3rd Annual Bowhunt - 2006


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Bowhunt and on the spot pictures -- by Robert Hoague

3rd Annual Bowhunt - 2006
With Billy Don at Wild Horse Prairie Ranch in Burnet, Texas
SPECIAL THANKS TO Wildlife Research Center for sending a generous variety of Scent Killer and deer lure products for every bowhunter on this hunt.

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Day #6: The Chef's Double Decker

Mike Ditchler (Chef Klaus)
Mike has hunted since the first day of the hunt and he said he has , "seen a ton of game, I've seen it all. Two big buck, other bucks, does, gobblers, sheep, wild hogs, red stag and aoudad." But so far he had not hung anything on the game pole. At 2:00 he got into a double person ladderstand near a  creek with running water. Clint came with him to video.  It was a hot afternoon.

Around 5:45 Mike saw a buck in the brush and checked him with the binoculars  It was an 8-pointer. While MIke watched it a 10-point came into view and both bucks began walking closer but went out of sight behind them. Mike got his bow off the hook and got ready. A buck walked up silently, right underneath the stand. Clint whispered that it was the wrong buck. A second buck followed, it was the 10-point. 

As the buck walked behind a tree Mike drew his bow and when the buck stepped clear Mike took his broadside 20 yard shot. It was a spine hit and the buck fell. Mike climbed down from the tree and finished the buck with another arrow. Then Clint took a picture of Mike and the buck.

Then they drug the buck behind the stand and hid it in some brush. They climbed back into the ladderstand and as they talked about shooting the buck Mike looked down through the limbs and leaves of his tree and saw a big Aoudad. A minute later the Aoudad walked out of view into the brush.

Mike whispered, "Wouldn't it be nice if we would have got a shot at that huge Aoudad and got him too."

Minutes later a female Aoudad ewe with two young lambs stepped into view on the left of the tree. Out of the corner of his eye Milke saw movement behind them and recognized it.

The big Aoudad was back. 

One of the young ones moved ahead and the ewe whacked it with her front hoof and the youngster backed up and stood with her. Soon the ewe and young ones moved forward. 

"I got a problem," Mike whispered to Clint. "I think my chest is coming out of my heart."

"Don't worry. You can do it," Clint said softly. (Later he told us how Mike had mixed up the words heart and chest.)

The big male Aoudad ram took a few steps closer and when he was behind a limb of the tree Mike settled down and drew.

The ewe heard Mike's draw and looked into the tree. Mike froze.

The ewe looked away and the ram took the step Mike needed for a clear broadside shot. The arrow buried to the fletching and the ran bolted away. 

It ran uphill along a dry creek bed and Mike saw his arrow fall out. An hour later they went to the arrow. It was bloody and there were spots of blood on the ground. They looked ahead and did not see the Aoudad. 

Mike did not want to run the risk of goofing up the blood trail or jumping the Aoudad. He left the arrow where it lay (for Tater's reference) and drove to the top of a hill where they could get cell reception and called Billy Don. It was still an hour before daylight.

Billy Don text messaged me that Mike had shot an Aoudad and asked if I wanted to go along to track. I phoned him and said yes and he picked me up. Tater already had his tracking harness on and was visibly anxious to get on the trail.

On the way we saw Ricky Burnett on a side road and he signaled us to stop. He had shot and recovered a big 10-point buck. (To Ricky's hunt.)

We picked up Fred on the way. Mike showed us where the Aoudad had been and Tater picked up a scent and got to work. 

"Here's the arrow," Billy Don called to us. Tater kept going. 

We went to the arrow and Fred and Clint picked up the blood trail. It turned left and downhill. Tater was going uphill. The blood was sparse but finable and we followed it, thinking Tater was going the wrong way on the trail.

"Tater found him."

Billy Don's voice came from uphill in some dense cedars. He pointed the light of his flashlight downhill in our direction so we could see where he was. We hurried on up there.

Here is Mike Ditchler (Chef Klaus) with his Aoudad.

A different angle on the ram and the smiling Chef.

And here is a picture of Mike's ram and buck with all of us gathered around.

What a day. Yes indeed, life is good.

2006 Deer Hunt Sponsors

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Billy Don Van Cleave
Wild Horse Prairie Ranch
P.O. Box 199
Satin, TX 76685
Call: 254-749-6119
Fax: 254-546-2709


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