Editors Blog

Big Buck Down on the Texas Ground

Tim Anderson didn't hesitate to pull the trigger when this high-tined buck stepped into his sights at Vatoville Outdoors near Eldorado, Texas.

Note: Deer & Deer Hunting Editor Dan Schmidt has just returned from a week-long rut hunt near Eldorado, Texas.  This is the third installment of a five-part blog series on his adventure. Check back each day this week for updates.

It’s almost noon, and we just came in for a few hours to warm up. I’m trying to collect my thoughts and get my head around the enormity of what we’re seeing out there on this west-central landscape. It is really almost indescribable. There is no live vegetation. In fact, the trees and shrubs look like the green-bean plant my daughter and I grew for her fourth-grade science fair experiment last summer — and then forgot to water for three weeks. They are shriveled-up twigs, basically, that will seemingly self-combust at any moment.

Vatoville Outdoors owner Michelle Anderson just shoved a plate full of warm chocolate chip cookies in my face. And now I’m supposed to concentrate. I’ll try.

When you’ve been giving it full throttle since early bow season, these December hunts can be as draining as they are exciting, especially when you fling open the porch door at 5 a.m., exhale, and see your breath billow toward the sky like smoke from a hot chimney. Believe it or not, that’s what happened to us this morning. It’s cold down here. Let’s see, 24 degrees to be exact. And now it’s spitting rain. Great deer hunting weather.

Before we came back to camp, we drove by the sendero where Mossy Oak’s Tim Anderson had been hunting. We saw his pickup truck parked down in the sendero, and that could only mean one thing: He had a deer on the ground.

And what a deer it is. As we approach the truck, we see Tim standing over a dandy 10-pointer that guide Billy Bob Galbreath calls the “Christmas Tree” buck. It is a classic Texas buck: tall tines and an absolutely beautiful cape. This buck will gross about 135 B&C inches, but he has several broken off tines. Regardless, it is an outstanding trophy whitetail.

Tomorrow: Part 4: If This is a Cull Buck, I’m Davey Crockett

Part 1: The 5 Dirtiest Words You Can Hear at Deer Camp

Part 2: Scorched Earth and Rutting Bucks