The season started off pretty normal. Corn head bucks came in like they always do (those bucks were harvested at feeders). Our guides had other bucks patterned and we took a few of them by setting up in the right areas. The early season hunts went off like they should, the time in the field and game cameras had paid off.
Then normally the weather starts to cool off and the rut will begin. This was not the case this year. We had a few cold snaps, then hot days and then came the rain! Our normal game plan had to change, we had clients coming in that week. We asked ourselves, where are the mature bucks? Water holes/ponds were out because there was water everywhere. The ranch was lush and green. Corn was piling up under the feeders, even the hogs weren’t coming in regular. Young bucks were showing signs of rutting but no movement from the mature bucks. The only option we had was to set up popup blinds in the thick brush by scape’s and rubs. We didn’t want to disturb the areas so the shots were going to be close very close. This was our only hope of havesting a big buck till the rut kicked in. I purchased some Caldwell Deadshot FieldPod’s to put in the popups. Blinds were set up 15-30 yards away from scape’s. We cut small shooting lanes to the scape’s, trying to not disturb the area. I have never hunted Leopards before but this would be the same type of set up. The Client’s gun would sit on the fieldpod pointed at scape. Our Clients arrive in camp, I give them a brief description of how we were going to hunt, there was not a ton of enthusiasm out of the group but it was that or sit at a feed and watch squirrels and birds for 4 days.
It was boring very boring. Watching one spot for hours on end and having to be deathly silent was not the norm on our ranch. Normally we are watching senderos and feeders filled with doe’s and bucks. But like the Leopard hunts I’ve seen on TV it was dull till the leopard came in. The PH would size up the leopard and make sure its a mature male, I was doing the same. The client was on the fieldpod waiting for me to give him a go ahead. The brush was so thick it was hard to tell what buck it was, thanks to game cameras and studying every buck I caught on game, I knew what buck it was. I gave a thumbs up to the client and then his rifle rang off, BBD BABY. Our plan came together thank goodness. The next week the rut started and things were back to normal.