On this single, glorious day of bowhunting, I had already seen more than two dozen species of legal big game animals during my first morning at the YO Ranch.
Whitetails galore, fallow deer, axis deer, sika deer, Pere David deer, blackbuck antelope, Corsican sheep, Red sheep, Aoudad sheep, mouflan sheep, zebra, elk, red stag, hogs, bison, Ibex, Spanish goats, Oryx, addax, gazelle, Gemsbok, impala, Eland, Kudu, Blue Wildebeest, waterbuck, giraffe, ostrich, emu, and an Asian water buffalo.
The dizzying variety of stunning game animals from around the world found roaming the beautiful Texas Hill Country is surely something to behold. Add a bow and arrows to your hands and the possibilities become downright Biblical.
This amazing wildlife management success story is celebrated across Texas, and the ranchers, landowners and true wildlife lovers all should be extremely proud of their adaptation of this unique private habitat to the benefit of such diverse critters, many of which flourish in Texas while remaining threatened in their original homelands.
We can thank good old American freedom and private property rights for this simple sustain yield value conservation model. You can’t do this in France baby. Of course you can’t do this in California either.
Again guided by Derek Dieringer, the professional wildlife master from Woodbury Taxidermy and Custom Meat Processing nearby in Ingram, Texas, I had faith that all the distant animal activity would soon materialize into a bowshot, close enough for a good arrow at any one of these wary, respected big game critters that call the legendary YO Ranch home.
With ace VidCamDude Bobby Bohannon manning SpiritWild filming duties over my shoulder, I had high hopes of making some kind of strapper a TV star and memory gold for this old bowhunter.
After a long, quiet wait, a sounder of hogs could be heard grunting, snorting, squealing and rooting above us in the dense jungle ridges as three fallow does cautiously nibbled their way into range. With a crosswind in our faces, and complete vegetation covering us from the burning sun, we were in the perfect ambush setup to do the dirty deed when a fine young chocolate stag brought up the rear of the backstrap parade.
The young buck stopped in the ideal location between the cedar clumps at fifteen yards, stretched his foreleg, and in an instant my zebra striped arrow vanished into the sweet spot.
An axis deer barked angrily nearby as we heard my deer tumble just out of sight. Bobby and I smiled and winked at another magical moment of our bowhunting dreams came to fruition.
We recovered that hard earned strapper, filming all the emotional appreciation for such a gratifying lifestyle for everyone to share on Spirit of the Wild TV on Outdoor Channel.
We filmed all week, every morning, every afternoon, and on most days, all day long, for what can only be described as a bowhunters’ fantasy dream come true.
I killed axis, blackbuck, whitetail, more fallow, a great sika stag, and shared powerful campfires with my annual YO Birthday Bash hunting BloodBrothers from all around the world, who killed game of almost every species listed above. We always have a camp full of mighty happy hunters every year, and everybody is thrilled at the good times and variety of game encountered and killed.
If your deer season isn’t quite long enough where you live to satisfy the predator within, or if your freezer or the Hunters for the Hungry gang could use more sacred venison for the masses, by all means head for Texas this winter and every winter and extend your love for the hunt for as long as you desire.
Our annual YO hunts are to die for, but there are virtually unlimited opportunities across the Lone Star State for exotic hunting all year long.
Back in my beloved birth-state of Michigan, we were allowed only one deer a year for most of my life. If and when I got my deer, I sure didn’t feel like my hunting season was over and I yearned for more deer encounters with my trusty bow and arrow.
Fortunately, I discovered this incredible Texas hunting opportunity many, many moons ago, and it is one of the more powerful reasons that I became a resident of the best hunting state in America.
Come on down. Bring your bow and your guns, bring your family and friends, and bring a big cooler, because the spirit and the venison flows like you cannot imagine, and the great people of Texas would love to show you a real good time.