Texas Whitetail Hunt: Big Buck Down

My bowhunting success definitely seems to come in bunches, and 2011 has been a very good year. As you can see from the photo above, I took a dandy 11-point buck this week during a hunt with Vatoville Outdoors outside Eldorado, Texas. This was my first time hunting whitetails in the Lone Star State, and I must say it was quite an experience.

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that certainly applies to Vatoville Outdoors. The sprawling, low-fence ranch covers more than 9,000 acres, and the number of deer I saw on the property was unbelievable. Outfitter Steve Anderson and his crew do a great job managing the property for trophy bucks, and despite really tough habitat conditions as a result of record drought, I saw a number of tremendous bucks throughout the week. In fact, I told Anderson that in only three days of hunting at Vatoville, I probably had more quality  buck encounters than I could expect in several years worth of hunting near my home in Pennsylvania.

Adding to the exciting this week was the fact that the rut is in full swing right now in West Texas, and that meant the bucks at Vatoville are extremely responsive to rattling. In between our stand and blind sits, we put on a number of rattling sessions and called in well over a dozen bucks in relatively short order. Man, that rattling action is fast and furious, with bucks literally running in on a dead sprint and usually leaving as fast as they came. It definitely makes for tough bowhunting, but I am glad I had a chance to experience it. I have never seen bucks so responsive to rattling anywhere else, and I am already making plans to add a decoy to the mix and refine our setups on my next visit.


More on this week's hunt in the days to come...


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Center Shots: How to Improve Your Bow Tuning

Field editor Bill Winke goes over steps you can take to improve the tuning on your bow.

Bill Winke

Bill Winke's Top Five Bow Shooting Tips

Petersen's Bowhunting Field Editor Bill Winke give us his top five bow shooting tips

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Ravin Broadheads – 3 New Mechanicals

Designed exclusively for their crossbows, Ravin has announced three new mechanical broadheads to maximize penetration and overall performance.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More


It's that time of year when Arrows & Broadheads

2017 Fixed-Blade Broadhead Test

Jon E. Silks - December 12, 2017

We Rank 16 Top Models on Sharpness, Accuracy, Penetration & More It's that time of year...

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show! ATA Show

New Mechanical Broadheads for 2019

Brian Strickland - January 10, 2019

Check out our top picks for the best new mechanical broadheads to debut at the 2019 ATA Show!

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm SS performed in our technical tests! Bows

2019 Bowtech Launch: Realm SR6 & SS Review

Jon E. Silks - November 07, 2018

We got our hands on the brand new 2019 bows from Bowtech. See how the Realm SR6 and the Realm...

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for the year! ATA Show

Best New Bows for 2019

Tony J. Peterson - January 10, 2019

We've rounded up the best new compound bows at the 2019 ATA Show. Here are our top picks for...

See More Trending Articles

More Whitetail

Prepare now to ensure a victorious whitetail season this fall. Whitetail

The Perfect Game Plan for Bowhunting Whitetails

Bill Winke

Prepare now to ensure a victorious whitetail season this fall.

Follow these tips to accurately determine the age of bucks on your property. Whitetail

How to Age Whitetail Bucks on the Hoof

Jason Snavely

Follow these tips to accurately determine the age of bucks on your property.

Properly managing your doe harvest each year will ensure the healthiest herd on your whitetail property. Whitetail

When to Shoot Does on Your Whitetail Property

Dr. Grant Woods

Properly managing your doe harvest each year will ensure the healthiest herd on your whitetail...

Try these tactics to make a clean getaway at the end of legal shooting time. Whitetail

How to Leave Your Treestand without Spooking Deer

Bill Winke

Try these tactics to make a clean getaway at the end of legal shooting time.

See More Whitetail

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Bowhunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now