h on Friday night, I was introduced to the chef, Jacob, and our guides, Devin and Curtis. The first thing we did was sit down to dinner; Jacob had cooked an amazing pork tenderloin. After dinner, we explored the ranch, got settled in our rooms, and went to bed knowing it would be an early morning.
I woke up at 6:00 AM the next morning to get ready to go out to the woods. We had a quick breakfast and
headed out. It was about 7:00 by the time we got to our blind. We spooked several deer on the way to the blind. Shortly after sunrise, a good-sized shooter buck stepped out about fifteen yards away and repeatedly sniffed our footprints. It was too close to the blind to open the window and get the gun ready; eventually the deer walked away. As we were watching other bucks bedded down at about 350 yards, Devin pointed out the original buck had returned about ten yards to the right of the blind. It slowly worked its way up the very edge of the woods on our right. The buck started to come out of the woods, so Devin grunted at it, causing the deer to look at us and run away. After about 30 minutes, the buck returned again about 300 yards away straight ahead of us. The buck, or Sneaky Pete as we nicknamed him, began to work his way toward us. Eventually Pete was in shooting range, but still walking straight toward us; he would not turn broadside! When Pete was within 30 yards, he started quickly walking to the woods at the right. I moved to put the gun out that window, and waited for Pete to appear. He did and began walking on the ridge about forty yards away. When Pete got to a clear shooting lane, Devin grunted until he finally stopped, and I shot. Pete ran about ten yards, stopped, stiffened, and fell over. It turns out that I double-lunged the deer. We all started giving each other high-fi
ves in the blind. I did not realize how big Pete was until I got up close to him. He was a 13-point buck and was over 200 pounds.
After shooting my deer, we went back to the lodge and had a “breakfast”, at 12:30ish. We relaxed for the rest of the day watching football and enjoying the ranch. Saturday night we took a deer run just before sunset. Sunday morning we packed up to head home. It was definitely a great experience and I really appreciate everything that Zach and the Safari Club did for me. I had a blast all weekend! -Matt Bishop