The sumac bushes and willow trees are beginning to show their colors and the oaks won't be far behind. This ushers in one of my favorite times on Tarbone Ranch. Fall temperatures and colors combine to create great outdoor experiences this time of year. We've been sleeping with our windows open and are serenaded nightly with bugling elk. It's among the world's most enjoyable night sounds.
The food plot production has been a struggle this year. We planted wheat, peas and turnips in the winter plots on Sept. 1 with predicted rainfall. Got the rain and the seed sprouted promptly. Then no more rain for 6 weeks. Most of the seedlings died from the extra high heat and dry conditions. We worked up another 1.5 acres the first week of October and planted another mixture of seeds hoping for production before first frost. Today is 17 October and the seedlings are finally showing themselves. I just have to hope they get going well before the first frost actually happens. Normally that is about November 10. I wouldn't mind if it waited a few days.
We enjoyed our first elk hunter a couple of weeks ago. Jordon took one of our biggest bulls. Pictures of his 8X8 bull are posted in the Gallery. The elk were in full rut during the hunt and we enjoyed a symphony of bugling. We had another elk hunter this week. Dale took a big cow in the thick woods. Great venison in store for him and his family.
Our first deer hunter scored yesterday with a 138” management buck. We had five bucks in front of us before one that we both liked came on the scene. Thanks to Robert for making a great shot. I love short blood trails. The bucks are actually being difficult to see right now. I guess it is the “October lull.” I think they are saving their energy for the upcoming rut. Most of my trail camera shots of the biggest bucks are coming in the middle of the night. Lots of rubs and a few scrapes are beginning to pop up though, and I expect the action to pick up very soon.
More rain is predicted for the upcoming week with cooler temperatures. We are preparing for more hunters to arrive at Tarbone Ranch with the upcoming weeks, so stay tuned for more success stories. As of now, we maintain a 100% success rate with each hunter harvesting the trophy of their choice. You could be among the lucky hunters. Contact me for your hunting trip with us here in God's country, the Wichita Mountains.