David’s Unexpected Opportunity!
Sometimes a journey begins with one plan but ends in a completely different manner that was not even imagined at the start. That is similar to David’s experience a couple of days ago. Unsure of the exact target for the weekend hunt, he had come to relax and enjoy some time away from the rigors and stresses of the job. A large sika or a monster barasingha were probable picks from discussions with friends and on the heels of some great trophies of these two species taken recently here on the Patio Ranch. But when a large, mature gemsbok was found to be available, that information adjusted all plans very quickly. This bull was in a 600 acre pasture that held a number of other gemsbok bulls and breeding cows and would present a great opportunity for a thrilling stalk.
The hunt started with a late arrival Friday that provided just enough daylight to test the rifle accuracy at the rifle range. With that accomplished and a beautiful sunset in the making, the hunting party retired to the historic main lodge to prepare for a meal and refreshments enjoyed with good friends in the newly completed outdoor eating pavilion. The cool fall evening served as a backdrop to highlight the culinary delights served by a friend and member of the hunting party that had owned a restaurant. The combination put the perfect cap on a great evening. Good friends with many stories ready to tell provided better entertainment than could be found anywhere at any price.
The next morning, hunting started in earnest. For the first hour or two, the only sign of a gemsbok were the legs of two animals walking in the brush. These soon melted into the juniper brush and out of sight. After a short break, the hunters were back out searching for the gemsbok. Again, much time passed without a sign of gemsbok. Finally, as the hunters were going over a hill and down the other side, Daniel spotted a lone gemsbok female on the edge of the brush behind them watching the action. If they stopped, she would have melted back into the brush again. So the hunters continued on down the hill until they were out of sight of the sentry gemsbok cow. Waiting a short time, David and Daniel slowly walked back to the top of the hill to look back to where the cow had been standing. They found her already leaving the brush line and walking down the hill. Then a bull walked out following her…and then another cow…and then another bull …and then one more young bull. The five gemsbok slowed when they reached a low spot in the valley to feed on some new grass growth. This afforded David and Daniel an opportunity to assess the two larger bulls. They were both great trophies, so David selected the one that appealed to him. They crawled a little closer to get behind a tree to use as a rest, hide their approach and to clear the tall grass in their shooting path. Moving slowly so as not to alert the sharp-eyed gemsbok of their presence, David rose into a shooting position. Patience was required to make a safe shot as the five gemsbok were constantly moving and grazing. The target bull needed to be in a spot where another animal was not behind it so the shot would be safe. A window of opportunity presented itself and Daniel confirmed it was a good shot. David squeezed the trigger, the bull staggered and fell!
David’s hunting story started with an uncertain target, but the final chapter was an amazing success story with an animal not even considered before the hunt. What a great experience to be blessed with direction and opportunity that had not even been considered a few hours earlier. Please join us in congratulating David on his persistence, steady shooting and his willingness and patience to wait for the opportunities to present themselves. Now, on the next adventure, David will have great material with which to entertain his friends. They will enjoy the details provided by his experience as he definitely will be able to “…tell a different hunting story!!”
Blessing to all as Texans enjoy another fall with the right to hunt and fish in our great state!! Please support Proposition Six on the November 3, 2015 ballot as the “Texas Right to Hunt, Fish and Harvest Amendment” to insure future generations of Texans the same opportunity.