“They running yet?” I questioned.
A snicker and then a laugh was the response I got from Chris Treiber who handles the hunts on Sandstone Mountain Ranch near Llano, Texas. “I know you’ve been in Africa for several weeks, but we’re still about four and a half months away from when whitetails will start responding to rattling horns! You getting a little anxious aren’t you!”
“Yeah I know but I’m dreaming about hunting on Sandstone again this year. Just went through a bunch of photos from the bucks Blake and I took last December, and I started yearning about hunting whitetails once again. I’m working on a couple of magazine articles, one which is about hunting on the ranch.” I responded while I was reaching for my set of Rattling Forks I had laying next to my chair. As we continued talking about what he was seeing in terms of antler development, I tickled the Rattling Forks together. In doing so I look at the full body mount The Wildlife Gallery had done for me of the Boone and Crockett Coues deer I had taken a few years earlier in Sonora, Mexico. For a moment I thought I saw and glint in the mount’s eye as I softly “played” with the Rattling Forks (www.rattlingforks.com).
“Got your calendar handy? Let’s schedule two hunts with you and Blake this year for your DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon show. Want to schedule one in October and one in late November. In October we’ll hunt for a big racked deer, before the rut changes the bucks regular patterns. ‘Cause as you know, once the rut starts there’s no way of knowing for certain where bucks we’ll have on trail cameras will be. Too, during the early October hunt, the bass should be biting really good. I know both of you like to fish as well…and we have some fantastic bass fishing.” I was nodding in agreement even though I knew there was no way Chris could see me doing so. He continued, then in late November the bucks should really be coming to rattling horns. We’ve got a very close buck to doe ratio and as you saw last year we also have a high percentage of mature bucks in the herd.” Again I was nodding in agreement although I knew Chris could not see. I’m not big on “face time” when it comes to telephones.
During our hunt on Sandstone Mountain Ranch in 2015 both Blake and I had taken really good bucks. Blake shot his first typical 12 point and best Texas whitetail, a buck in the low 170’s. Me? I shot a really old typical 10 with split back tines that I have often described as the handsomest whitetail rack I have ever taken! Still feel the same way nearly a year later! I also took a second buck, one that was over 8 years of age, a short tined, heavy 10 point with a long “flyer” coming off of one of his back tines. I shot both bucks with my Ruger Number 1 chambered in .450-400 NE 3”, using Hornady 400 grain ammo.
Some may think such round as “over-kill” but I like shooting whitetails with a wide variety of calibers and rounds, including those others might consider “a bit big”!
“What are you planning on hunting with this fall?” queried Chris. “Gonna bring another elephant gun?”
I smiled, “Not really certain yet, but I’ll likely try to take one deer with one of my Ruger revolvers and the other with a rifle. I’ve got a Model 77 Ruger in 7×57 that I bought shortly after the 77 was introduced back in the late 1970’s. Did so because of several articles I had read by our late mutual friend, John Wootters. Think it might be fun to bring that Ruger from the far back of my gun safe, put a new scope on it and sight it in with Hornady ammo. But then I may also bring a .375 Ruger I dearly love shooting and hunting with….”
“The 7×57 sounds interesting…” responded Chris!
“I’ll visit with the guys at Ruger and also at Hornady to see if they have something they’d really like me to use. But hopefully they’ll be OK with the old 7×57.”
“About the time I got back from Africa, I emailed back and forth with Steven Ray, who came up with Rattling Forks. He’s asked me to join him on a hunt out west of San Angelo, right after our hunt on Sandstone, during the first week of December. Should be interesting! I will have just tuned up my Rattling Forks with you, then hunt with him as well.”
I’m sure Chris heard me “messing with” my Rattling Forks in the background as we talked. “Sounds like you’re find tuning your Rattling Forks now!” I smiled. Then smiled even wider when my wife walked in the room where I was seated, put her hands on her hips, stood there, then rolled her eyes, turned and walked away.
“Can’t start to early, or in my instance, it’s simply staying tuned up.” I hesitated then continued, “Looks like we’re going to hold the 2nd Annual Rattling Forks/Dallas Safari Club Rattling Contest at the January 2017 convention. If you know anyone who might be interested in entering, tell them to start trying to get in touch with me. I think we’re going to limit it to the first 15 who enter.”
“Will do…have you gotten your buck back yet from The Wildlife Gallery? If you have send me a photo of the shoulder mount, would you please.” Asked Chris.
I told him it was scheduled to arrive here in Texas in late August and I would certainly send him a photo. A few moments later we said our “Good-byes”.
I picked up my Rattling Forks and started meshing them together. Almost immediately once again my wife walked into the room. Rattling Forks, they attract something good looking every time you mesh them together!
Be certain to watch the all new third quarter “DSC’s Trailing the Hunter’s Moon” television shows, which air on Sportsman Channel on Sunday night at 9:30 pm central and three other times during the week. For latest airing times, please go to www.trailingthehuntersmoon.com. To learn more about Sandstone Mountain Ranch go to www.sandstonemountainranch.homestead.com .