it was to me. On a hot September weekend in the Texas hill country we
embarked on a hunt for my second Sika Deer, hoping to get a really big
one, as well as a differen't subspecies than the Japanese Sika I'd killed
My wife, Shirley, was with me as always, as a good luck charm,spotter,
and photographer. We were to hunt a 4000 acre ranch near Mt. Home, Texas.
Our good friend and guide L.R. Castleberry was to take us out for what
we hoped was the "Big One".
This ranch has it's pastures broken up into thousand acre plus enclosures,
each one designated for a specific species of exotic. We, of course, after
checking in at the ranch headquarters, headed for the Sika pasture. We
hunted hard and covered many acres that day. Right away we saw Sika in
the brush,under trees, and even in open areas. A number were good trophies,
but it was decided to pass them by ,as it was onlythe first day of the
hunt. We even saw two or three non typicals of which I'd never seen before.
The second day of hunting dawned clear and promised to be as hot as the
one before. About two or three hours later we spotted a herd of Sika about
two hundred yards past a huge pile of brush we were drawing close to.
L.R. and I exited the vehicle and started our stalk. We walked stooped
over,on our hands and knees,and on our bellies for over a 100 yards,to
no avail. I know we must have made 8 or 10 similar foray's that day, but
alas they all ended the same way,"BUSTED". We ended our second day in
the long shadows of a grove of trees watching deer after deer pass through
the dappled sunlight on the other side of the trees. In range but not
big enough. Tired and sore, it was back to our hotel room for a well earned
night's rest. Tommorrow would be our last hunting day.
Another clear,hot day dawned as we pulled into the "Sika Pasture". By
this the third day of hunting we'd seen most of the Sika so many times
we were starting to name them. You know, "forkhorn,spike, big non typical,
nine pointer,etc:. You all know what I'm talking about! By this time were
beginning to wonder if we were going to connect or not. After two or three
hours of seeing the same Sika, same land, landmarks, and the same results
my hopes were getting ,like a snakes belly, low! low!
That was when our guide said lets try somewhere new. He proceeded to go
to the "Fallow Deer Pasture". Wouldn't you know it, within an hour we
found " The Big One". One shot at 150 yards, from my old friend, my Remington
model 700, 30/06 , w/Remington 180 grain soft point bullets, topped with
a Weaver 3 - 9 scope and the hunt was over. A great buck whose main beams
went 27 3/8 X 28 1/8, with an inside spread of 21 inches. A great hunt
and great results.
by Steve Mahurin on April 22, 1999.