Zendals Texas Crossbow Buck

Here in Illinois, the temperatures had been in the single digits and snow was everywhere. A few days after Christmas found Ralph and I on our way to Texas to hunt Whitetails with a good friend John Dedwiler on his private ranch. These deer were wild Texas deer, not the high fence monsters you visualize when you think of Texas Deer.

We thought that traveling to the Lone Star State would get us out of the cold of northern Illinois for at least a few days. Wrong—when we picked up the rental car and turned on the radio, all we heard was the weather warnings about the snow, wind, and cold coming in the next few days. The cold had actually followed us;  we all have luck, but not always good luck.

On this hunt we had brought a Ten Point Crossbow, actually the six point model, to try our hand with a crossbow in Texas. It was going to be my very first attempt with a crossbow. Driving out to Johns Ranch was typical for northern Illinois, the snow and wind made us feel right at home. Camp turned out to be John’s fifth wheel camper, which would comfortably sleep eight I believe. We definitely would not be roughing it on this trip.

We settled in and soon had the crossbow sighted in after disassembling it for transit. Within a few shots it was spot on and we anxiously looked forward to a great time with new friends. John’s occupation as a veterinarian for some of the largest whitetail bucks in the world really fascinated Ralph and I when he mentioned some of the bucks that he had worked with. While John was working for the next few days, Brian Huckabay, the County Game Warden, would be our guide and show us the ranch.  That evening, along with John’s father, we were treated to a steak dinner second to none at the Busy Bee Tavern, one of the best steakhouses anywhere.

I ran camera for Ralph for the next few days, and he shot a great 10-point buck the third morning and we nick-named him Chocolate; we even had Brian sitting with us and we had many enjoyable conversations and a lot of laughs with him.

That evening I started hunting for my Texas trophy. With Ralph, Brian and I all in a blind, the time seemed to fly by and soon we were packing up to head back to camp. The next morning was slow for us and we headed for lunch, we would be back at it early afternoon.

That afternoon, we sat in the same blind as the morning sit, and had several small bucks come in, nothing that was over 2-1/2 years old, until a really tall 8-point showed up. He was definitely mature and was very wary coming in. The small buck that was still there convinced him there was no danger and our wind was from him to us and he finally came in. Ralph and I positioned ourselfes and when he turned broadside, I let him have a Spitfire Max, which blew through him like he wasn’t even there. From where I was sitting, I could watch as he went maybe 40-yards and went down. I had actually taken an animal with a Ten Point.

My first animal with a TenPoint was easier than I expected. Once we had the bow sighted in, it put every bolt exactly where you wanted it. I see now why so many hunters  count on crossbows when they can no longer pull the poundage, or just want  another way to spend more time in the woods. They are perfect for kids and are more than effective.

Back to my buck, we recovered him just as the sun was setting. He was such a beautiful animal. His cape consisted of finer, shorter hair than I had ever seen, making him very unique to me. Ralph and I always have a great time hunting together and this was a definite blast. I need to thank John, Johns dad, and Brian, for making a very memorable trip. They were all top notch and  really fun to be around. Thanks again to everyone involved.

Hunter: Zendal Carroll

Cameraman: Ralph Cianciarulo