YO Ranch hunt, my experience

Discussion in 'Bowhunting forum' started by Chris, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Well, as most of you know, I got to hunt the YO Ranch in texas. Below, I will give you the details. Sorry, it's long.

    I got picked up at the airport by the ranch guys and was driven the 1.5hrs to the ranch. The people were pleasant, the accomodations were very good. They even had someone make your bed and tidy up the room while you were hunting. Just like you were at a hotel.

    Morning hunts consisted of getting up around 5:00 and going to breakfast. Where they had your choice of cereal, eggs cooked any way you wanted, bacon, sausage and home made butter milk biscuits (oh these were awesome). Forget scent control. There isn't any here.

    Then you would leave to go hunting. Some times it would be quite a drive. I hunted a couple of spots that were 30-45 minutes from the lodge over some pretty rough ground. Must be real hard on the vehicles. The one we rode in broke down twice while I was there.

    They provided radios so you could call your guide. Normally you would stop hunting around 10:00 or 11 but could hunt longer if you wanted.

    Then you would go for lunch which was different each day and again very good eating. You could go practice or nap between morning and afternoon hunts.

    Before first hunt, we discussed what was a management deer and what wasn't. We were all warned to make sure you knew what you were shooting. Where I hunted, if I mistakenly shot a 9ptr instead of an 8ptr I would be writing a check for $2750 on top of my hunt price. When we asked what was considered a point, they stated if a ring can hang on it, then it's a point. Broken points also counted:eek:

    Now what I was expecting was to see some 8pt managment deer in the 140-150". This is what we were told to expect. Now I would have been happy with a mid 130" 8ptr which is a pretty nice deer.

    On the way from the airport to the ranch, someone asked what was the largest deer taken this year. Notice, I didn't say largest management deer. The score was 143". What?!

    I knew I had to immediately lower my standards. So the 130" 8ptr was the new goal. Maybe I'm still too high. You have realize where I am from is IL. I have passed many 115" bucks this year. Good ones where I am from are 140+. 150,160,170" are taken every year up in this area.

    After the first couple of hunts, my guide say he know where there is a 8ptr with 12" G2's. Now, we're talking. I hunt this spot 3 times and don't see him. Saw him once briefly when I was dropped off one time but he never came in. Also, I'm not sure he had 12" G2's either only saw him a few seconds.

    We are down to the last day, fly home tomorrwo. I tell my guide that since we can't find a good whitetail to change me to a Sika. So I hunt the morning and evening looking for a Sika which do not show until after last light.

    After the hunt and thinking I'm done and didn't score they ask if I want to hunt in the morning even though we fly out that day. I'm said you bet. Dave Parker of Kinsey Archery says his guide got him on a bunch of Sika and said I should go out with his guide tomorrow. I said sure but you guys work it out between the guides.

    So next morning comes and just like he said, he gets me on Sika first thing. Dave Parker goes with just for the ride. He's already done hunting.

    I'm on the ground between two tall bushes. They come in from my left REAL close. If the bush wasn't there I could of shot. But I knew not to move. As the guide dropped me off he said watch for the 25" Sika. 22" is world class. Now I'm looking for him.

    Here comes the big boy. He's 38yards head down and feeding. Now to get drawn on him without getting busted by the Sika and whitetails that are all around me. I get drawn. He's very slightly quartered to me. I figure just slide in close to the shoulder. I'm about to release and pandemonium breaks loose. A Fallow comes in chasing the Sika and all the whitetails off.

    I can't see the big boy and have to let down. I wait patiently. Two good Sika come toward each other. A HUGE fight breaks out between them. This is better than any I have ever seen. This is not a little pushing match. This is a "I'm gonna kill you fight"!!!

    One Sika bolts around the bush coming right at me. He stops about 10 yards looking right at me. I make like a bush trying not to breathe. Nope, I'm busted. He whistles real loud and all animals bolt. DANG.

    The guide saw them all bust and comes in. He says. I'll move you. So away we go. He puts me in a new spot and says you only got one chance so don't wait. We have to get you back to camp for the ride back to the airport.

    Ok, the pressure is on. I kneel down by a bush waiting. To my left I see two Sika. Here they come. I wait for them to go behind another bush and draw. The first one is smaller, wait for the big one..... The second one comes out. I guess 42yards and let her fly. There is nothing but bare ground between me and the animal. I can see the arrow like it's in slow motion. Just before the arrow gets there the Sika hears or sees it and starts to bolt away. The arrow slams into it's side a touch low but angle up because the way it was leaning trying to get away. It runs forward and turns away running back. I can see the arrow hanging out it's side. No pass through, that's not good with a Spitfire XP but the position of the hit is good. Should easily be one lung if not both.

    I wait a couple minutes and go flag down the guide. They come up and ask what happens. I fill them in and he says we have get on the trail right away. So I take them to the spot and find a few drops of blood pretty quick. Then the arrow with blood on it 13inches up the shaft and the broadhead and insert are gone. I'm assuming it hit the opposite shoulder blade and broke.

    The blood trail is sparse. Then we come to a spot where it stopped. There is a paper plate size pile of lung blood. It's probably 9" around and 2-3" think of pink bubbly blood. I got one lung for sure. A little farther we find some lung material. He's gotta be here. Track and track, little blood now. About 30minutes of tracking he says I gotta get you back.:Cry:

    We mark the spot and he says he will come back and find it. He says worst case, he will wait for the Ravens to get on it or come back with the dogs. But my cape will be ruined. He says don't worry about that, I'll get you another cape for it. Then we will ship you the head and cape. AWESOME, I'm thinking these guys are great.

    So back to the lodge, you got 10 minutes to finish packing and head for the airport. I haven't had time to tip the guides or anything yet. It was 9:30 and my flight wasn't until 3PM. I could still be looking. Off we go to the airport.

    I get the airport get checked in. I pick up the cell phone and call the ranch. I still have my room key and I didn't get a chance to tip the guides. I give the girl my credit card number to tip both guides $xxx each. Generous I thought.

    I reminded the girl on the phone that they were still supposed to find my animal and to have them call me with an update and left my cell phone number. This was Friday at about 11AM.

    Friday evening, no call. Saturday, no call. Sunday, I call and leave a message. Get a call back, they don't know anything about it. Monday, no call. Tuesday, no call. So I call for an update. No call back. Wednesday, no call, Thursday, I get a call. It the receptionist, seems they wrote down my Credit card number wrong for the tips. Karma just works in your favor sometimes doesn't it.

    I'm not real happy at this point. So I say, see what you can find out about my animal and call me back. Friday I get a call back. Here is what I was told. We have had hunters up in that area all week so we haven't found it. I can read between the lines, you mean you haven't looked for it.
    This is one WEEK after I shot it.

    Here are my issues. One, I asked when I was leaving what the guide thought. He said based on what I said about the shot and the blood and sign a 75% of recovery. He said he would use the dogs to find it. Ravens would get on it should be no problem. "We'll find it" he says. Dave Parker was with us in the truck and heard the whole conversation.

    It seems once I left the ranch then everything I was told didn't matter any more. There is no doubt in my mind that this animal is dead. Now I have nothing to show for it. Yes, it wasn't a perfect hit but some good tracking would have recovered it. Especially with dogs.

    I just wish they would have called during the week and given some indication that they were in fact looking for it and couldn't find it. But no communication, to me, means they weren't looking for it.

    Don't get be wrong. Everything else about the hunt was fun. The accomodations were very good. Meals great, lots of whitetail deer. When you give me your word that you are going to do something, I am expecting you to follow through. That just didn't happen.

    BUNNYMAN I pray for you!

    great story chris thanks for finally posting.....

    a couple of words come to mind when I think about those guides and what they have one here......

    no good, lazy, lieing, money grubbers....oh and uncarring......

  3. bullspotter

    bullspotter Senior Member

    Man that stinks, Not sure if i should say this, but If they didnt bother looking for it, knowing it was hit good enough to take its life, They are nothing to me, thats pretty sad thing to do. They pry dont feel they owe it to Chris to find it, which is sad inself, im sure he spent some good$$ to go do this hunt, But they do owe it to the deer to put in a good effort to find it. Thats the way i feel anyways.
  4. brokenarrow

    brokenarrow Evil Genius

    That sucks...Especially from a ranch with their reputation...
  5. MO.HICK

    MO.HICK Senior Member

    Good story. It must have been fun! But after all the money spent and the tips I would be very MAD:mad: . I would call them every day until they got so tired of me that they would give in and find my deer. Sorry to here that they have not recovered the deer yet Chris:Cry: . I think any outfitter owes it number one to the animal number two the client to find that animal no matter what. That how I was raised anyway! Not a good way to get a good recomadition or repeat business.


    BUNNYMAN I pray for you!

    Please dont feel that I am trying to start contraversy......

    but my question is how much did you spend on this trip.....I think maybe airfair and tips??? Just wondering not that it makes a difference.....
  7. I think they should have called you with an update, weather they found it or not. I guess they figured a paying client in the bush is worth more then one that has already left the bush.
  8. BowhuntnHoosier

    BowhuntnHoosier Bisquit.......

    Sorry to hear this Chris. It sounds as though you had a good time though. Too bad they did not make every effort possible to recover the animal, which is #1 in my book. I hate to hear of animals not recovered and probably dead. Anyway thanks for the story.:peace:
  9. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    I delayed posting any of this until I thought they had more than enough time to find it. I had hoped they would eventually find it or at least call me.