As I approached my 40th birthday this summer, I told Angie that instead of a big party that I would prefer a guided hunt as a present. She had had her 40th birthday blast about a year and a half earlier and she wanted (and got) the big surprise party. I opted for some quality time in the woods.
In May, she shared with me a hunt idea that she was pursuing. She was looking to get me out to the desert of west Texas for a trophy mule deer hunt. Although this sounded awesome, I thought perhaps it wasn’t the best idea for two reasons: 1) the hunt was VERY expensive and included only the deer and perhaps whatever predators we came across and 2) a desert mule hunt can be very difficult usually consisting of spot and stalk hunting across rugged terrain and ending with a long shot. Truth be told, I am a little intimidated by this kind of hunt, so I suggested she call her cousin Steve.
Steve is my 20-minute Turkey caller. He called two gobblers in within 10 feet of us and we had NO cover with four of us sitting in the wide open. He is a very gifted hunter – knowing the game very well. He always puts his son in a position to harvest a big deer and I trust his opinions and instinct. We shared the lease last year and I hope to get to hunt with him and his son many more times.
Angie called him and he put us in touch with his friend Jim in Laredo, Texas. This friend owns 1,100 acres of high-fenced ranch outside of Laredo. His hunt is all-inclusive and is about half the price of the muley hunt and includes a trophy whitetail. Now, the whitetail will likely be much smaller than the muley I might have gotten, but considering I’ve never even scoped a buck, I will be more than happy with anything that I get. Add the fact that he has hogs, javelin and predators on the property that I may shoot at and I think this hunt is a much better value. Add a possible doe harvest and it could be a very productive weekend.
Jim has been sending us pictures from his trail cams. The deer are VERY large and quite numerous. He’s also regaled us with stories of the hogs and javelin and a very mature diamondback rattlesnake that accosted him in one of the ground blinds. I am very much looking forward to the hunt that begins Friday afternoon. Angie is coming but is not too happy that it will be warm and that the snakes will be active (we’ve both purchased snake chaps for protection).
Angie will be coming with me on Friday afternoon’s hunt. She will cammo up and she will be in the blind. However, the only thing she will be shooting is the video camera.
Her anticipated part of the trip is the ride to Laredo. We are planning on taking two days to get down there with a stopover about midway in Fredericksburg. I’ll be updating Facebook and this blog the whole time. I have told her that she is in charge for these two days. If she says turn left, I turn left. If she wants to stop in a small town and go antiquing, I pull over and go shopping. For her birthday, I gave her an itinerary of small towns and printouts of their antique stores. She is definitely looking forward to the first two days…
…Friday afternoon, not so much (although, truth be told it’s the whole idea of the possibility of coming across a rattler that is what she’s concerned about).
Me? I’m going to enjoy the whole time. Being alone with her and hunting are two of my all-time favorite activities. Whether we score a big buck or not, this will be a 40th to remember, even if it is six months after the fact.
Some things are worth the wait.