I am very lucky to have been drawn to hunt Hagerman several times in the last 9 years. I have seen 3 very good bucks (150 to 170 inch) in past hunts but I was never able to get a shot at any of them. I drew segment C last year. I found a place last year that was loaded with scrapes right before the segment C hunt. I had a 160" buck at 30 yards on the last day, but I could not get a clear shot. I drew segment A this year. I carefully checked out this same spot a week before the segment A hunt. There was only one scrape but I knew it was early and I had confidence in this area. I set my stand Friday. I very carefully made two mock scrapes at twenty yards on either side of my stand. Saturday morning I had a 115 to 120 inch 8 point come in right to the base of my tree. I would have probably taken this deer on any other Texas public land hunt, but not at Hagerman. He checked one of my mock scrapes, he then checked the real scrape and moved out of the area. I only saw one other deer (not sure if it was a buck or doe) the rest of the day. I noticed that there were two new scrapes in my area that had been made Friday night. Sunday morning was clear and the temps were in the upper 50's. At about 7:00 I notice some movement to my left. I saw a buck standing under a bois d' ark (horse apple, osage orange) tree. I could only see his left side and my first impression was that it was a small buck. He stood motionless for almost two minutes. As he slowly moved in front of me at 13 yards I saw his wild looking brow tines and what a huge body he had. I decided I wanted to shoot this deer. He stopped at 15 yards quartered away but was a limb covering his vitals. The buck then moved out to 25 yards and made a scrape (very cool to watch). I thought he was going to move out of the area but he turned and checked the new scrape that had been made Friday night (probably by him). When he turned away from the scrape I saw that I had one 2'x2' opening to make a shot. I mouth grunted and stopped him at 26 yards. I got my pin on him and released the Carbon Express 350 tipped with a 100 grain Slick Trick Magnum. I heard a loud crack and the buck ran hard for about 25 yards and stopped. He stood there for about 15 seconds and then fell over backwards. I still gave him about 30 minutes. I got down found my blood covered arrow, looked to my left and saw the buck laying 24 steps away. I was astounded at the size of this deer. His neck was huge. I counted 15 points and later found two more for a total of 17 scoreable points. The rack is 19 inches inside. I have very reliable information that this deer had at least 20 points before he broke off part of his right main beam. He weighed in at 217 pounds. His neck measured 24 1/2" around right under his jaw. The lower portion of his neck measured 32" around. His right brow tine is forked and his left brow tine looks like a pitchfork with 4 points. There are several other points coming off his bases. His bases are 7" around. He still had velvet hanging off the tip of his left main beam. I am very proud of this wild looking buck. I have spent many hours in a tree stand at Hagerman, somedays never seeing a deer. This one made it all worthwhile.
I want to thank 2050z (Timm) for helping get this brute out. We carted him about a 1/2 mile ungutted. We wanted to know his live weight. Landrover, WCB, bowhuntxn, I had a great time sharing our camp (pretty nice camp huh ) with you guys.
I want to also thank my wonderful wife Tracy for cooking for all us and taking care of all the details. Here are some pics.
My Tree Stand set Up.
Where he went down
LDP (Laying Down Pic)
Check out his neck.
The Archer Known on Some Forums as Tallcatt.