Tarbone Ranch 2014 Review
Recovery is a good word to describe the year. Spring rains were in short supply leaving the ponds in need of more water. Summer rain was better, but still no runoff to fill ponds. Thank goodness for our year around spring that has maintained a steady level and supplies an excellent water source for our animals at all times. It even maintains open water during times when other sources are frozen due to its flow of relatively warm water.
Summer rains were enough to allow the native grasses and food plots to survive, if not thrive. Oak and other species saplings are continuing their reach for the sky. This has produced a plethora of cover for the various species allowing them to bring their offspring into the new world in safety and shelter.
Our bison produced two female and one male calves. It’s unbelievable how fast they grow. The elk herd also grew by three with two male and one female calves being born. All these young animals seem to be doing great on the grass and food plots. Of course, they all seem to have a liking for the high protein deer food as well. This program is expensive, but it assures the health of all the animals on the Ranch.
In October, Paul from Smith & Wesson came down to the Ranch on an elk hunt. He wanted to use the S&W .500 revolver to try to take down a big bull. He managed to find and harvest a monster bull with one shot from the big handgun. This bull green scored 377” even after having broken both his G2’s while fighting other bulls to maintain his dominance and breeding status. Before the breakage, he would have score around 417” since both broken tines were over 20” in length.
In November, Maria traveled from south Texas to take a meat bison for her family to enjoy. She and Billy arrived to beautiful weather. After shooting her new AR 10 in to verify her zero we started the hunt early the next morning. After a rather long hunt, we managed to get the shot she needed to take down this big female bison. The animal fell in a difficult spot for retrieval, but we managed to get it done. We all pitched in to make sure the meat was well taken care of. They put all the meat into big ice chests on their trailer and took it straight back to Texas where they will enjoy their winter meat supply.
Next came Shon and Bruce on a quest to take two elk for their winter meat supply and trophies. Bruce was first to find a suitable management bull. He took it down with an excellent shot from his .45-90 Sharps with a period scope. This bull fell in a rocky rough spot, but with the help of my tractor, we managed to extract it to the skinning rack. After skinning and boning the meat, we placed it all in a big ice chest and continued the hunt for Shon’s cow elk.
The herd had become rather skittish, but finally we managed to locate a suitable mature cow in a small opening. One shot from Shon’s left handed .45-90 Sharps was all it took to put this big cow on the meat pole.
The most special thing about these hunts was that both guns used in the hunts were hand made by Shon in his workshop, Eychaner Rifle Works.
Thanks to all these hunters, we had a good year on Tarbone Ranch. All of our hunters managed to take their quarry with a single shot. This says a lot about the quality of their equipment and their ability to use it.
We are looking forward to the coming year. It’s always easy to look forward to finding out what the new year will bring. There will be shed antlers to find and new calves and fawns to discover.
If you would like to come hunt with us, please give us a call and we can make some memories together.