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Old 10-18-2006, 05:22 PM   #1
Pope & Young
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Sealy, Tx
Default Dead Mans Pass Ranch report.Long Read.

Last Friday,10/5, my good friend and business associate Randy Peck told me that a client he had planned to take to the Dead Man’s Pass Ranch in Comstock, just north of Del Rio in Val Verde County, had to cancel due to family obligations. The hunt was already booked and paid for thru Tom Hooker, who owns the Bow Pro Shop Service bow shop off Green Greenbusch Road behind Katy Mills Mall, and now was a man short. There were two other spots taken up by Randy’s foreman Joe and business associate, Mark and they needed another hunter to reach the four paid spots.
He invited me, asking if I could go one such short notice. Needless to say I jumped on the chance and am so very glad I did. After a quick conversation with my most gracious boss, we began making the plans for the Thursday morning 5 AM departure time from Randy’s office.
We were going to be bow hunting while Mark and Joe would be using their rifles Thursday afternoon thru Sunday morning on the ranch where they raise giant whitetail and Elk. Ours was a management hunt consisting of a meat hunt for a spike or doe and a buck up to a 115” class, which we all chose to upgrade to a 130” for only a small fee.
Upon arrival to the Dead Mans Pass Ranch, Ross DeVries, the ranch manager who lives there with his wife Anna and their two daughters and 12-year-old son Ross Jr, greeted us. We also met our four guides, Craig, Robert, Michael J and Tom who we followed down there.
Ross made us feel at home the very moment we got out of the truck. He is truly a great guy with a gregarious attitude who made us feel like friends, and never a client or customer, for our entire hunt. His wife Anna cooked all of our meals in the guesthouse, which was like no other I have stayed in. You could tell from the beginning that these folks truly love what they do and this is no ordinary deer camp! It was incredible! Clean like you would not believe with every amenity you can think of from the floor up. There are two rooms with 4 bunks each that share a bathroom and two king size bedrooms on the other side of the main den area which also share a bathroom. I have hunted all over Texas and the south and have never been so well taken care of in such a nice place as we were by Ross and Anna. I think I gained 5 lbs while there. This was an all-inclusive hunt where we only had to bring our bows and clothes. Everything else was included, and I do mean everything. The fridge was well stocked and there were plenty of snacks and fruit, they leave nothing to chance.
Our hunt Thursday PM was fun but the weather was hot and not much was moving. We all saw deer but no one took a shot. Friday morning was nice and cool and the deer were moving all over the place. I was in a tripod in the top of a cedar and had deer around me from daylight till around 9. I had a nice 3.5-year-old 115 class in from of me but would not line up in one of my shooting lanes. I made a quick move and got picked off. They were gone in an instant. That afternoon we had to make a ground blind because the wind had shifted from the north to the south. We saw a few does and small bucks but never got a shot because I got picked off again trying to draw on a big doe. It’s tough to get a shot when there are ten to fifteen sets of eyes watching for you. The next morning we were back in the same blind with a misty rain falling. I had deer all around me and got picked off again by a big old doe with twin fawns. I learned to hate that deer over the next day and a half. She was always picking me off. She was one of the original breeder does and was said to be the oldest deer on this ranch. She had a red tag in her ear, which she thought made her impervious to hunters. I was told not to shoot any does with twins or triplets and that heifer had twins. Man I wanted to kill that doe bad!
After breakfast, it was still misting rain and I suggested going back out for a couple more hours and then come in for lunch before heading back out for the evening hunt. Everyone agreed and we were off in no time. Craig, my guide, and I had to run the red tag doe and a couple other deer off before I could get into my ground blind. I didn’t mention that each set up on the ranch has a nice tower blind overlooking the valleys and feeder. The guides would get in the towers and glass for deer and alert the hunter by radio when a critter was closing in. Having a spotter was really cool.
While I was hunting the red tag doe came back and brought another big doe with her. The 2nd doe was fair game and stood broadside at 12 yards from me while the red-tagged doe was 5 yards from me munching on sotto plants. The shooter was blocked by a weed just below her back and a wouldn’t take a shot thru the top of the plants, not wanting to wound or deflect and miss her. She finally took a couple of steps and I raise my Trykon to whack her. The red tagged b***h picked me off and snorted. Bye-bye shooter deer! I really hated that doe. Everyone in camp was giving me hell because I had been seeing so many deer and everyone else had taken their meat deer. One asked me if I wanted to use his rifle and I reminded him that we drove MY truck down there.
Later that same afternoon we were back in the same spot and Craig came on the radio and said, “you wont believe who is walking your way again”. My arch nemesis! The red tag doe! Trailing her though was the other doe. They circled me checking the wind and came back around to the sotto plant again. That stuff must be a drug to deer because they wouldn’t leave it alone. The r/t doe was a little behind me with her head down in a bush munching when the shooter stepped into the same position as she was a few hours before. This time I decided that I was going for a spine shot. I aimed for her, just over the top of the brush. If she ducked, I would miss, but at least I would finally take a shot. I aimed at the front top of her back and squeeze my release. Wham! She was down like a rock! I got over to her quickly to dispatch her and turned watched that B***H with the red tag go over the hill in a full run.
That same night, Joe shot a very nice 9 and Mark took a spike. It was a great hunt at a great ranch that everyone should try. I am going back in December when it gets colder looking for that 130 class and this time my wife will be hunting with me. I can’t wait! Sorry for the long read but I can’t explain what a great time it was any shorter.

pic of Randy,Joe and guide Robert
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pic of Mark & his cull
Attachment 495
pic of breeder deer that died the day before we got there.
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His offspring are running around the ranch right now.
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tower blind my guide was my spotter from
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Last edited by Snapper; 10-20-2008 at 08:38 AM.
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