My daughter, Jennifer, videoed him the 2nd week of January. Jen had already shot her trophy buck, and I was still after my giant 16-pointer. My wife, Debbie, "offered" to put on hold the pursuit of her Big 10, which she had been hunting unsuccessfully for many days after "missing" (wounding) him, and go after Stickers. She and Jen hunted the buck for three days and had a couple of brief but exciting encounters. In the course hunting him, she came across and eventually shot an injured 11-pointer scoring 159 that we feared would succumb to his wound. While she was hunting Stickers, Marcus Luttrell and I happened to see Deb’s wounded Big 10 (three weeks after she shot him). She immediately returned to her hunt for the wounded Big 10-pointer, which she eventually got. I finally got my 200-class 16-pointer, filling out our family’s trophy quota.
Since the family had all scored on big bucks, I sent Jeff Foxworthy after Stickers. He didn’t see him but saw another buck he liked and shot him, The Bull. Jeff’s kill marked the end of the official TV hunts. All the cameramen went home, and Debbie and I had the ranch to ourselves a day or two before I had to leave for the SHOT Show. I decided to go after Stickers myself. I really wanted this deer. He was a character buck unlike any I had ever taken. In the 11 years I’ve owned the ranch, I had never shot 2 trophies. I went after the ghost-like buck, not thinking I had any chance. Unbelievably, I got him ... after watching him come and go several times before the light was sufficient to video him for a shot. I videoed the hunt myself ... from a ground blind. Not only was this one of the best bucks I’ve ever taken, a 24-point 193 gross non-typical, the hunt was extremely satisfying and capped off the best season we’ve ever had on El Cazador Ranch.
You don’t want to miss The Bucks of Tecomate 2009 Season starting in August on VERSUS network!!!!