Sponsored by: Great Southwest Outdoors and Nikon.
When I hear the word GERONIMO, I think of the Great Chiricahua Warrior Gokhlaye (One who yawns) or better known as GERONIMO! However, this hunt is not about Geronimo, but Geronimo Creek Ranch in Hondo, Texas and what a place to bow hunt. I had met Glynn King, the Ranch Manager on a Quail hunt and it was in late February of 2009. Y’all know how I love to shoot a shotgun for upland birds and this ranch is a paradise for wing shooting doves, quail, pheasant, and chukar! But, I was having a tough time paying attention to bird hunting as I was seeing all of the scrapes, rubs, and picking up sheds that would absolutely scare you!
Well the conversation had to get around to deer hunting and Glynn was very congenial and loved to talk about his Big Game Hunting. Well the conversation was going really well till I said to Glynn that I wanted to bowhunt? I might as well had picked up a “cow pie” and smacked him in the face with the “Cow Pie” y’all know what’s a cow pie, cow paddies, bull guacamole, I think you get the drift?
Bowhunters? Bowhunters? I hate bowhunters! Well Glynn, did not pull any punches! But he did soften and said, “I’ll let my son Trey guide you if you want to come and hunt Whitetails with a bow! I said, OK!
After much visiting and talking to Glynn and his son Trey they agreed to allow me to come out to the ranch and hunt! I think in reality Glynn’s bark was a lot worse than his bite! Trey told me to come out in October and we would try to find a good buck? I knew this ranch was loaded with some really great brush country bucks and I had visions of putting an arrow thru a monster.
The first afternoon, was brutal 90 degrees for a high and a low of 85 degrees and the wind swirled in every direction you could imagine! About an hour before dark a storm came up and there was a lot of thunder and lightning. We lucked out as the storm went around us and I was glad to get back to hunting. We were hunting a huge 150 SCI class 8 Pointer. We had set up a new product a portable ground blind called ‘Ghost Blind’ and it was awesome! This blind has four panels and the front side has mirrors of Mylar and reflects the terrain around you and a foam camo material on the back side. This blind will reflect the area you sit up in; no matter where you are hunting you are camoed! Great Concept! The only draw back is if you’re in a rain storm and trying to film you will need one of the camo umbrellas to cover you and your camera man!
We had a bad first afternoon, as the wind swirled in every direction, and then when the storm came up my cameraman and I had to hold onto the blind to keep it from blowing away, as the wind was from behind us and we did not have enough tie downs. I would be ready for the wind the next day. We saw rabbits, song birds, deer, hogs, and black belly tree ducks but no shots! Aiee, it was a great first day seeing all kinds of game. Tomorrow will be a better day.
4:00am and I was jerked out of bed to the sound of Thunder! A major storm, with rain coming down in buckets along with lots of thunder and lightening! No matter where I went in 2009 it rained! Wished I could have contacted some ranchers and farmers and sold them on the rain man theory! I could have paid for my trips. With coffee in hand and in full camo, we sat on the front porch rocking away and watching the rain. By 6:00am the storms had move out and it was breaking in the East and then the rains came again. I finally called it quits and decided to wait till the evening hunt and that was a wise decision. When the storms finally cleared out it was hot and steamy. The storms continued the rest of the day and I finally decided to call it quits completely and go to Mexico and scout for deer on a Ranch I was going to hunt later.
Two months later! Where does the time go? We arrived at Geronimo Creek Ranch late in the evening. We did some cut a ways, shot my bow to make sure it was hitting where I was aiming and we drove out to the area we was going to hunt. I did a circle and found many active scrapes & rubs! Aiee, this is the spot. As I had said, the rut was in full swing and I set up my Easy Doe Decoy. If you have not seen this decoy you should take a look. It is realistic right down to the actual deer tail set up on a battery powered motor that moves the tail by remote control! I took my Silver ZYME, this is great stuff, and sprayed down my decoy to remove all scent.
I set my decoy about 20 yards out, facing from left to right therefore when a buck comes into the decoy, you will have a broadside shot! With the Rut in full swing, the bucks were really screwed up and would actually charge the decoy, then turn off at about 30 yards, stomp their feet and snort like crazy. They actually gave me broadside shots but there was not a buck in the bunch that I wanted to shoot.
Let me tell you if you do not have an EASY DOE DECOY during the Rut you are making a mistake. You never know what a buck is going to do? He could just walk into the decoy and mount her or he can do like the bucks were doing this afternoon and run around the decoy acting crazy.
That evening we saw four different bucks that were great bucks before the rut, but now they were all trashed up with broken tines, and broken main beams. I did some rattling and used the grunt tube but nothing came close that I wanted to shoot an arrow at! Tomorrow is another day. To me this is the time to be in South Texas, the middle of December when the temperature is in the 40’s or lower and overcast with a little of mist in the air! Magic time. We called it quits for the day and headed back to the camp house and early to bed as tomorrow morning would come quick.
4:00am is a terrible time of the morning but its time to get up and get a cup of coffee into your system along with a couple of chocolate donuts! The breakfast of champions!
Out the door we went and it was great, 40 degrees, misting rain, and a slight breeze. Perfect weather for hunting the rut! We were driving to our hunt area when a really high, wide racked 9 point walked right in front of the truck! I told Trey, that buck would make me really happy! But we were several miles from our hunting area and you know how things go, you see the buck once and then he walks right out of your life never to be seen again.
We drove to our hunt area and it was still dark, I got out and set up my Easy Doe Decoy, sprayed Buck Bomb Doe in Heat on the decoy and into a huge scrape that was about 25 yards to the left of our blind that was on the edge of a huge food plot. We crawled into our ground blind and settled down to wait for daylight. Kris was sitting in the dark getting his camera ready for the morning shoot. We had deer all around us but it was too dark to film. We had a very good 8 pointer come in to the decoy and walked to within 25 yards that was really eye balling the decoy. I could have put an arrow thru him but still not enough light for the camera!
It may have been too dark to start filming but I had plenty of light with my Nikon EDG 10 X 42’s /6.5 binoculars. When you need to see in low light situations you can count on Nikon. Then, out of nowhere this huge 10 pointer came in. He took one look at our set up, was not happy with anything he saw and blew out of the area Finally, Kris, gave me the nod that we had enough light and I started rattling and working the grunt tube.
We had a small 10 point most likely a two year old, come screaming out of the brush and almost ran over our decoy. Then he turned and bolted back the way he came as fast as he came in. We were between rattling sequences, (I like to wait about 15 minutes between each rattling segment) when Trey, pointed to my left to a really nice buck but he again did not like something and turned and walked off. I was going crazy trying to figure out what was going wrong. We had plenty of Buck Bomb out and we had sprayed down everything with Silver ZYME so I knew the deer did not smell us. HAD TO BE SOMETHING BUT WHAT?
We had been in the blind for about an hour when the wind picked up just a little blowing from across the food plot to us and it was still overcast and misting rain. The Geese, ducks and sand hill cranes were flying low and it was a great morning.
Once again I looked to my left and could not believe what I was seeing. It was the big high wide 9 pointer and he was no more than 15 yards from us and Kris had the camera rolling and the adrenalin was flowing! I picked up my Z-7 Mathews bow and put my hook on the string! The big 9 walked to the scrape. He went through the routine of scraping it clean, peeing on his hocks into the scrape and all the while rubbing the hanging branch. What a great show. Then he turned, walked in front of us and starting feeding. I could not have asked for anything better. I’m glad I didn’t have to blow that dang grunt tube for I am positive it would have sounded nothing like what it should sound like.
We had some doves on the ground in front of us and they suddenly spooked into flight launching the buck about 15 yards. He stopped, turned around and came back turning broadside to me at 23 yards. I drew my bow and settled the pin on his vitals. Not settled in he started to walk away from us so I gave a low grunt with my mouth. That stopped him giving me the time I needed. I went into automatic pilot and the arrow was gone. The deadly Rage 2 inch / 2 blade went completely thru the buck as he exploded straight away from us. He made it about 60 yards when he rolled head over tea kettle. Perfect shot and it was over just that quickly.
10 minutes later we were still sitting in our ground blind discussing the animal and the shot. Kris had his back to the food plot when I noticed movement behind him. I whispered for him to quietly turn around and film that monster 10 pointer that was in the plot. I’m sure this beast was over 170 inches, a real toad. He was looking around when he spotted the 9 pointer laying on the ground where it had taken its last breath. He hesitated then walked across the food plot and did a 180 around the dead buck. Then he walked up the dead buck and proceeded to kick and paw at the body. I mean he hooked him, pushed him around and then walked to the front of the buck and started to fight with him! He was unrelenting as he went after the dead buck, beating him about the horns and body.
In all of my years of hunting I had never seen anything like this. We all just sat there and watched as the 10 point kicked and butted the downed buck, hair flying off in handfuls. I had seen enough so picked up my rattling horns and grunt tube and started making some noise. It worked because the buck looked in our direction, turned and took off until he disappeared into the brush. We crawled out of the blind and when we approached my buck he had no ground shrinkage! This was a keeper. Buck was a 9 pointer and scored 148 inches
Glynn and Trey, thank you for your help and support. Geronimo Creek Ranch has a deep love in my heart, for when December rolls around I will always remember the big 10 kicking the crap out of my dead deer. Also I will look forward to hopefully coming back to GCR to hunt again. The next morning Glynn and Trey invited me to go duck hunting and what a thrill that was. We shot our limit of ducks in about an hour and I also watched Trey kill a brace/ pair of Widgeons with one (1) shot and yes I said one shot and two dead ducks. What a way to spend December in South Texas at Geronimo Creek Ranch hunting monster bucks and ducks. Give Glynn a call I know he will be glad to visit with you.
Jim “Killer’ Miller
To Book a Hunt with Geronimo Creek Ranch
Contact: Glynn King
Equipment used on this hunt:
- BOW: MATHEWS Z-7
- ARROWS: CARBON EXPRESS 350’S LOST CAMO
- BROADHEADS: RAGE 2 INCH CUT / 2 BLADE
- VANES: BLAZERS
- ARROWREST: RIPCORD
- CAMO: LOST CAMO
- BOOTS: RUSSELL MOCCASINS / SNAKE BOOTS
- DECOY: EASY DOE DECOY
- COVER SCENT: SILVER- ZYME
- BUCK LURE: BUCK BOMB
- BLIND: CARBON EXPRESS, MATHEWS SPECIAL
- GRUNT TUBE: ILLUSION
- RELEASE: SCOTT SILVERHORN
- SIGHTS: MONTANA BLACK GOLD
- OPTICS: NIKON EDG 10×42 AND NIKON “ARCHERS CHOICE”
Excellent article Jim. Seems like the place to go.