Our hunting lease has a variety of animals ranging from whitetail, black buck, and axis deer. It also has turkeys, hogs, rabbits, and squirrels. And if you are the predator hunting type, there are also coyotes and bobcats. Sounds like an awesome lease, eh?
In October 2017, we received word that the property we lease had been sold. We had 90 days to get feeders, blinds, tree stands, etc. off the property. Talk about devastating. You see, bow season in Texas starts October 1st so one can understand why this is so heartbreaking. There’s no possible way to get all items off this lease and still have time to find another lease and get set up. So my husband and I made a plan.
A few weeks later we decide that we would make one last trip before we have to be completely off this lease. We arrived at the lease on Friday afternoon. My husband tells me to shoot anything I see. Ha. I only have 5 deer tags and a few turkey tags, so shooting whatever I see, well, it wasn’t going to happen. He drops me off at my stand around 3:30pm. 5 minutes pass and a large whitetail doe and smaller deer walk under my feeder. Then a spike and another doe walk out. I wait a few more moments then decide one of these does is going in my ice chest. I get my bow ready and notice that these deer are spooked. I look to my left and here come the owners cows so I knew I had to act fast! I waited til the biggest doe turned broadside then took her out. I watched her run past my stand and could see the hole where I hit. I told myself, “Good job, Jess!” It was getting dark so my husband came and picked me up. We found the doe about 30 yards away from my feeder. We placed her in the bed of our side by side and headed back to camp. We celebrated with fresh tenderloins.
Fast forward to 5:30am the next morning. I get to my stand no later than 6am. I get settled in and wait for dawn. I look out and see a figure near my feeder. I get my bow down and and look through my night vision scope and see a whitetail buck. I get excited! This excitement immediately grew to fear when I realize my batteries were dying. I’m thinking, I have extra batteries but I don’t want to make too much noise. I gather batteries anyway, place them in my scope and wait til daylight. I notice as I’m waiting the battery symbol is flashing on my scope. No way this is happening! So I turn my scope off and wait. As he gets just right, I turn my scope back on and take him out. I see him run to the right of my feeder then hear him run on what sounds like metal or tin, then, his final breath. Wow! I did it again! Two days in a row!
I wait an hour and leave my blind to check my arrow and blood trail. I find my buck! Maybe 20 yards from where I shot it. I text my husband a pic and he tells me to reload and get back in the blind and, of course, good job! I get back in my blind and get a text from him saying “maybe an axis or turkey will walk out”. As soon as I get done reading his text, I hear loud foot steps. I look up and turkeys are coming to my feeder. I reload my bow and notice they pecked at the ground for only seconds and start leaving. Okay, now I have to do something. A turkey is coming home with me today! So as the turkeys were leaving I get a turkey positioned in my scope and take it out. All the turkeys including the one I shot, walk about 50 yards away from my feeder. I peeked out of my side cutout and see all the turkeys fanned out and circling the turkey I just shot. It was pretty cool. This lasted about 20 minutes or so. And then they finally walked away. So I decided I would retrieve my turkey.
I start thinking, “What if the 2nd set of batteries would have died?” I would have not been able to make this happen. I immediately thanked God for all my blessings.
Fast forward to Sunday morning. Again, I’m in my blind and settled before 6am. A small 4-point whitetail comes to corn but I chose not to shoot. It starts to drizzle and he leaves. A few hours pass and not one animal has come to corn since seeing the 4-point. My husband and I decide to head back to camp. We have to prepare to leave to go back home. I start thinking that the next visit we make will be getting our feeders off. But then I realize I need to focus on what happened here this weekend. Lots of fun – animals were killed and memories were made. Our lease may be sold but the memories will last forever. And of course I got to help fill the freezers at home!