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November 24: Jacob O'Dell

This story actually started back in June when Dave and I hunted free ranging Axis deer with our PSE’s for Bow Madness with Mike Stroff SOE Hunts. We had a very successful hunt and we had an absolute blast with Mike and the rest of his guides in camp(please see the June journal entry for the full story of that hunt). Of course the conversation of Whitetail deer came up and it just so happens that Mike has access to some great ranches in both the Texas Hill Country and in South Texas. I decided to go ahead and book a hunt for a management buck for my son Jacob in South Texas for Thanksgiving weekend.

Last year for Christmas my son received a new TC Impact Muzzleloader and Nikon InlineXR scope. We had spent time at the rifle range making sure that he was all sighted in and confident as he planned to use his Christmas gift for his Texas adventure with SOE Hunts.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving weekend and Jacob and I were on our way to meet Hunter, one of Mike’s guides in Uvalde TX and then follow him to the ranch where we would be staying. We were super excited about this hunt! When we arrived in camp we hooked up with Randy another one of Mike’s guides and we quickly prepared our gear and headed out for the afternoon hunt. The first afternoon started out slow. It was really warm and we did not see a mature buck until it was too dark to capture good video. The next morning the temps were in the low 40’s and it was like someone flipped a light switch. We saw deer from first light until about 9:30AM. We saw a dozen bucks and one great management buck that just never came out of the brush for a good shot opportunity. The afternoon of day 2 which was our final evening to hunt started out much like our first evening. We were in a double ladder set and it was warm and we were not seeing any deer. I did film an armadillo and I told Jacob that maybe that was a good omen as he had been hoping to see his first armadillo. I also told Jacob that we only had to see the right deer and that it only takes one. An hour later with filming and hunting light fading fast Jacob spotted movement in the South Texas brush. I looked through my Nikon binoculars and sure enough it was a shooter. He looked to be fully mature at least 5.5 years old and was a mainframe 8 pointer. It was a struggle to get good video as the buck was feeding in and out of the brush but finally he stepped out and presented Jacob with about a 70 yard shot. I gave Jacob the green light to shoot and bang went his TC muzzleloader. He made a great shot and the footage of the bucks reaction is awesome! Jacob could not stop shaking and he was super excited to harvest his first ever muzzleloader deer.

Jacob was also able to take an Axis doe while on this hunt and we are both looking forward to back straps on the BBQ as Axis deer meat is fantastic!

A big thank you goes out to Mike and all of his guides with SOE Hunts! The food, accommodations, and the hunting were all top notch and we can’t wait to go back and do it again next year!