We had the pleasure of hosting some fine folks this week at Forister Exotics. Big thanks to Doug for bringing the guys out to hunt. We worked hard and bounced around in the heat but it all came together and had a couple nice animals taken. A last minute Axis buck taken with a 300+ yard shot from the back of the truck in high winds and rain across a canyon and the Red Stag had been taken the first night of the hunt with a second to spare and very little light remaining in the day! Congrats guys can’t wait to host you all again here at Forister Exotics.
Forister Exotics Axis Hunts
Jason called me back in April and wanted to put together a nice Axis Buck hunt for his wife for her birthday. I told him we could make it happen and should be able to get on a nice Axis Buck. Well the hunt date was upon us and Jason his wife Deanna and son Logan arrived Sunday afternoon to begin Deanna’s Axis Buck hunt. After they settled into the lodge we made a quick trip to the range just to make sure the gun was shooting straight after traveling and I told them be ready around 5 we would make a plan and go sit the first evening. About 5 we started into the pasture Jason had asked about sitting together and if I had a blind big enough that all 3 could just sit together for the first evening. I was a little leery about it but I told them yes we could put them in a blind and just try to be as still and quite as possible. 3 people in 1 popup blind you would be dealing with 3x the scent and 3x the urge to talk and everything so it isn’t the best hunting situation but I told them I had been seeing a lot of good bucks coming through this valley in the evening and I had been feeding there so it should be good. Before we left the lodge we had looked at a bunch of Axis horns and Axis mounts just to make sure they knew what to shoot and what not to. I told Jason if it didn’t look big enough or give you the wow effect when it steps out don’t shoot it we have a few days we want to get a good Axis Buck for her. So as we got to the blind I showed them where I had been seeing Axis Bucks and where they were traveling and yardages and things of that nature and I got them in the blind and headed to sit another location to scout for another spot if we needed to change it up in the morning. Well as it turns out we wouldn’t need to change things up but as I sat and saw probably 10 shooter Axis bucks at my location I started to get the feeling I had put them in the wrong blind. As the sun set behind me and light began to fade I decided to make my way back to pick them up. As I approached they where standing out of the blind so I knew something had gone down. Jason began to explain their evening sit. After having aoudad at 20 yards, and blackbuck and mouflon and a huge Axis Buck at about 500 yards this really big Axis Buck came out of nowhere. Jason went on to explain it took a long time for him to come out into an open spot to get get a shot. Giving Deanna plenty of time to get Axis Buck Fever. But once he finally stepped out she got the cross hairs settled on his shoulder and let the .270 do the job. The noticed the Axis Buck kicked hard and ran to the right and got a pretty good mark of where he was when they shot and followed my instructions not to go in after it and risk jumping him. So we started up the ridge with flashlights and started to look for blood. I warned them about snakes and it being prime time for them to be moving and no sooner had the words came out Deanna had a little scare but it ended up being a stick thank God!! So back to the trail we settled on a spot they had visually marked from the blind and we began to look for blood. After about 10 minutes or so I finally found a couple little specs and we started to track. I told them even shooting bigger caliber rifles a lot of times Axis just do not leave good blood trails most of the time and a lot of times you don’t get a pass through on the big bucks. we came to a spot and lost the trail. We circled and looked and looked and finally picked it back up. After about 50-60 yards the blood began to get much better I could see where the big Axis Buck had stopped for a few seconds and dumped a big puddle of blood so I knew he wouldn’t be to much further. We worked the trail around another clump of trees and I shined up ahead and could see white belly in the distance in a big cedar thicket. The excitement began we all raced up to the deer and Deanna was so excited to have her first Big Axis Buck down. We shared some high 5’s and got him set up for a picture. This Axis deer was a toad big body swollen neck and big horns. Congrats Deanna on a fantastic Axis buck and a great hunting trip. Can’t wait to have Jason and the family back at the ranch for another great hunt with Forister Exotics.
Forister Exotics Texas Ibex Hunting
I had the pleasure of hosting Jason and Shea Johnson from Mississippi at the ranch on Memorial day. Main focus was Texas Ibex with their bows. We set out the first evening with the plan to stand hunt for Texas Ibex and I had placed a few new stands in the areas I know the Texas Ibex spend most of their time. So first evening I set Jason and Shae out in separate blinds to cover some ground and hopefully they would have some luck. I came back to the house and finished a few chores and then I get a text from Jason ” Got one…following him west bound along 41. I figured I better get in there and we could figure out a plan of attack. Once I found Jason he explained further ” I think I skipped the arrow off the popup blind window when I shot”. Then he proceeded to explain that he lobbed one out at 50 yards or so and hit him low. So we decided to walk the area and try to pick up blood or find him. Lets go back to the 10 days before this hunt and set the scene a little better 11 inches of rain in 10 days and the last 1 3/4 coming the morning they arrived to begin hunting. So now back to real-time. Here we are ankle-deep in mud/water gunk good luck finding blood in this I thought to myself. After a quick walk we jumped the wounded Texas Ibex and although the Texas Ibex looked in bad shape he manged to get out of bow range pretty quickly! So the decision was made to run back and get a rifle to finish him so he didn’t make it back into the cedar break. After a few minutes I was back with the rifle and Jason had stayed to keep an eye on the Texas Ibex. We worked in to about 100 yards and Jason put on a shooting clinic (Nudge Nudge) In the end the Texas Ibex fell and we finally had one in the bag.
Knowing we encroached on Shea’s hunting area I figured his day was shot, it was getting late so we stopped and got him from the blind his first question was what the heck is going on!! What was all that shooting about? We quickly explained and made our way to the skinning shed. We made a plan to head back out in the morning. We headed into the pasture at daylight thinking of putting a stalk on a Texas Ibex. We came around a corner of brush and found the herd about 100 yards away from a blind and I decided to put the hunter in the blind and spread some corn and hopefully they would come in and give Shea a shot. I made my way out of the set up and proceeded to get the truck momentarily stuck. So about 15 minute later I watched the herd of Texas Ibex go by my location so I figured they must have cleaned the corn up so I went back to check and see if they got a shot. I rounded the corner and Jason was snapping some pics with Shea and his Trophy Texas Ibex he shot at 8 yards. We spent the rest of the day just checking out the ranches we ended up running across this bad boy !
And then a little later Shea had mentioned a ringtail cat being on his bucket list and I told him we should be able to get on one with the light. Took about an hour but we found one.
Pretty good hunt and Jason and Shea made their way back to South Mississippi with their Texas Ibex and a ringtail cat. Hope to have them back for Elk hunts at Forister Exotics in 2016!
Forister Exotics Axis Hunts
After Ryan got his Fallow down we decided to look around and see if we could find something else to shoot. I told the guys we where seeing some good Axis bucks feeding midday. We made our way over to the pasture I had been seeing this Axis buck and after a ride through not seeing anything I decided to feed the runway and sit and watch it for a little while. After a few minutes we had probably 10 different Axis bucks feeding at 200 yards and various other species working in and out of the area feeding. We waited knowing a bigger Axis buck was bound to make his way out. out of nowhere we look up and this monster Axis buck is walking in. We tried to position for a shot knowing Ryan’s Rifle was good to 400 yards we didn’t feel like we needed to get closer just needed to get the right shot. Like big bucks of all species seem to do the Big Axis Buck just knew it was time to go. He made his way across the strip like he was moving to the closer corn then veered off to the brush never giving Ryan a clear shot. We waited a minute to see if the Axis Buck would come back out. Time to make a move and see if we can find the Axis Buck. As we made our way up deer began to run around confused and one big Axis buck went right in the same direction the Axis buck we where after left. About then the big Axis buck ran out right in front of us and turned and ran up the runway from us. Ryan was still locked in on second buck that had weak top tines. I quickly turned the truck sideways and Told Ryan the one on the left broadside. The Axis Buck had run up about 100 yards turned broadside and stopped to look back. Ryan quickly acquired the correct target and with one shot the Axis buck never took another step. Congrats Ryan on your trophy Axis Buck and another great hunt at Forister Exotics!
Forister Exotics Fallow Hunts
Ryan made his way out to the ranch a few weeks ago looking or a good Fallow Buck to put on his wall. I knew with it being late season we had very few options due to numbers and some of the Fallow bucks already dropping their horns for the year and some of the bigger Fallow bucks being broken up from fighting for their breeding rights. So I had scouted an area of the ranch and found this nice Spotted Fallow Buck coming to a feeder on a very regular basis. I decided to set Ryan and his friend who tagged along in the blind with strict instruction as to which Fallow buck to shoot. So I fed pretty heavy and left them for the morning sit. About 8 I get a text “no show” I replied to hang tight I would come back and feed again and see what we could figure out. So I came and fed corn again and as I left the stand I decided to go back around the back side of the pasture and see what was moving. As I rounded the corner almost a mile away from the feeder Ryan was sitting at there was the Fallow buck with a bunch of doe and a couple other Fallow bucks. I fed corn all on the road and made my way back to get Ryan and try to make a move on the big Fallow Buck. We mad a big loop hoping to come around from the other side of where I had spotted the Fallow. We rounded the corner and at about 200 yards the Fallow deer where feeding on the corn I dropped. Ryan tried to get steady on the jeep and let one fly. Clean miss I could tell from the Fallow bucks reaction. We decided to sit Ryan at a tree that would be probably 100 yards and I would run back through and feed again. As I fed I could see the Fallow Buck up on the ridge where he ran after the ” Warning Shot ” so I knew we might get lucky. I fed again and took off around the loop again. 10 minutes or so had passed and I decided to start working my way back to the area. I knew if it was going to happen it would be quick. As I approached the area I saw the younger Fallow bucks and doe we had seen earlier so I knew Ryan must have gotten a second shot. I come driving down the road and there is Ryan standing over his Trophy Spotted Fallow Buck. I knew we got lucky and Ryan made his second shot count. Congrats Ryan on a nice Trophy Fallow Buck.
Forister Exotics Blackbuck Hunts
Dan made his way back to Forister Exotics in search of a good Blackbuck. We took a look around the first day and ended up spotting a few good Blackbuck we just couldn’t get close enough to get a shot. After another morning of looking at animals we pulled into one of the pastures and this guy gave us a look. with it being early in the hunt we decided to keep looking. After lunch we came back and fed corn in a couple spots and ended up going after the same Blackbuck we let pass earlier that morning. We managed to catch up to him and Dan was able to get a shot off. The Blackbuck jumped and ran 50 yards or so. We watched him fall and made our way over to him. After we took a few pictures we made our way to the skinning pole. After examining the bullet damage on the inside we where all scratching our heads how this Blackbuck took a single step. We found practically nothing left of the heart. Anyways Dan the man with a great shot and a took a great Trophy Blackbuck back to New Mexico to be mounted. Congrats Dan on a great Blackbuck.
Forister Exotics Red Stag Hunts
Doug made his way back to the ranch For another go at Red Stag. Being late season I knew the Red Stag Bulls where in hiding so it might be a long hunt. We started by checking a few spots I had been seeing some Red stag Bulls hanging out only to find a couple young red stag and some hinds. We decided to head for the cedar and see if we could flush anything out into the open. After a couple passes we hadn’t seen any Red Stag that fit the bill. As Doug and I where regrouping and driving to another area of the ranch we spotted some Red Stag bulls just slowly walking a ridge going down into a valley. I didn’t have my range finder but I knew they where far. We spotted a Red Stag that Doug wanted to shoot and I cut the truck off as Doug readied for the shot. Doug let the .270 go and down went the Red Stag Bull as we praised the shot the bull got up and moved through the cedar. We made our way down to start trailing what ended up being a very short blood trail. Later after Doug had left I went back and ranged the shot at 350 yards and realized we probably should have tried to get a little closer. Regardless Doug made a heck of a shot on this Red Stag Bull! Congrats my friend on another good hunt!