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Bowhunting With Billy Don Van Cleave at Wild Horse Prairie Ranch in the Texas Hill Country
Digital Logs Of Bowhunts With Billy Don Van Cleave - by Robert Hoague
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Wild Horse Prairie Ranch | Email: | Call: 254-749-6119 
| Fax: 254-546-2709

2003 Deer Hunt - A Bowhunt In Progress

Billy Don Van Cleave
What A Hunt!
Tony Dukes and I both had a thrilling bowhunt with Billy Don Van Cleave. His Wild Horse Prairie Ranch ranch has definitely got what Tony calls the "mucho grande" type bucks. Check the hunt out below ...
Arrival Day:
This evening we met Billy Don Van Cleave at his Wild Horse Prairie Ranch by Burnet Texas. This place has a comfortable hunters lodge, texas BBQ and southern hospitality.  The hunt report will be right here.

A buck on the game camera.
CLICK HERE or on the
picture for the larger pic. This is 
probably one of the 5 bucks I 
saw on Day#1.
Day #1 (Dec 19)

Morning - At daylight a nice 8-pt was walking straight toward me. I didn't want to shoot because it was too early in the hunt. Good thing, too. 

A sixer appeared in the trees and another 8-pt similar to the first. Fifty yards to my right I saw the real thing, very long tines, heavy, wide, he was amazing. He walked completely past me but limbs were in the way and I could not shoot. Two young 8's came up 80 yards in front of me and walked toward me. 

Footsteps behind me, I looked down, 10 yards behind me and closing, a huge bodied buck with more of everything that the first buck had. Twelve points, possibly more. Very heavy and super long tines. The two young bucks were 25 yards away but I had to risk a shot anyway, I let the Big Boy pass by my tree and drew. He was in the clear, my pin was almost there. The 8's snorted and my buck scooted ahead and stopped behind some trees. He looked around for a while and left. 

Another Bomber came from the woods behind me and walked by parallel to me, again limbs were in the way. BINGO, another Bomber, not as wide as the others but 18" at least and with 10 very long tines. He walked out of the brush and came straight toward me. Head on is not a good angle, I couldn't shoot. He cut into the woods edge and circled through the trees. I drew and let down on him twice, limbs were always in the way. Then he walked by me at 15 yards. I looked down thought the limbs and found a hole, drew, put my pin on his ribs, and released. Crack, my arrow hit a limb and catabputiput into the air for 45 yards.

This morning I saw 26 deer ... MOSTLY BUCKS! And out of those, many which were nice bucks. FIVE (5) were bombers, BIG BOYS. Absolutely. Billy Don Van Cleave's Wild Horse Prairie Ranch is a hot, hot, hot whitetail place.

Tony Dukes saw 2 8-pt's, a sixer and 4 does. He was looking for a better 8. Tyge saw a 3 year 8-pt with nice, heavy rack. He was looking for a bigger one. Two trophy rams came through his area also.

Afternoon Hunt: The deer movement was minimal. I saw 2 young bucks and a doe and heard wild hogs but didn't see any. Tony Dukes passed on a 8-pt at 10 yards and shot a wild boar. Tyge Floyd zipped. 

Day #2 (Dec 20)

It's 11:12am now and Tony Dukes and Tyge Floyd are cooking up a bunch of breakfast good stuff. Tony hunted a ground blind and saw a high 7-pt and a big unidentified deer. Tyge zipped. I saw a dozen or more.  Two sixers walked right under my tree. I heard them coming and was ready in case they were the bombers I saw yesterday.  I saw a nice 8-pt a little bit out of range. No big boys showed. 

First thing, 9 longbeard gobblers came down the trail  Tony Dukes stand was near. Tony drew when they went behind a tree. Tony waited for them to come out. And waited. He shifted to see where they were. They turned and walked away. A spike and forky came in the area. A doe came in and urinated on the ground in the grass. The spike ran the doe off and then went to where she had urinated and rolled around in it. Three does appeared on the hill. One had her tail up as she went. 100 yards behind her Tony saw a large, dark, heavy horned buck with his nose to the ground on the trail of the doe. He caught up with them and separated the hot doe and disappeared into the brush. Tony also saw 4 bucks and 6 does. The only buck out of bow range was the big one.
I saw 14 deer, 6 bucks and 8 does. One was a bomber but he was out of range. Tyge zipped.
Back at camp tonight Tyge BBQed whole chickens. Ahhhh, it was good eating. 

A long tined buck postures
for a younger buck and a doe.
CLICK HERE to see the pic.
Day #3 (Dec 21)

Billy Don Van Cleave has digital game cameras out near stands on the ranch and we have some pics of some of the bucks here. Check out the pic on the left of this long tined bomber buck. Click on "GO" to see the whole picture and what he is doing (you're gonna like it) ... GO.

This morning was a little slower. I saw one small buck. Tony Dukes saw 6 bucks but they weren't what he was looking for. Tyge saw a bomber 8-pt and tried to get a shot but it didn't work out. He saw another nice 8 and 6 other deer, plus a group of wild hogs.

A buck that passed the 
game camera. CLICK HERE
or on the the picture for 
the larger pic.
Day #4 (Dec 22)

Billy Don kindly extended our stay until Dec 24 so we have a couple more days. This morning Tony Dukes had a young 8-pt, a chocolate horned 10 pt, and 8 does within range. But Tony was expecting a "much grande" 10-pt or an exceptionally wide 8-pt that were in the brush. They didn't come out.
Afternoon: a 3 1/2 curl black buck walked up under Tony and when he looked down at the buck it spooked. A bunch of deer went with him. Later 7 deer were in sight and the "mucho grande" 10 appeared 75 yards away in the brush behind Tony. Wild hogs came out of the trees and all the deer left.
I had other obligations today but am back in camp now. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

The young, chocolate 
horned  10-pt Tony 
passed on yesterday.

Day #5 (Dec 23)

Daylight came first. The wind came next. Big wind. The cold kind. It worked on me until I was cold to the bone. A sixer walked under my tree and I saw a doe. Tony Dukes saw 7 does and a small buck. Afterward we all drove into Burnett and ate killer hamburgers at Storms. I ate two triple meats and a hot fudge sunday, getting cold makes me hungry.

Tony Dukes had an exciting afternoon.  I saw 2 small bucks and 5 does. Meanwhile Tony's first deer sighting was when a doe saw his Montana Decoy and ran 200 yards to it. It looked at it confused for a minute and then walked away. Thirty minutes later bucks came into the area. A high horned, heavy 6-pt, an old buck, followed by an 8 with very wide but thin antlers. Then a high, heavy racked 8-pt at 15 yards, tree branches prevented a shot. They gathered in a thicket 40 yards away where an exceptionally wide and very heavy 8-pt walked up to them. Suddenly the bucks snorted and left. Wild hogs ran right under Tony's tree. Then Tony heard two chilling growls and a mountain lion appeared on the trail of the pigs and disappeared after them.

Wild Horse Prairie Ranch | Email: | Call: 254-749-6119 
| Fax: 254-546-2709


Billy Don Van Cleave's
Wild Horse Prairie Ranch
PO Box 199
Satin, TX 76685

Call: 254-749-6119
Fax: 254-546-2709

Web: Wild Horse Prairie Ranch

Scent Killer

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