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Rifle Hunting
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BLACK BUCK BIRTHDAY
What do a group of hunters do when one of their “Buds,” has a birthday in July? You take him hunting; but only exotics are in season - they are always in season. So, with friends in tow, Scott Mueller headed for Thompson Temple’s (www.thompsontemple.net) for an exotic hunt that Scott had been dreaming about. He wanted a hearty black buck with at least 20” horns.

The hunt started off great and got even greater when within five minutes of driving into the game ranch and leaving the vehicle to begin their search, hunting buddy Junior Nuernberg spotted a healthy trophy bedded under a tree. Scott quickly found a strategically placed fence post and started scoping the buck. All the rushed attention alerted the black buck who stood up and began to walk away. With the animal at 150 yards and gaining Scott realized that he was about to take the animal he had been dreaming about. That was a problem; suddenly Scott was shaking so badly, he could not only not see the antelope in his scope, he was having a hard time finding his scope. He looked at his puzzled hunting buddies and said, “I’m shaking so bad I can’t shoot!”

It was then that guide Thompson said in a calm voice, “take a deep breath and slow down.” Scott took the advice, took aim with his Weatherby 257 and shot and dropped his buck. This birthday had to be better than funny hats and noise makers. This was a birthday to be remembered. Since the birthday boy had been blessed by the hunting gods, the other hunters decided to cash in on the opportunity. You didn’t think they came just to watch Scott nail a black buck did you?

Eagle-Eye Junior took a rare Texas Hill Country Big Horn with 13” bases. Robert Nuernberg stalked and found a Texas Dall bedded. After waiting for the ram to finish his nap, he was smacked with an arrow through his vitals. A short run drove the ram into a cedar tree where the hunting pack found him snarled in the branches.

How come nobody ever gave me a birthday like this? Congratulations to all.
FALLING FALLOWS
When your exotic hunting guide tells you he is taking you to The Cowboy Ranch, you know you are in good hands. Hunts are always better when a friend is along to help spread the excitement of a well deserved and hard-hunted kill, or to shame you mercilessly when you miss a chip shot. It’s all part of the hunter’s brotherhood.

Hunters Zach Croft and Junior Nuernberg were being guided by Thompson Temple of Barksdale Texas on a fallow hunt. The Cowboy Ranch proved to be a generous one; when within five minutes of arrival, a large herd of fallows were seen in a pasture grazing on hay. The scrub-brushed rocky land served as the perfect backdrop for the dusty white deer with flat antlers. What caught Zach’s eye was that the deer were still in velvet and one stood above the rest. He quickly found a fence post to rest his rifle on. Looking closely, he saw that a cedar stump was aligned between him and the vital area of his target. He told Thompson about the stump to which Thompson replied, “Just shoot around it, I have faith in you.” That remark came after Zach had proved his skill with a 315 yard shot on a ram the day before. Zach did what he had come to do; the rifle cracked, and the fallow fell.

With one quick success, Junior was anxious to drive a shaft through one of the big bodied deer and make the day even better. After retrieving Zach’s fallow, the team began driving the ranch in search of the herd. Once found, Junior formulated a plan. The guide and Zach would drive the fallow deer from their hideout in the brush down a trail by Junior, giving him a chance to send an arrow home.

The plan was pretty good. The herd was pushed by Junior, but when they came trotting by, with no attempt to slow down, and drew within 7 yards of him, it made the shot impossible.

The cat and mouse games began. The deer knew they were being pursued and they were big for a reason, they had also grown smart. Whenever Junior would set up for the drive, the deer would run away from the drivers rather than ahead of them. Junior decided to pull a “bait and switch.” This time he walked like a driver while the drivers stayed in the woods. With the sun at his back and the wind in his face, the fallow did not expect Junior to get within 60 yards of them. But he did, and his Mathews Helium drove the arrow into the fat bodied deer. The deer ran off, dropping the arrow a few yards from where it was hit and succumbing to the fatal shot after a very brief run.

Two giant fallow bucks by two good friends. What more can a hunter ask for?
Did You Score Big In 2015 ?
The 2014 Records of Exotics says 621 Hunters Did!

With 621 total entries in the 24th Volume of the Records of Exotics, it is fun to give some analysis of those numbers. The largest number of exotics were taken with a rifle. A vast majority of 62% of all ROE record holders for 2014 are listed in the rifle category. The second place method goes to the archers who represented 34%. That only left 3% for the hand gunners and a surprising 1% for the muzzle loaders.

Of the numerous species available to the Exotic Hunters, 37 were listed in the 2014 ROE. Of those listed, the top ten most desired began with the Merino (92) as the exotic with the most records awarded. The Catalina (76) and the Corsican (71) followed with a close second and third. The fourth place Texas Dall (62) took a good lead over the fifth place Hawaiian Black (44) and the sixth place black buck (37). The Mouflon Type (30) ranked seventh, the Aoudad ranked eighth (25). The top 10 countdown concluded with the Fallow (21) and the Mouflon (18) closing out the count as ninth and tenth respectively.

One of the few facts of interest is that of all the black bucks making the ROE, only one was not taken with a rifle. The lone archer can claim bragging rights to that fact. Nine animals harvested stand alone with no others taken of the same type.

Eight hunters completed personal milestones by securing their slams which requires multiple species to complete.

It is obvious that there are plenty of spaces for more record holders in the lesser hunted exotics and with the lesser used weapons. For those who enjoy the hunt and want a little extra from their successful hunt, a personal record for the year is certainly within reach.
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SHEEP & GOATS
Aoudad Sheep
Catalina Goat
Corsican Sheep
Four Horn Sheep
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