November 21, 2011

It's not just about hunting...

I am thankful for the amazing people that God keeps putting into my life. I have always felt that people are put in our lives for a purpose. The last few weeks have further solidified that belief. I am blessed to have some the greatest friends in the world. They span the gamut in personalities, gender, age, political leanings and religious views. They are indeed a motley crew. Each one of them makes me a better person for knowing them. I can only hope that I bring them some small blessing as well. I do know that I can never repay the gifts they've given me. I spent this weekend 20ft up a tree and felt closer to God than I have ever been on the ground. I was afforded this opportunity by the generosity and giving spirit of friends that He placed in my pathway. Surrounded by the majesty of this earth, surrounded by the sounds of the forest, I was transported. It's difficult to explain the peace that is available in the cold darkness waiting on the light of day. It's certainly a metaphor some of the darkness I've wandered through in my life. If we wait, patiently, the sun will rise and warm us. The sun will rise and show us what bounty there is. A life lesson in real time, what a gift to be given. God, the universe, fate...whatever you call the driving force in your life...has been good to me. I have been given more than I deserve, more than I need. And so, today and everyday, I'm thankful for the friends I love and need.

November 2, 2011

Texas Two Step at the Quatro B…

When I sit and reflect about the events of the last three years I’m often stunned by the amazing things that I’ve gotten to do.  I’ve had the good fortune to be surrounded by some great hunting mentors.  I’ve also gotten the opportunity to hunt in some amazing places!  A few weeks ago, I got to go back to TEXAS with some folks I definitely consider mentors.

Let me rewind a bit….last April a group of 9 folks and myself made the trek to D’Hanis, Texas to try our bows at some exotics.  As a relatively new hunter, I’m acutely aware of my limitations.  That trip certainly pushed them, and not always in a good way. One of our party sat in a bar stool chained to a tree for a deer stand. I would have been completely uncomfortable with that situation.  And while I certainly enjoyed the camaraderie, the hunting was less than wonderful.  The animals were not healthy  looking. They were few and far between.  A handful of our group killed a few animals and we DID have fun, but the trip was not really what I expected.  All I brought home was fleas.

Contrasting that trip is our recent one to the Quatro B Ranch.  The term “night and day” comes to mind. 

We left my house at 3:30 in the morning headed to the Quatro B Ranch in D’Hanis, Texas, a 10 hour drive.  I couldn’t help but wonder if this was going to be worth it.  I’d checked out their website, but appearances can be deceiving.  In this case…they were not.

From the moment the gates opened I knew that this was going to be a COMPLETELY different experience.

IMG_4250We were met in the lodge (which is beautiful) by the owner Doug Boazman and our guide, Carlos.  After unloading the vehicles and choosing our bunks (the bunk house is amazing) we reconvened in the lodge.

Doug went over the rules, discussed our skill levels and reviewed what we were looking for.  The package I chose included a horned exotic, a Texas whitetail buck and two hogs.  I added a red stag doe and an axis doe for a minimal fee.  Carlos then took time and reviewed the animals, their habits, distinguishing features with us.  He had a wonderful reference book as well.  I was the only one in our party that really needed it, but it was a great resource.  Fallow doe vs. axis doe?  There is a difference! Now I felt confident that I would be able to tell the difference once I was on the stand.

We took a brief tour of the ranch with Carlos.  It’s truly an amazing place.  It’s situated on part of an old GM test track.  Do you know how surreal it is to be driving along a test track and see a herd of fallow deer cross not 25 yards in front of you? 


The animals we saw were in fantastic shape.  Healthy, slick and beautiful.  I couldn’t wait to get into the stand.

This was going to be an amazing trip.