Texas is well known for white-tailed deer hunting, but the east-central part of the state is really a hidden gem. Much of the glitz a glam belongs to South Texas, though the Texas Panhandle has really started to shine in recent years. One of the best places for big bucks, hidden within a one hour drive from Austin, is the Granger Wildlife Management Area (WMA). This place is managed by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and this public hunting land is home to some giant white-tailed bucks.
This year, the Granger WMA had four, five day hunts. One of my good friends was lucky enough to get drawn for the second hunt, but came up empty handed despite seeing many legal bucks (bucks with an inside spread of 13 inches or greater or bucks with at least one unbranched antlers). He did see two true-to-life monsters, but they never got within bow range. And for those not in the know, deer hunters do not go to the Granger WMA looking for legal bucks, they go out looking for big, Kansas-style deer. Check out this big buck shot at the Granger WMA earlier this week:
“Earlier this year, in August, I received a letter in the mail informing me that my dad, my buddy and me had drawn the Granger WMA Crossbow hunt the week of 12-16 of December. I didn’t know a whole lot about whitetail deer hunting on this place, so I started during a little research. I kept hearing over and over that Granger is home to some very high quality bucks. I also went to TBH as an avenue for more info. I was lucky enough to meet a good guy that gave me a wealth of information and really got me prepared for this deer hunt.
So, I had drawn the crossbow-only hunt and I didnt even own a crossbow, let alone shoot one. I knew I was gonna miss my carbon element. I picked up an Excalibur Axiom and started practicing. We arrived here on Sunday, a day early, to scout the place the out. We did a little scouting and figured out which hunting compartments looked real good and prayed to the good Lord that we would be lucky enough to draw one of these.
Monday morning we had the hunt orientation then received the word on which units we would be hunting. We got one of the ones we were wanting, so our spirits were high and were just ready to get out there and hang some stands.
We started scouting and hanging stands at noon and this took us until 4 in the afternoon. Back home in where I deer hunt in Oklahoma, I probably would of called it a day and not hunted that night, thinking I would be getting in to the stand too late. We had been walking all over the compartment, but something inside of me told me I needed to go get in the stand for the last hour of daylight.
I climbed up in a stand we had set in a grove of cottonwood trees in the middle of a field that had a tonic sign. It looked like deer congregated in this area, then headed to the field to feed through the night. I was sitting there at 4:30, not expecting to really see anything during this deer hunting sit, but was surprised—to say the least—when 10 does started working their way down through the trees, right to my stand.
Then, another group showed and I am thinking at this point, man, we picked the right tree! Right at dark I see another deer coming from the field on a trot. I threw my binos up to see the widest buck I have ever laid my eyes on! He is 80 yards and has multiple trails he could choose—and he ended walking to the base of my tree! I was in utter disbelief when I lifted my crossbow up and aimed at this deer, only 10 yards away!
The big buck was slightly quartering to, so I put my scope on his shoulder and squeezed the trigger. I heard a thwack and watched as he ran 100 yards and bedded down on the edge of the timber. I thought I had made a good hit, but we decided to let him lay until 11:00.
We got back out there later and followed the trail exactly to where I saw this buck bed down to find his was dead right in his bed. It was an awesome feeling shooting this deer out of a stand I had just hung two hours earlier, with no bait or food plot. The best part is that it was only our first night and we still have a lot of deer hunting on the Granger WMA until Friday for my buddy to fill his buck tag!”
If you love Texas, you will LOVE this video!