Barasingha Bull…Matt’s Dream Hunt!
Matt had dreamed of the day when he would be able to hunt a big barasingha bull with his bow; it seems that it has been planned in his mind for years. Matt had contacted The Patio Ranch a few times in the past in an attempt to arrange a Barasingha hunt. However, Matt’s schedule and the ranch’s open dates and/or availability had difficulty finding common available times to meet Matt’s criteria of:
1. early to mid-June so that a big bull would still be in velvet;
2. prior to any other hunts in the pasture so that the bulls would not be flighty;
3. before the weather was so hot that sitting in a bow blind would be very uncomfortable;
4. before the rut so that the chance of broken tines or beams would not be an issue.
Daniel and Matt finally agreed upon a date around mid-June that fit their schedules and would satisfy Matt’s criteria. A couple of weeks prior to the hunt, a bow blind was set up under a large Texas oak tree that would provide some shade from the sun, produce some cooling wind, and provide screening cover to lessen the outline of the blind to passing barasingha.
On the day of the hunt, prior to going to the blind, Matt demonstrated great proficiency with his weapon by placing 30 and 40 yard shots in an area about the size of an 8 inch pie plate. He understood his weapon, his ability and the forces that might come into play when an arrow leaves the bow. He was a great educator by word and example to those of us that had little experience with bow hunting. It also comforted Daniel (the guide) that the probability of a killing shot inside of 40 yards was very high with Matt drawing the bow. During this preparation time for the hunt, Colin (Matt’s 9 year old companion) seemed to be soaking up the information that Matt was sharing with the
rest of us. He was quiet and constantly observing and seemed to be taking mental notes. We knew that the rest of the hunt would be a great education through first-hand experience.
Matt, Daniel and Colin spent most of the morning in the blind watching barasingha bulls in the distance that seemed to have no interest in approaching. Some of the younger bulls were bathing in the rain-filled seasonal pond down the hill. A few older bulls were lounging in shade a couple of hundred yards up the hill while others even further distant were grazing slowly moving away from the blind. It seemed that the hunting doldrums had settled upon the hunting party.
At that time when mirages sometimes appear in one’s vision after watching an area for a few hours, Matt spotted what possibly could have been a barasingha mirage moving toward the blind. After blinking and wishing, Daniel and Matt determined that the walking bull was not a mirage; it was a large-bodied, fully mature Barasingha bull moving at an angle that might possibly bring him within 50 yards of the blind. All
three hunters watched and waited. Suddenly, some of the bulls in the distance brought ears and eyes to bear on some unknown peril. A few ran over the hill while others just watched. The large bull moving closer stopped and was on alert. Would he spook or would the perceived danger pass so as not to change the large bulls path?! With a sigh of relief, the large bull started walking again, but on a slightly different path that would probably bring him a little closer to the blind. Matt made final preparations and drew his bow. The big bull stopped one more time to check out the rest of the herd. Matt decided that this was as close as it would get to the blind. He released and the arrow flew. The magnificent bull flinched and moved on for a short distance before he fell. There was a respectful celebration and silent thanks were given for this amazing animal and the opportunity for such a hunt.
Pictures were taken and the massive deer was transported to the ranch processing facility. There it was placed in the large walk-in cooler to remove the heat from the carcass and prevent spoilage. Before their departure the next day, the three hunters spent time skinning and processing the massive barasingha. Colin was able to observe and assist as Daniel and Matt worked on the trophy for preserving the cape and processing the meat. This great learning experience would serve Colin well when he is able to have a hunt of his own. This passing of knowledge from one generation to the next is necessary for our hunting heritage to thrive and be enjoyed by generations to come.
Please join The Patio Ranch in congratulating Matt on his great experience. We know that both Matt and Colin will have many memories that hopefully will be carried and shared throughout their lifetime. We hope that this dream hunting experience for Matt will allow him and Colin to “…tell a different hunting story!!”
Best wishes for a great dove season to start off the fall and winter hunts this year!!