- Nov 30, 2010
- Reaction score
A Reverse Texas Heart Shot:The Admiral had been out in Colorado playing nanny to Ms. Bliss this summer when I went to Catalina to hunt. No hunting for her there except for hunting for sleep though they did have some bears wander through on the lawn. Therefore, when deer season opened up at Catalina after Thanksgiving, we snuck out in December dodging rainstorms for a deer. Met up with our friend RK in the afternoon in Avalon - it was a rainy evening so we simply went to the bunkhouse and turned in for the night. Next morning, it was misty but too wet so we drove down to one of the canyons. We walked around a bit when RK spotted a buck but as we were upwind, by the time the Admiral was zoned in, the buck had sensed us and had disappeared over a ridge. Bugger! It would have been a chip shot and an easy recovery. Therefore, we went back up and then drove over to the other side of the ridge. As we proceeded down that canyon, sure enough, there was the buck about 175 yards away among some tall brush. He was now upwind and standing almost straight toward us and wondering what we were doing. The Admiral quickly threw up her shooting sticks, aimed and fired. The buck dropped, got up and then dropped again a few feet away. Great.
Does it really exist?
Does it really exist?
But there was a deep steep canyon between him and us. As we are discussing a plan for the difficult recovery, the Admiral shouts; “Bugger” (I cannot repeat actually what she said) and then; “he’s running”. Sure enough, we see him go running down the ridge into the canyon. Before we can bring a rifle to bear, he disappears into a big bush on the steep hillside. But he does not reappear. We had a good view so we were pretty sure he must have piled up there. Therefore, RK goes back uphill, gets on to the ridge where the deer is and hikes down. When he gets to the bush in question, he sings out, “Come over here with a rifle” as the buck is still alive. I shout back why don’t you finish him with your knife RK then adds that the deer is standing 20 feet away and staring at him. It was a “Catalina “standoff”. RK only has a small knife and did not want to feature in the story; “Man killed by wounded deer.” RK sits down so as not to spook the deer and I take off with a rifle. It must have taken me 10-15 minutes to reach RK and just as I do, the deer finally falls over.
Unfortunately for us, he was a big-bodied 3x3 animal that meant it was going to be a real slog getting him out - no off-road driving is allowed on Catalina. Fortunately, if you look carefully at the picture above of The Admiral with the deer, you can see he was one of those very rare bipedal bucks, e.g. no back legs. Actually, given the location and this buck’s size, after struggling just to get him up the first very steep 30 yards, RK wisely cut him in two. You can clearly see in the second picture of The Admiral with the deer, there are no hind quarters, she is posing with the front two thirds. “We” (I did help some really) then carried the two halves out. After this recovery, the Admiral was asked (you cannot command her) if possible that all future deer were to be shot UPHILL.
On examining the animal, we came to appreciate that the Admiral did one of her patented “YMBK” shots. Since the deer was facing almost directly toward us, she aimed for the front left chest but the shot was a bit to the right, entering in the left flank, and coming OUT about ½ inch below the rectum as shown in the picture and then actually passing through the tail. I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.
It was a “Reverse Texas Heart Shot” that none of us had ever seen done before. For you non-hunters, a Texas Heart Shot is shooting an animal IN the rear end…
The next morning was foggy and misty so after a look around with nobody moving except a small spike who may have been legal due to how small his antlers were but we decided to let him grow up. Thus, we went to harvest “wild” persimmons. Someone had kindly planted persimmons trees out near Middle Ranch in time immemorial. A local arboreal primate dressed in blaze orange that looked a lot like RK willingly scampered up one of the trees. We scored big time on the persimmons. Ah persimmon jam with venison, that is going to be a treat.
Later that day it again rained heavily so we took the time to break down the buck and then in the late afternoon, the Admiral and I hiked to a good overlook near Middle Ranch and watched for deer as the sun was going down. Found no deer but I did manage to pick up a lovely tick that made itself known by the appearance of a painful spreading rash on my left biceps that evening. He was removed with extreme prejudice. The next morning it was so wet and muddy that we were confined to the main road and even part of that was closed so after a brief look around, we took the ferry back to the mainland. A very relaxing and enjoyable trip as ever. According to several “reputable sources”, there appeared to clearly less deer this year at Catalina than in past years in spite of the return of the rains. Are years of drought finally catching up with the deer population? Either that or the vegetation/food was so lush and abundant that the deer were harder to spot and/or staying more localized.