Rainy Day Buck
By Steve Mahurin
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 line.

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. WRONG!!

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 went down.

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

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: SMahurin@houston.rr.com

Copyright 2003

Rainy Day Buck

Steve Mahurin
25 North Heights
La Marque, Texas 77568

Email: samahurin@comcast.net

Copyright 2001 - 2011

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