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.
March on Tarbone Ranch We are still battling the remnants of the ice storm damage from Januaryʼs blizzard of ice. There is a light at the end of the tunnel though, and it seems not to be a train. Most of the big trees and limbs have been removed from the immediate house and headquarters area. There have been many trees damaged badly and most have had to be pruned heavily to allow them to recuperate to the best of their ability. The aftereffects of this storm will be visible for a long, long time. The work has been a grind and thanks to both Hunter, Tanner and Tammy for pitching in to get the job done in a timely manner.
Our power was off for 8 days and we grew a greater appreciation for electricity which we take for granted most of the time. We ran a generator to keep the freezer and fridges running. It also allowed us to stay warm by burning our fireplace with its fan blowers. Glad that is over for sure. Now if I can just get most of the downed trees and branches out of my yard, I will be ready to go fishing.
When you look back at life, the best things that remain are the memories. Trophies mark our progress as anglers or whatever craft we pursue, but it is the memories that matter. Memories you keep and memories others keep of you are true measures of a lifetime.
There are lots of memories in my past of fishing tournaments and other life experiences.
Here are some of the ones I will keep: