I had thought that my whitetail hunting for this year was over when I
took a nine point, 22-inch buck near the hill country town of Bandera,
Texas in November of the year 2000. I was wrong.
On January eighth of 2001 my friend Richard Lozano, of Lozano's Taxidermy
and outfitting, got a call from a south Texas Rancher telling him that
he had for the last three days been seeing a big buck working a fence
When asked, I told Richard that I might be interested if the price was
right, and that the size was what I had been seeking for the last four
years The only thing close to what I had been looking for was the buck
I had taken in November 2000 on the Kyle Ranch. That buck was the best
that I had ever killed, but not the 150-class buck I had set my sights
on four years before.
With a couple of more calls giving us the information I wanted to hear,
it was decided to head to the Pearsall, Texas area on Thursday the eleventh
of January, to try and look over this buck. When I got home from work
that Tuesday I figured I would gather my gear for the hunt the next evening.
I had went out for supper with a friend of mine and when I got home around
8 p.m. that night the light on my answering machine was merrily blinking
for my attention. So I pushed the play button and heard the following.
Hey Steve, this is Richard. Mr. Galloway called after you left work telling
me we needed to come tomorrow if we wanted a chance at the big buck, as
he had a lawyer wanting a chance at it. I quickly called Richard back
and got no answer. I kept trying every 30 minutes but no luck. In the
mean time I started throwing together a gear bag for the trip if it happened.
I finally got the Gun, my Thompson Contender in .375 caliber, because
I wanted to take this buck with my handgun or nothing, binoculars, camo,
my lucky brown western hat, ammo, and rain gear because the weather was
predicted to be real wet the next day, and a change of clothes and boots.
Yes, you guessed it; the weatherman had predicted that Wednesday was going
to have a 100% chance of heavy rain across nearly all of Texas.
I finally got hold of Richard and the trip was set. We left from Richards
at 4 a.m. the next morning. Also along for the trip was Miguel, a friend
and co-worker who had never been hunting and wanted to see me try to kill
a whitetail with a handgun. The first part of the trip was pretty uneventful
until we got about 75 miles from the city of San Antonio, Texas. We had
hoped all the while, since we had seen no rain that the forecast was wrong.
Or at the least we might run thru a band of rain and it would be dry for
our hunt. Again we were wrong. For when we hit the area near San Antonio
the rains hit with a vengeance. The rain came down so hard we had to slow
to 40 miles an hour just to keep from overdriving our visions range. Picture
a waterfall in the middle of the highway and you get an idea what we were
driving thru. The intensity did ebb and flow so we at least had some respite
once in awhile.
We finally paddled our way to the area close to the ranch and decided
to stop for a hot breakfast. I tell you true, it sure did hit the spot.
We figured that it might be the only thing we would get to eat till that
night. Our arrival at the entrance to the ranch was greeted with more
of the same, rain and more rain. Even the paved entrance road was partly
under water. Along the way we saw some great animals. We saw three fabulous
looking Kudu bulls, a good sized herd of Scimitar Oryx, a bunch of Addax,
a herd of Elk, and a bunch of Catalina Goats sprinkled with a few Ibex.
We were met at the lodge by the ranch foreman, Felix. I asked him if he
was still skeptical about my hunting with a handgun, and he said no, I
saw you shoot the other time you hunted here and don't worry about it
any more. He told us about the area that the buck had been seen working
the last few days. Since it had been raining so much it was going to be
impossible to drive very close. It was decided that we would get as close
to the area as we could by vehicle, and hoof it the rest of the way, and
hope the rain would cover our approach.
As we trudged through the wetness I seemed to have an entourage, with
Richard helping me to watch for any game that might spook our quarry,
as well as the buck we were after, Felix guiding us to the correct spot,
and Miguel along as an observer. After about thirty minutes we saw the
object of our search. The majestic animal didn't have any idea we were
there, thank goodness. Richard and I eased ahead of the others, as they
were to stay behind while Richard and I tried a stalk.
This was all happening real fast. Faster than most hunts I had been on
for the elusive Whitetail. We ghosted our way through the trees toward
the buck. Our slow, stooped over approach using trees and fallen logs
to try to get closer in the misty gray day seemed to be working. Finally
we were within a hundred yards or less of him. I knelt in the wet and
rested the barrel on a stump. The buck was getting nervous and was starting
to move further away. I touched of a shot and the buck flinched and moved
off a few yards. A MISS!! We tried to move to a better spot and I finally
sat down in a cold and muddy puddle to get a solid rest, for a hoped for
shot. As the buck moved away at a slow walk Richard grunted a couple of
times and the buck paused and looked back. I slowly squeezed off a shot
and the deer humped his body and ran. A good indication of a solid heart
shot. The deer only ran about twenty yards, went in a half circle and
When we got to him this was one buck that didn't suffer a major case of
ground shrink. This was a real buster. He had 12 scorable points and was
massive from base to tips, with lots of those little stickers around the
base that makes a mature buck look so good. After lots of congratulations
it took all four of us to carry him to an area where the vehicle could
be brought to load him up. We also had to get some pictures, which I really
wasn't sure would come out due to the inclement weather. But they did
and were real good. Then came the soggy ride home, all of us soaked to
the skin but elated at my good luck.
On arrival back at Richards taxidermy studio it was time for the measuring.
It turned out even better than I had hoped for. My rainy day buck scored
5 6/8 points larger than I had been trying for, a whopping 155 6/8 Boone
and Crockett points. Now it was time to enjoy the feeling and look forward
to the life size mount of my buck.
Written 1-21-2001 by Steve Mahurin