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Annual Late Winter Hunt

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/23/2017 at 17:02
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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This weekend is going to be a great time. Annually the state hosts a hunt at the Chaparral WMA in deep south Texas.
This is a a huge ranch where they conduct studies on wildlife. There are no feeders, it is all natural habitat. They do permit road feeding and you are welcome to put up stands, but they have to be taken down before you leave.

This go around, my son will be attending with me. It is something I have been looking forward to for years, when he reaches the age where I can share a meaningful passion of hunting, camping, cooking, and harvesting tasty creatures from field to table. I was hoping to get him out this past Fall, but I have been so busy from everything going on, I didn't get to go anywhere outside of the trip to Colorado and once in Arkansas. Arkansas was a bust, and I lucked out on a nice Muley in Colorado, but those trips are not something I was comfortable taking my son on, because of the travel, walking, ect... I didn't want him to walk away from those environments thinking that is the threshold of he now was looking to do every fall. I wanted something more local for him, something close to home and more native, thus this golden opportunity to see native Whitetails and Javalina. 

While back, I picked up a Remington barreled action in .243. Great caliber for a growing young man. Then I was tasked with finding a stock. Came across several things, that didn't quite work the way I wanted. But then Magpul introduced the Hunter 700. What an excellent solution to bring this new rig to life. so now, he has a turn key rig that he can grow into until he becomes of age to purchase his own trusty equipment.

I will have pictures of it, him, and our excursion to south Texas - Stay Tuned!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2017 at 04:12
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Sounds great...have fun and don't forget the pics.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2017 at 05:25
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Originally posted by Skylar McMahon Skylar McMahon wrote:

This weekend is going to be a great time. Annually the state hosts a hunt at the Chaparral WMA in deep south Texas.
This is a a huge ranch where they conduct studies on wildlife. There are no feeders, it is all natural habitat. They do permit road feeding and you are welcome to put up stands, but they have to be taken down before you leave.

This go around, my son will be attending with me. It is something I have been looking forward to for years, when he reaches the age where I can share a meaningful passion of hunting, camping, cooking, and harvesting tasty creatures from field to table. I was hoping to get him out this past Fall, but I have been so busy from everything going on, I didn't get to go anywhere outside of the trip to Colorado and once in Arkansas. Arkansas was a bust, and I lucked out on a nice Muley in Colorado, but those trips are not something I was comfortable taking my son on, because of the travel, walking, ect... I didn't want him to walk away from those environments thinking that is the threshold of he now was looking to do every fall. I wanted something more local for him, something close to home and more native, thus this golden opportunity to see native Whitetails and Javalina. 

While back, I picked up a Remington barreled action in .243. Great caliber for a growing young man. Then I was tasked with finding a stock. Came across several things, that didn't quite work the way I wanted. But then Magpul introduced the Hunter 700. What an excellent solution to bring this new rig to life. so now, he has a turn key rig that he can grow into until he becomes of age to purchase his own trusty equipment.

I will have pictures of it, him, and our excursion to south Texas - Stay Tuned!


You may think this funny coming from me, but he may never want or need another caliber.  .243 is outstanding in my book.  I've taken a lot of deer with one, lots of varmints.  Great "all around".  Good choice. 

Have a great hunt...

Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2017 at 05:53
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I hunted Chaparral WMA once years ago. It's a cool place! If memory serves, hunting access there is by draw only. What animals did you get drawn for? You said deer and javelina... buck? Doe? Youth doe hunt?

You said this is an annual hunt. How have you managed to get drawn multiple years in a row? I'd like to know the secret!

Good luck! I'm sure no matter the outcome you'll have a great time!


Edited by RifleDude - February/24/2017 at 05:58
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2017 at 07:47
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That sounds like a good father son bonding event! Serve him well.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/24/2017 at 10:40
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I started with a .243, killed many deer, elk, yotes, rabbits, etc, with that thing.  It is indeed a great caliber. 

Sounds like a great time Skylar.  I bet you are crazy excited to starting doing things like that with your boy.  This spring I am going to introduce a savage rascal to my oldest boy.  He will be 4 in April.  He loves shooting with me now, I let him drop the round into the action for each shot, he thinks it is a hoot. 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/27/2017 at 17:11
Skylar McMahon View Drop Down
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Well, it was a long drive in the middle of the night to south Texas. Shortly after leaving the Czech Stop in West, Texas, both Hayden and my dad passed smooth out, leaving me to getting us there.

We arrived at the WMA campgrounds a little after two AM.  While I tried to get comfortable sleeping in the front seat, Hayden says dad, I'm thirsty. I had already taken my shoes off and told him I would get out and get him a water.
Stepping out of the truck, I stepped right on a cactus thorn, where I exhibited some choice explicit phrases, found the water in the dark, gave it to him and pulled the thorn for my foot. Later finding that comfortable position again, I fall asleep to be awakened again by the old mans alarm.

We get up, I get dressed and prepare a fire.  I was planning on using a striker fire and lint from the dryer I had saved to show my son, when my buddy in the RV brings over a propane bottle and 500K propane torch kit to start the fire. Then had a huge wok and began to cook breakfast. A dozen eggs, Sausage, bacon, and pepperoni cooked quickly and then spooned into warmed up tortillas, made for a true Texas style breakfast. Meanwhile Hayden learned of the general camp candor from friends. He later asked me, why do you make fun of each other?
I explained to him, when you have good friends, I mean good friends that you trust closely, you will jokingly rib each other, it's not meant in a demeaning fashion. But it's reliving those memories shared together through the good times of hanging out with each other. There is some truth in the jokes, but much of it is just harmless playing around.  After all that, we load up and head into the Chap for orientation. Listening to the biologist talk about the species.



You can see, he was in the zone and listening intently. Then the fun part, the drawing. Like Ted noted above, this WMA does offers hunting, but by draw online. Texas has expedited and no longer need to mail in your entries, they are no provide an online form, you fill it out, and your waiting on them to draw. Those who are drawn immediately are taken to get paperwork in order, however it is a gamble, but annually we have shown up for stand by and have been lucky enough to participate by being picked. Sadly this year was not favorable. First time I have been, waited on stand by and was not picked, guess I had reached the opposite side of the rainbow.
We concluded our time at the Chap, went back to camp, cleaned up everything and left it as it was one they arrived. Then explained to my son, that we have to take responsibility to keep areas like clean, for others in the future with similar mindsets can enjoy the same resource. So things like, making sure, 100% your fire is put out.
Trash is picked up and dispensed in the proper bin.
Making sure we didn't leave something behind we needed.
Ect...

Hayden thinking that the weekend was over, was surprised by my buddy Andrew. He mentioned heading out and going to Boerne, where he has a MLD 3 place and still has to harvest 10 whitetail before the 28th. Needless to say, he was up for the task. He drive up there, eat a small lunch and then sit in the blind.
Mind you, that I haven't had any sleep yet.
We get in the blind and....





these two turkeys are out like a light.  Meanwhile waiting on the feeders and scanning the area for movement, I'm waiting on what may wonder out, be it a ferral hog, Whitetail, or the occasion escapee axis, I would wake him and let him harvest the animal for his first hunt.
As the night took over the day, we climbed out of the stand and headed to my buddies place. Started dinner, and this is where I'm kicking myself, I was so engaged with talking to the group, that I left my camera in the truck and didn't take any pictures of the table fare.
Picture if you will, huge baked potatoes, wrapped in foil resting in a bed of coals until done, above that small chuckeye steaks & hot dogs kissed by the flames from the mesquite burning in the wood box. Next to that in the smoker cheddar stuffed bacon wrapped jalapenos, axis tamales, and a pot of baked beans warming up.
Plated it was something worthy of awe and hindsight being 20/20, I should have photographed it.
No that procrastination has the best of me, I will have to get something for the photo contest last minute.

The following day, we get up, head to the blind and wait on the feeders to go off, sadly nothing showed up for us, but my buddy Jim did harvest a young 8. Hayden scrubbed in and wasted no time jumping in and helping in the cleaning process.


He learned alot this weekend. When I go out hunting it's work, there is a lot to do, from camp set up, food prep, cleaning, filling feeders, checking cams, ect...But there is a lot of fun involved at the same time. Our relationship evolved from the over bearing hard pushing father/son relationship to a friendship. Last night he came to me at bed side and asked if I was awake, I said yes, he jumped on top of me and said that he really had so much fun on this trip, thanked me for the great time, and gave me a huge bear hug.

While it was a short trip, with long days he had a great time. Made some new friends, tried some new food, and learned more of hunter inside him, that instinct most of all of us uniquely share together.


That .243, is a great rifle. I joke about it being a dinky rig, but it's a nice rig for a young man his age. It is all that he will ever need to harvest anything, like Supertool said, animals of all sizes with the proper round placement he will have some great success.
The only thing that I would like to do to it now, would be;
1) Re-barrel it. The barrel on it now, if the thin pencil barrel and the stock's barrel channel is a huge gap. While it doesn't affect the performance, it's an atheistic thing for me.
2) Maybe cerakote the rifled action.

The mods are:
Magpul Hunter 700 S/A Stock in Stealth Grey with bottom metal and two mags.
Jewel Trigger
Talley Lightweight mounts
Vortex 3-12X42 Diamondback HP
3" M-Lok Picatinny mount for the Atlas Bi-pod
(Atlas Bipod) when I'm not using it on my rifles
Magpul MS4 Sling

So, he now has his own bow, rimfire rifle, centerfire rifle and learning about respect along the way as he grows.
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/27/2017 at 18:19
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👍🍸💥 Thanks for the story and pics Sky, that's great!!!
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2017 at 08:46
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Years down the road, when looking back, the trips that fail to produce big game produce the most lasting memories. This does not apply to good Dove hunts. AAAHHH the memories! Wink
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2017 at 09:27
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Good story Skylar.  
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2017 at 09:29
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Great commentary Sky.  Thanks for sharing your hunt and experiences with us.  Excellent
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: February/28/2017 at 22:22
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A great read.  Thanks
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/01/2017 at 14:18
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Awesome brother! That is what it's all about! 
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)     Back to Top Direct Link To This Post Posted: March/02/2017 at 03:20
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Sounds like a magic time was had by all and you held things nicely together.
Thanks for sharing..
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