Doubleheader by Eddy Chance


Well, as most of you know there is no reason to hunt opening weekend in South Texas. It’s usually too HOT and everyone knows that the hunting doesn’t get good until December. Well, on the 96 opening weekend, my friend Larry and I disproved that idea. We headed for our lease in Encinel, Texas. I took my four year old, twin boys, Hunter and Jordan and Larry took his twelve year old son, Adam. After all, we weren’t seriously hunting opening weekend in South Texas: We were mainly going to take the boys, fill feeders, and do some scouting.

Saturday morning I took the boys, corned the road and settled in for their first hunt. At first light we had seven does on the road and several more at my feeder. The boys did exceptionally well at being quiet and watching the deer. For an avid deer hunter, it was a dream come true. There I was in my deer stand, in South Texas, with my boys for their first hunt. It was a beautiful morning, the temperature was about forty five degrees; the sky was crystal clear. We saw deer, wild hogs, coyotes and quail. At about 9:45am we headed back to the truck to meet up with the rest of the guys on our lease. Everyone was already back at the trucks and Larry had a large deer strapped to the back of his three wheeler. I couldn’t believe he had taken a buck on opening morning.

To my surprise it was a large 10 point buck with a 16 inch inside spread, 17 1/2 inch outside spread and G3 tines that were 10 inches long. We did a rough field score and it measured 135 Boone & Crockett. No one could believe he had taken such a nice buck on opening morning. This was the largest deer Larry had ever taken. This might not be a trophy to some but it was the largest deer any of us on the lease had ever taken.

The next morning while everyone was getting ready to go hunting, Larry and his son Adam were fast asleep. I tried to get my boys up, but they had hunted and played so hard the day before I couldn’t get them up. I figured I would just make some coffee and enjoy the morning at the camp house. Larry woke up and I asked him if he was going to go hunting, he said that he was going to sleep in . He asked if I was going to go and I explained that I couldn’t get the boys up. He said that if I wanted to go he would keep an eye on them while I hunted. I agreed and drove to where I keep my three wheeler and found that I had forgotten to bring corn to corn the roads. I spotted a partial bag of corn on Larry’s three wheeler, I took it and took off for my stand. I corned a four hundred yard sendaro I had just cleared the day before and corned the main road to my stand.

At first light I had seven does on the road to my stand. My blind is set up with the main road to my stand on my left and the feeder a hundred yards out in front and the new sendaro to my right. After watching the does on my left, I would ever so often look to my right down the newly cleared sendaro. At 7:15, I glanced to my right and saw a large set of antlers looking out along the edge of the sendaro. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I slowly turned and took a better look through my binoculars. At approximately 175 yards stood the biggest deer I had ever seen. I had to put my binoculars down on the window seal of my blind to hold them steady.

After a closer look I could tell his horns were out past his ears and he had at least ten heavy points. I quickly picked up my rifle and tried to find him in the scope. The whole time he was hidden behind the brush except for his head. I finally located him in my scope. He was very jumpy as was I. After what seamed hours, he took one step into the sendaro. I took the shot and as I looked up he stumbled and then bolted across the sendaro and disappeared into the thick brush. I waited for thirty minutes (it was the longest half hour of my life) before going to see if he was down. I walked to the spot where he had been standing and couldn’t find any sign of a blood trail.

I looked where I thought he was heading and saw what looked like a trail crossing to the other side of the sendaro. I followed the trail about twenty yards, looking for blood sign, and there he was. The Browning A-bolt .30-06 with the Federal Premium 165 grain soft tip boat tail had done it’s job. He had run straight into a large prickly pear patch. As I drug him out of the cactus, I was amazed at his size. Even with the adrenaline rush, it was all I could do to pull him out of the cactus.

I quickly counted his points and determined that he was a heavy horned South Texas 10 point with seven additional points coming from his bases. That made him a 17 point buck. He had a seventeen inch inside spread and an 18 inch outside spread. His G2 tines were 10 inches long. We estimated that he field dressed at least 175 to 180 lbs. and field scored 155 B&C.

While hunting together for the past ten years, Larry and I have enjoyed many hunts together. As for me, this one will go down as one of the most successful hunts to date. In the past, we have both taken what we considered to be trophy bucks from the Hill Country and West Texas, but we’ve never taken two trophies on the same hunt.

A lot of people feel that a trophy deer is one that will make the record books. I disagree. A trophy is one that the individual who harvests the deer feels is a trophy. It may be your first buck, or a doe. It may have two points or forty. It doesn’t matter. Hunting to me is about the friendships that are formed in the hunting process. The time spent in the woods, scouting, building blinds, camping out and just spending time with your kids or close friends in the great outdoors is what hunting is all about.

So the next time someone tells you that the hunting doesn’t get good in South Texas until December, think twice. My “Opening Day” buck won the “Big Buck Contest” at Buck Stop in San Antonio, beating out December and January Bucks. Make a new friend. Take someone hunting.


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Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.