Realtree Outdoors 2008 Episode 8
When going after Texas whitetails, typical hunts usually involve setting up in ground blinds or tripods because the sparse Texas terrain makes hunting out of a tree stand almost impossible. Always looking for a challenge, David Blanton decided to give tree-stand hunting a shot during his hunt with good friend Jason Stilwell of Adventures Outdoors.
"Jason and I were guests of Paul Ivey at the Collins Creek Ranch near Albany, Texas," Blanton says. "Collins Creek Ranch has blended a working cattle ranch into one of the best wildlife areas in the state featuring trophy class deer. My goal was to take one of those deer with my bow out of a tree stand. I knew this would be no easy task due to the lack of cover, but I wanted to give it a shot. I gave Lonewolf a call and they shipped out a tree stand and a ladder stand for me to use."
The Collins Creek Ranch has more to boast about than just big deer. The area is rich with history. Back in the 1800s, characters such as Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid frequented the old Fort Griffin town once located on the property of the Collins Creek Ranch.
"Some of the old buildings still remain," Blanton says. "Hunting where some of the famous cowboy figures from the Old West once hung out was cool."
Although Blanton was enthralled with the history of the Ranch, the sparse terrain had him second guessing his plan because he couldn't locate a tree big enough to hold a stand. Stilwell then informed Blanton that he'd be able to find some bigger trees down in the creek drainages. Sure enough, he located a 100-year-old pecan tree big enough to do the job.
"Once I climbed into the ladder stand, an exciting game of cat and mouse began," Blanton says. "The December rut was on, and the weather was just perfect with highs in the 50s and lows in the 30s. The deer were just beginning to rut. I didn't have to wait long for a nice 130-inch, 8 pointer to show up. I watched him for two days. He had a hot doe with him that kept him just out of bow range. I even watched him breed her just 70 yards from the stand. We had a lot of fun watching him defend his territory from smaller bucks while he courted the doe."
Finally, the doe walked by the stand within bow range and the buck, of course, followed. Blanton made a successful shot with his bow.
"I was thrilled with my shot," Blanton says. "My patience paid off. I'd taken a nice Texas whitetail out of a stand despite the limited cover."
The next morning, Blanton and Stilwell switched roles, and Blanton filmed his friend killing another big 8-pointer as it came in checking for does.
"We hit the December rut just right," Blanton says. "We both tagged great deer and had an awesome time in the process. This show is so cool because not only do you get to watch a fun hunt, but you get a little taste of the interesting history in the area as well."
For more information about Collins Creek Ranch, call 325-762-3940, or check out www.collinscreekranch.com.
For more information about Adventure Outdoors, check out www.livetohuntandfish.com.