Night Hawk Stories... Entry 37
Why Hunt the Ford and the Quinn
EDITOR'S NOTE: How much does taking a trophy buck cost a hunter? You may not truly want to know. If you calculate the prices of transportation, food, lodging, a lease, a hunting license, time away from work and other expenses of taking a trophy white-tailed buck, you'll find that the average hunter spends a minimum of between $2,000 and $5,000 a year - whether he's hunting with a bow, a black-powder gun or conventional weapon. Since often a deer hunter will hunt for five to 20 years attempting to take a trophy buck, that buck can cost from $25,000 to $100,000. Think about how many years you may hunt without bagging a big buck. Then you'll realize how much money, time and energy go toward that one opportunity to bag the buck of lifetime with your bow.
"Eight years ago I made my first trip to the Ford Ranch," Kenny Jarrett of Georgia said. "Although I'd heard about the ranch from friends, I was totally unprepared for the kind of hunt I would experience. The first morning I went out to hunt before shooting light, I saw three monster bucks in the moonlight. When daytime finally arrived, I watched three of the largest bucks I'd ever seen mill around. At 8:30 a.m. the biggest whitetail I'd ever seen in my life walked within range, and I shot him instantly. He scored 148 points on the B & C scale."
Jarrett took the biggest buck of his life in the first three hours of a four-day hunt. He also saw two bucks bigger than any others he'd ever seen. As soon as he got back to the ranch, he bought a second hunt to allow him to bag another buck.
"I wasn't about to leave that place without seeing more of those big bucks," Jarrett commented. "Then on the second morning of my hunt, I spotted a buck even bigger than my first one. That deer would have scored well into the 150s or 160s on the B & C scale, but I couldn't get a shot off."
On the third day of his four-day hunt, Jarrett bagged his second buck, a 140 pointer on the B & C scale.
Jarrett takes monster-sized bucks almost every time he goes to the Ford Ranch. But he readily admits his wife has bagged the biggest buck in the family ever taken on their visits to the Ford Ranch -- a 155-point-class B & C.
"I'm most impressed with the tremendous bucks I see each time I hunt the Ford," Jarrett mentioned. "I've paid as much as $3,500 to hunt other ranches and never seen a quality buck or fired a shot. I believe a hunter who has never killed a deer in the 135- to 145-point class B & C will have the best opportunity to take one at the Ford Ranch."
Last season Jarrett didn't bag a buck when he hunted the Ford. He had predetermined he would try and harvest a buck bigger than any buck he already had taken there.
"I let a 140 pointer walk off," Jarrett reported. "He was a real trophy, but I'd already gotten a buck bigger than him. Even though I didn't shoot last year, I had the opportunity to take six bucks that would have scored around 140 points on the B & C scale. For an inexpensive trophy hunt where you'll see more big bucks than you've ever seen before, I believe the Ford Ranch is the place for you."
Most of us would appreciate having the opportunity for at least once in our lives to take one buck that would score 140 points B & C. At the Ford Ranch last season, Jarrett let four bucks like that walk past his stand without ever firing a shot.
Mike Kotch of Houston, Texas, has lived and hunted throughout Texas all his life, especially for trophy bucks. Each year he takes customers on Texas deer hunts. But the first time Kotch went to the Quinn Ranch, he saw something he never before had seen.
"On the first morning of my hunt, I saw 20 bucks," Kotch said. "Although most of them were in the 120- to 125-point class, I glimpsed some bigger bucks. I had never seen such a large group of that many bucks and no does. On that hunt, my first at the Quinn Ranch, I took a 152-point class buck."
The Quinn Ranch doesn't boast the acreage the Ford Ranch has but neither does it take as many hunters during the season as the Ford Ranch.
"At the Quinn Ranch, you can see plenty of mature bucks and more of them than I have ever seen anywhere else," Kotch reported. "I believe most hunters who go to the Quinn will have the opportunity to bag bigger bucks than they will almost anywhere else in the country. For the hunt of a lifetime, you can't beat the price."
You can contact the Ford Ranch at (915) 286-4572 and the Quinn Ranch at (915) 597-2647.
Tomorrow: Why This Area is a Video Paradise