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3rd Annual Bowhunt - 2006


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Bowhunt and on the spot pictures -- by Robert Hoague

3rd Annual Bowhunting.net 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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Well Water?

I wanted to find a hunting spot where Billy Don could pick me up without driving by anyone if someone called in and wanted help tracking, that's help as in Tater. Shucks, I wanted to go too. It was very cool watching the young dog work. 

2006 has been a drought year in the Texas hill country and this year Billy Don's ranch is as dry as the proverbial bone. From previous visits I knew a place that was away from any other hunters, where a well was and I decided to check it out. The view below is from the well house looking at the big open field and the fence line that sections off the equally large, but wooded pasture the well is in.

There are two concrete drinking tanks at the edge of the field near the gate for the well area.

This is what the drinking tanks look like. They have a float (you can see it on top of the water on the left side of the tank). Water from the pump house keeps this and the other two water tanks full of fresh drinking water.

That is the well house at the edge of the woods. 

Normally I walk straight to my stand using the least likely path for a deer to travel. My plan today was to walk all around the area and look for trails and possible funnels. Since I didn't want to spread my scent all over the area I brought along what I hoped would be just the ticket for eliminating ground scent, Elimitrax.

I was wearing them when I got dropped off. I walked all over the entire area and found lots of trails in the area of  the  3rd water tank. There were also plenty of trails that went to the other two water tanks and there were crossings and trails along the fence. I put up a portable ground blind near the well house, 18 yards from the 3rd water tank. The blind is on the right in the picture below. 

From inside the blind it looked like this.

After 5 minutes in the blind a flock of wild turkeys came to the two tanks in the big field. But they didn't drink from the tanks, they drank from the spillage water. That's what they're doing right here.

Lets go back to the Elimitrax issue. Elimitrax has two components A legging that goes over your boots and pants leg and fastens to your belt like chaps do. They have adjustment straps so they will fit small and large adults. The purpose of the leggings is to keep our pants and legs from spreading our scent on undergrowth, etc. as we walk.

We all know deer can pick up the scent our boots leave as we walk to the stand. The boot part of the unit, or "soles" as Elimitrax calls them, slip over your boots and cinch up with handy release buckles. Elimitrax states that the material the sole is made out of does not leave any ground scent as you walk. 

Well, I just walked all over the area on a hot, scent holding afternoon and we should find out how well the Elimitrax work if any deer or hogs come in the area this afternoon.

Below is a picture I took of the Elimitrax leggings and sole while waiting in the ground blind.

Ten minutes after the turkeys made their exit I saw a black and white hog in the field. It stopped and drank run off water off the ground.

Then it continued on its way parallel to the fence.

Then deer appeared on the edge of the far woods.

Before long two does meandered across the field and approached and crossed the fence and walked in my direction. A buck was behind them and I got its pic just after it jumped the fence.

For whatever reason the buck jumped back into the field and approached some other does. The two does walked nonchalantly along in front of my blind and went into the woods 10 yards from me.

Five minutes later a young buck walked out of the brush on the far edge of the clearing in front of me. 

The buck came closer and I got its picture 15 yards away.

A big spotted boar walked out from behind the tree next to me. I thought it was going for the water tank and grabbed my camera. That was a mistake because the hog went right by the water tank. My picture was blurry. I would have had time for a quartering away shot if I had grabbed my bow instead. But that's one of the perils of taking pictures when you hunt.

More deer came into the big field. At one point I counted 15 does and 5 bucks. Two bucks were bombers and one chased a doe into the brush and the other marked clumps of brush scattered around this end of the field. As daylight faded several deer came to the tanks in the field and drank off the ground. They crossed over to my side of the fence and walked into the nearby woods.

I learned two important things this afternoon. 

  • One was that the Elimitrax really did eliminate my ground scent. The deer in the pictures above, the wild boar went through several of the places I had walked earlier and they did not pick up any scent or notice anything. I'm real pleased about that.
  • The second was that the water tanks in the field got all the drinking action. However nothing drank directly from the tanks, they drank the water that spilled over and accumulated on the ground.
I decided to spend another day at the well.

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
Email: 
BillyDon@hughes.net
Web: WildHorsePrairie.com

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