MONSTER FROM MORANI   1 comment

Squinting through the scope, I cannot see all the points on the whitetail buck.  Suffice it to say there is a bunch.  I have been looking at deer and other animals for several days.  Tonight as we are ending the hunt, I notice a couple of springbok feeding on the top of a hill.  Suddenly there appears a whitetail buck with a high rack.  Since it is post-rut I am leery of there being broken tines.  If the rack is broken it would be better to let him pass and try again next year.  Besides that it is a long way up the hill to the deer. 

My guide, Butch Amlong, Morani River Ranch Manager, keeps reassuring me that the buck is a shooter.  He is confident that my rifle will do the job and that the deer does not have any broken tines.  

We have spent countless hours watching herds of Kudu, Aoudad, and Sable.  Morani River Ranch is a major breeder of super exotics and endangered species.  Whitetails are also raised and sold.  More about this later. 

Butch keeps telling me that this deer is what we have been looking for these past three days.  But he is 316 yards away and I have never shot a deer at so long a distance.  Butch tells me to aim at the top of his shoulder.  I do and squeeze off a shot.  The bullet blasts off a piece of rock above the deer. 

In the fading light I can still see him standing there trying to figure out what has just happened.  Chambering another round, I put the crosshairs slightly lower and the rifle roars again.  No difference in this shot from the first one.  

The deer moves about 10 feet closer and stands broadside looking down the canyon toward where echo of my shot reverberates.  The third time is a charm as he goes down in a pile.  I look over at Butch who has a grin on his face and with shaking hands he gives me a high five.

Once things have calmed down, Butch tries to assure me that I will not be disappointed in this animal.  He explains that the deer is not one grown in their breeding program because he has never seen it before tonight.  He can only guess that it has been living on the ranch and just did not come to any of the feeders where he might have been picked up in a trail camera.

We take a bunch of photos and check the age of my trophy.  He is 7 ½ years old.  He has fourteen points including a nine inch drop tine.  I am not one who seeks to enter trophies in record books although I have a few in the past.  Once scored this deer is 207 5/16.  Butch checks the ears for a scar or hole indicating that it was a deer raised in their program.  It has neither.  

In the breeding program, fawns are tagged with plastic ear tags similar to those used in cattle breeding.  As they get to be about two years of age, the tags are removed and the deer are  sold to other ranchers.  My deer was not raised in the program yet he must have been on the ranch his entire life.  And no one has any recollection of ever having seen him.

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  1. Pingback: MONSTER FROM MORANI | Survival Fishing

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