My Hill Country Deer Hunt
August 21, 2018
Editorial Staff (261 articles)
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My Hill Country Deer Hunt

By Macey Leichliter

When my dad told me that Texas Trophy Hunters had called him, I had no idea what they told him. He told me they held a drawing for all the kids who had entered into the big buck contest at the Hunters Extravaganza last summer.

I was surprised when my dad told me they chose my name for a hunting trip in the Hill Country. When the time came, we loaded up the truck with the gun I would use, the shells, my earmuffs, and the usual hunting gear, and headed south.

It would be a long drive in the cold weather. My dad and mom sat in the front seat, and I sat in the back seat. As we drove down the road we saw lots of whitetail deer, something I really enjoy because around our house, we don’t see very many. On the drive to South Texas we played some games like “I Spy,” and find something that begins with a certain letter in the alphabet. These games made the time go faster.

When we finally made it to the R Diamond ranch, and the Rabke’s house, they greeted us. We met the hunt manager, Reagan Rabke, and his daughter, Holly. I was so happy I had someone my own age—I’m 10—to hang out with. Holly and I played outside for a couple of hours and got to know each other. We played around outside while the adults were talking and getting to know each other.

When the adults came outside we got unpacked and suited up. After what felt like an hour, but was only 20 minutes in the stand, the first doe came in. After that, all the deer came flowing in. While Reagan, Dad, and I were in the stand, we all were looking at a blackbuck.

All of a sudden, the blackbuck went under our stand! We also saw a lot of whitetail deer coming in from all directions. Then we saw a nice big-bodied four-pointer with an acorn tip, beneath the feeder. It was the biggest whitetail buck I could find. There were three whitetail bucks, three people, and three blackbuck.

Dad and Reagan were looking out the back of the elevated stand for something that might try to sneak in from behind us. I was looking at the feeder and told them I saw a buck at the feeder. They said, “OK.” I said, “It’s a big’un.” They both turned their heads and Dad said, “Yeah, it is.” Dad put the rifle in the window and handed it to me.

Hill Country buck

Macey with her Gillespie County buck.

The buck started to walk off towards the right. I waited for him to stop, then I took the shot. I’d shot him high and back a little. The buck made a U-turn and ran back past the feeder and stopped with all the other deer behind a few trees.

I put the gun back on safety and waited for what seemed like forever. A smaller buck finally stepped out. We had to shift shooting windows so I could get another shot at my buck. I think Dad was more nervous than me!

A couple more deer came out slowly from behind the tree. My buck stayed back for a long time. He stepped forward just enough for me to get a second shot at him. I hit him good!

He hobbled out to the field a good ways and just wandered around wanting to jump the fence, but he didn’t. Then Reagan said to go ahead and finish him off so the buck wouldn’t suffer.

I put the crosshairs on him as he stood at the fence 185 yards away, and squeezed off the shot. I didn’t have the rifle seated right and I popped myself with the scope.

I’m glad Dad’s scope has a rubber guard on the eyepiece. I only got a little bump next to my eye.

The buck did what looked like a backflip and fell.

When Mr. Stan Rabke came, he flashed his lights on his truck. I thought it was the game warden at first, but when he rolled down the window, I knew it was him. We took a lot of pictures there. When we got back to the house we took a lot more pictures.

I got to “help” skin the buck with my pink camo folding knife that my parents bought me at the Hunters Extravaganza in Fort Worth last summer. I let Mr. Rabke and Reagan finish taking care of my buck while I went in the house and played with the girls. I ate supper and went to bed. They processed the buck, and did a great job on the sausages and steaks.

I want to thank Texas Trophy Hunters, the Rabke family at the R Diamond ranch, and my parents for the amazing trip and hunt of a lifetime for me!

Editor’s Note: Macey entered this buck in the Annual Deer Competition at this year’s Fort Worth Hunters Extravaganza. She won first place youth female typical in Modern Arms High Fence category.

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