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The First Ever Fallow Slam
By Steve Mahurin
     

I love Fallow Deer. The palmation and character points sticking out all over the back and top edges of their antlers are unique and are never the same from one individual to another. There are three color phases of Fallow, Which are white, probably the most popular color, spotted and brown or chocolate ranging from very light brown to almost black. I can hardly resist when they say Fallow. I have had great luck with them and have been lucky enough to take seven of them. Six were with a rifle, two of each color phase, and one spotted with a .375 caliber Thompson Contender handgun. I am not about to bore you with tales of hunting all seven of them. What I am going to tell you about is the first ever Fallow Slam to be recognized by the records of Exotics Record Book.

In 1991, I mentioned to my friend Thompson Temple, owner of the Records of Exotics record book, that it might be a good idea to recognize people who had killed a fallow of each of the color phases with the same type of weapon,aka: rifle, pistol, bow or black powder. I also mentioned to him the idea of a Sika slam recognizing the killing of the three major subspecies of Sika. They are the Japanese, Formosan, and the Manchurian. But that is another story. Thompson later told me that both would be recognized at the 1992 awards dinner. Having thought of it, I wanted to attempt to complete the first and best Fallow Slam in time for that awards presentation.

The first thing I did was to call my good friend Luther Graham of Honey Creek ranch, who from past experience, I knew had a number of large Fallow on his place. He said to come and hunt as soon as I could, as he had a couple of good ones. So on August 25, 1991, my wife and I hit the road for Hunt, Texas, a great name, huh!, to check out the Fallow herd on Luther's place.

For those of you, not familiar with Fallow deer, they drop their horns like others of the deer tribe and usually come out of velvet around the latter part of August or early September.

When we arrived Luther was waiting for us, and said let's go get a deer. It only took a few minutes to change into hunting clothes, and dig out our trusty binoculars. Then out came my tried and true weapon, my Remington model 700, 30/06, which I would feed Remington 180 grain soft nose bullets, and a Weaver 3 - 9 scope. A combination that had worked well for me many times in the past.

Honey Creek Ranch consists of flat rocky areas and rolling hills, dotted with groves of cedar trees. This is all broken up with deep and shallow canyons, each of which has its own cool clear spring, making it unnecessary to drill water wells as many areas of the hill country must do for there game animals and stock to survive the sometimes blistering and lengthy Texas weather. These canyons are heavy with cedar thickets and laced with rocky roads making it at least possible to get to most areas. We left the lodge area on the front part of the ranch, which is situated along Honey Creek, hence the ranches name. This water is crystal clear and icy cold, even in the hottest summer time, and lined with large stately, knobby kneed Cypress trees and picturesque low water crossings which also form small water falls that create a very pleasing picture to anyone's eye. We crossed one of the low water crossings and made our way up the curving road to the top of the first ridge where we would start our quest.

We started right away to see game. There were a number of exotic species including Black Buck, Sika, Red Deer, Addax, Oryx, and a number of sheep species. After a couple of hours we finally spotted a magnificent white Fallow buck along with a number of other bucks and does way out in the middle of a big open space bedded under a canopy of shade created by one of the cedar groves. We circled the area in Luther's truck looking them over in the binoculars. We could tell the buck was good, but not how good, since the herd would move to the opposite side of the area we were at. I told Luther to let me out where we were and for him to drive to the other side of the field, and hopefully the herd would move back toward me giving me a chance to get a better look and possibly make a stalk and get a shot, if he was good enough.

The plan worked, at least partly. The herd did work approximately halfway back towards me. The white buck separated a bit from the herd and held up under a trees shade. He was about 250-300 yards or more away and looking back towards the vehicle parked at the edge of the field. This was a longer shot than I felt comfortable with so I preceded to make a stalk. My only choice was a belly crawl of a distance much longer than I wanted. Believe me, that rock strewn 75 yards was no picnic. So with sore knees and elbows, along with lots of heavy breathing, I finally made it to a point that I thought I could make a shot from. The approximately 200 yard shot was true and I had my first stop on the road to a Fallow Slam. After field dressing my buck we loaded him the truck and drove through the rapidly growing shadows of a hot hill country day. After putting the buck in a cooler we returned to the lodge for a good nights rest.

We roused ourselves in the morning and got ready for hunting the other good buck we had been told about. Luther picked us up at 7:30am and we made our way back up the winding road again to our hunting area. Isn't it funny how a normally pretty easy going animal can turn real spooky after a little hunting pressure in the area. We traveled up and down and around for hours seeing the spotted buck a number of times. We would spot it in one canyon area and it would move to another. Then we would see it flying, it seemed, through a cedar thicket along the side of a hill. Finally we decided that I would set up just inside the brush line on the edge of a deep canyon while Luther and Shirley would drive the edge of a canyon on the other side of a big hill where we had spotted the buck a couple of times before. Would you believe it worked!! About 30 minutes later the buck,along with a couple of smaller bucks and a few does, worked their way out of the depths of a deep canyon and started up the hill towards my position. Luckily I was able to make a good shot and my second step to a Fallow Slam was complete. Then it was home and the Taxidermist on the way.

After a few phone calls over the next six weeks or so, I located a trophy size brown Fallow on a ranch a few miles out of the beautiful, scenic, and historic Texas Hill country town of Fredericksburg. On December 4, 1991, Shirley and I arrived for a hunt on a chilly 45 degree day, with a soaking, drizzling rain falling. Conditions were not only cold but very muddy. We hunted for and saw many Fallow and Red Deer. Just not the one we were looking for. On the way back to the ranch headquarters, low and behold, up on a rocky ledge about 40-50 feet above the road stood the big brown Fallow we were looking for. By the time we spotted him, he was moving away and behind us. There was only time to jump out of the vehicle for a moving snap shot and luckily he was down and my Slam was completed.

The following year at the awards banquet I was luckily enough to not only take the first Fallow slam ever, but it scored number one for that year, along with having the number one individual Fallow deer for that year. Fallow - I love them!!!!

Written by Steve Mahurin on April 20, 1999.

     
     
Slam 3 1 Slam 3 3
     
     
Slam 3 2
     
     

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568
409-935-9673

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

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