Texas is a state I have dreamed of hunting for years now, I’ve been there several times for work but hadn’t had an opportunity to hunt there. Texas is known for its outstanding hunting, which I quickly realized as I walked through the lodge looking at all of their trophies.
For this particular hunt I was using the Remington 870 DM that’s equipped for hunting turkey and predators. This gun is ergonomically made for comfort as well as precise accuracy.
I arrived to Chapparrosa Ranch late Friday afternoon after a short flight from Birmingham. The scenery was truly breathtaking, truly exactly how I pictured South Texas. I quickly realized that the lodge cook was outstanding, seriously some of the best food I’ve had while afield.
As daylight approached Alex Holzmeier, Ranch manager at Chaparrosa Ranch, and I found ourselves set up in a blind, of course with our Hardy Facepaint on, within the same field I had previously worked a tom. It was a very quiet morning with sporadic gobbles that were too few to mention, but there was a bird constantly drumming close by. Around 7:30 the birds began making their way of fun the roost to feed. They fed around just out of range for several hours without no responsiveness to our calling efforts. When they had Fede out of sight we decided to make a move, crawling through rattle snake country in hopes of fooling one of these wise old toms. Despite our efforts the hens that were present intrigued the toms more than our calls. At that point we decided to check out an area that was known for having several birds.
We drove to the highest point on the Ranch that had an opening below with high hopes of finding some strutting toms. As we scanned the opening five toms walked out in full strut, gobbling ever minute or so, thus we decided to make a move. Alex said, “ let’s walk down the road that leads to the field and see if we can call them to us.” Of course I was all for a stalk mission. While walking down the path he looked back and said, “gah these rocks are loud, I hope they don’t hear us coming.” I said, “I hope not either!”
Alex and I found cover under a small mesquite tree with some vegetation abound the base. We began calling in hopes of breaking off a single gobbler from the group. Shortly after the birds appeared in full strut coming straight for us, gobbling as they walked. As the birds approached they began easing into the brush as if they spotted us or saw something they didn’t like. However it wasn’t long before they stepped out 15 steps to my left. I quickly shouldered my gun to deliver the shot, which spooked the first bird, but the second bird walked right into view. Just as he hobbled I released the safety to deliver the shot. Instantly I jumped up shouting with joy all the way to the bird, that lead into the Rio Shuffle.
I have hunted in several states across the U.S. but I realized that Alex was just as happy as I was. This excitement made the experience exhilarating. Alex is the kind of guy that will be a dear friend for years to come.
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