Old Barasingha Bull…Another Superb Trophy!
Colette had come back for one of the barasingha bulls that she had seen while hunting on the Patio Ranch in January 2011. Immediately, Colette had asked us to let her know when to come hunt one of these magnificent creatures. (At that time, the bulls were near to dropping antlers and most had broken tines and beams from 6 months of fighting and sparring.) We immediately picked a date for her hunt and set it in the ranch calendar. She had been wise to plan this hunt for the time of year when the old bulls strip velvet as they start to fight and break antlers almost before the antlers have been stripped.
Many of the bulls that we viewed the first afternoon of the hunt were still in velvet or with strips of velvet hanging from their antlers as they had just started to peel the outer layer of “skin’ that had provided the blood supply for the bony antler growth. One bull that we were able to spot from a distance immediately appealed to everyone…long beams, heavy mass, unbroken points, extra tines and just a really large-framed bull. It was a bull that we had wanted to harvest for the previous two years; but, being the old warrior that he was, tines had already been broken before clients were able to arrive for a hunt. This year, that old bull had reached his tenth birthday and was at the apex of his antler production. Colette’s early planning for a prime-time barasingha hunting date was looking to be even more important than anyone could have known.
That evening, it was decided that the hunt for the grand old barasingha bull would start early the next morning. It was a beautiful summer day…hot and clear. The day started with all seeming to progress as if it had been scripted the evening before: the bull was located fairly quickly and all conditions pointed toward success. It was decided to start the stalk from a good distance away so as not to alert the bull and his herd mates to any unusual activity. Wes and Colette started the stalk alone…Larry and I decided to wait on a hill away from the herd as two people stalking would be less likely to be spotted.
Larry and I watched as the two stealthy hunters slowly wound their way through the brush and oak mottes; they were being very careful to stay downwind of the herd so as not to be discovered by the herd’s alert eyes and sensitive ears. Colette and her guide worked in and out of our vision many times until they disappeared. Finally they were over the hill, so we decided to follow behind them to catch a visual of the event. We were able to gain a vantage point where we could see more of the event unfold. Colette worked from tree to tree, cover to cover to avoid detection. We could at least see the hunters, but not the great bull. Again, the hunters exited our visual field, but we dared not approach closer for fear of alerting the bulls. That 2 or 3 minutes while Colette was out of our sight seemed like a much longer time. When a shot finally rang out, we were startled even though it was expected. Unsure of the outcome, but expecting the best, we made our way forward. The sight that greeted us was spectacular…the vision of a proud guide and a joyfully ecstatic hunter standing over a magnificent barasingha bull is near impossible to put in print and give the occasion justice. A quiet time admiring the bull and the presentation of the “last bite” for this wondrous animal touched me deeply.
We ask that you join us in congratulating Colette on her superb trophy barasingha bull. Due to her foresight to book for an early hunt, her hunting skill and excellent marksmanship, this hunt culminated in a memorable hunt of an exquisite animal. In addition, by participating in this hunt, Colette is directly supporting (through a monetary donation as part of the hunting package) a program that invests in the protection and expansion of the native ecosystem in India that currently is a bastion of hope for the survival of this and other related species in the wilds of India.
The Patio Ranch would like to offer this same opportunity to others of like mind to Colette. Not only is a memorable hunt and tremendous trophy a result, but the satisfaction of knowing that in a direct way, one is contributing to the survival of these wonderful animals in their native Indian ecosystem. We would be glad to offer more information to anyone with interest in these and other ranch endangered species programs.
Many individual lives have been enriched by this hunting experience with Colette and Larry. Thus, the Patio Ranch staff and hopefully, all who read this story, will be able to share in the joy and excitement as Colette now truly can “…tell a different hunting story!”