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Old 09-23-2019, 08:25 AM   #1
Stins
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Location: Willis, TX
Hunt In: Callahan Cty & Woodbury Cty Iowa
Default NM Public Land DIY Solo Bull

After putting in for Unit 15 elk for 8 years I was finally lucky enough to draw one of the coveted tags. This is one of the famed Gila units although a little less notable than the 16 units. I rolled into camp a day and half early to set up camp and do some scouting.

After some very encouraging outings to scout, the rain settled in and created quite a mess for opening morning. Despite the rain, I dawned my rain gear and headed out. That morning actually proved to be the slowed of the week. As the hunts when on it continued to get better and better. At the end of day one I had already seen or heard close to a dozen bulls and passed a shot on a spike and been very close to two bulls fighting. Each day I learned something new. The next day I rose put my gear and new boots because my feet were soaked from the day before. I went back to a very rugged area that I left elk at the day before. Again I was on elk but had a bit of a run in with a local guide as he blew a heard out of the area with his Ranger. I called it quits and headed back to camp for some warm food. At camp I realized that I had a wardrobe malfunction, the soles of my Danners had fallen off and were only held on by the wire from my gaiters.

After a few phone calls and a quick 3 hour trip into Springerville Arizona, I picked up a new pair of Under Armour Bouzman boots and was back in business.

I continued to hunt hard in the back country putting on lots of miles and having incredible opportunities but always one step behind the elk or getting busted by cows.

The morning of the 4th day I was up early and headed out to try and hunt the same elk I had been chasing for 2 days. However I was going to try and attack them from a different way and come in from the bottom. As I am driving out to the area I want to park and start my hike in, I stopped to check my GPS. When I do this I hear 3 bulls on the ridge line to my south. With this, i quickly changed gears, parked my Ranger and gathered my gear and was off. As I crest the ridgeline, I continued to hear the 3 bulls firing off. I use the cover of darkness and moonlight to stalk into the middle bull. As the shooting it slowly becomes shooting light I see one of the bulls step out broadside at around 60 yards, however my ranger finder had some morning dew of the lens and I could not positively get a range and elected to pass. As that bull moved on, I headed off to the bull to my left. As I close the distance I see the large bull step out, again broadside. This time I get a range but he is 91 yards, about 20 yards out of my comfort range. As I stand still watching to see what the bull is going to do, his cows blow out and take him with him. I sit a bit confused what caused this. Then I heard some aggressive bugling and racking of a tree, then I see a guide, hunter and cameraman step out up wind of the heard. They make there way down and never see me until they get about 10 yards away.

At this point, I am a bit frustrated but my focus quickly turns to 3 more bulls to my south. I head off and withing minutes, I find myself stalking a bull and as I can hear myself getting close, I am in a wide open park setting when it happened. As I approach the side of the hill it slopes off, I see the tips of antlers coming up form below. I instinctively drop to a knee, put my release on the loop as he crests the hill headed directly to me. At 40 yards I debated a head on chest shot as I thought he would see me and not continue forward. However luck would have it, he let out a bugle and continued to me making a right hand turn and walking behind a small bush allowing me to draw my bow. He then stepped out at 30 yards quartering too me. I settle my pin and watched the lumenock find its mark. As the bull did a 180 degree turn, I could see my arrow buried deep but at a relatively hard angle. At this point, i backed out and decided to give him 3 hours just in case. After a long 3 hours I headed back and followed his tracks, with no blood. After a short 100 yards I found my bull piled up.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:29 AM   #2
rocky
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Impressive!! Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:34 AM   #3
Hoss163
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Location: Abilene tx
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Heck yeah great bull congratulations


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Old 09-23-2019, 08:36 AM   #4
BO-N-ARO
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Plano
Hunt In: Kansas / Missouri / Africa
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What a great hunt my man. Well done and congrats on a fabulous bull!!!
How old were those Danners???
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:36 AM   #5
flywise
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Location: Kempner,Tx
Hunt In: Blanco, Nacadoches,NewMexico,Colorado
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Waydago!!
Lots of respect on a solo hunt.
I came close a couple times on my own several years ago.....still have not connected.
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:36 AM   #6
Michael
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Location: Home: Hallettsville, TX Photo/Video: Canon 7D DSLR
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Awesome writeup, Travis! Congrats again on the bull. Sounds like a VERY eventful several days! Way to go, amigo!
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:38 AM   #7
DZM
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Man that’s awesome! Congrats
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:39 AM   #8
armadillophil
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Location: Keller
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Awesome job. Congrats
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:43 AM   #9
BlackHogDown
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Location: NW Houston
Hunt In: Duval County, Livingston
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Heck of an accomplishment. Congrats! Great bull!
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:45 AM   #10
Passthrough
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Nice!! Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
TheHammer
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Location: Carthage, TX
Hunt In: Coke Co, Panola Co
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That’s one heck of a bull! Congrats on sticking it out through it all!
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Old 09-23-2019, 08:53 AM   #12
chino
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Location: cedar hill
Hunt In: public lands
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WOW!

Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:04 AM   #13
3DW5
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Location: Clear Lake
Hunt In: Leon Co, Jim Hogg and Starr Co.
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Really impressive, Congrats.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:04 AM   #14
brian215
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Location: Houston
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Awesome, congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:09 AM   #15
gatt40
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Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
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Congratulations
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:13 AM   #16
TP3
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Location: Dripping Springs, TX
Hunt In: Hays, Val Verde co
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Nicely done man.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:13 AM   #17
Slick8
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Location: Richmond, Texas
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Congrats on a great hunt and thanks for sharing the story.

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Old 09-23-2019, 09:18 AM   #18
texan16
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Location: Fairfield
Hunt In: Freestone/Schleicher Counties
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AWESOME hunt, congrats !!!!!!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:20 AM   #19
menglert
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Corpus Christi
Hunt In: Jim Wells, Runnels
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Sounds like one heck of a trip, congrats.

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Old 09-23-2019, 09:22 AM   #20
Chance Love
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Location: Leander, Texas
Hunt In: Hill Country and South Texas
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Good job, man. Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:27 AM   #21
cgny27
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Location: Far North Dallas
Hunt In: Anderson County
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love the right up and pics...thanks for the share!! great job...and solo....#beastmode!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:28 AM   #22
RCDuck
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Location: DFW
Hunt In: Love Co., OK
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Beautiful Bull!

Fairly Bold move with the A&M tent... haha
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:32 AM   #23
Cardinal
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Henderson County
Hunt In: Henderson Co./Anderson Co.
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Awesome bull and write up. Congrats!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:32 AM   #24
SHSU18
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Location: Cypress Tx
Hunt In: Brady, Tx
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Congrats on the Bull! Seems like you worked hard for this guy!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:34 AM   #25
CSanders
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Location: Mont Belvieu
Hunt In: Palestine
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Congratulations! Nice write up as well.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:34 AM   #26
Rwc
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Congrats on a fine bull and great write up.

Rwc
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:35 AM   #27
BTLowry
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Location: Lindale
Hunt In: Behind the house and public in Texas; Kansas Unit 5
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Big congrats

Thanks for sharing your experience

Sounds like you stuck it out and were rewarded for your persistence


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Old 09-23-2019, 09:35 AM   #28
Uncle Saggy
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Awesome job, congratulations!!!


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Old 09-23-2019, 09:35 AM   #29
Stins
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Willis, TX
Hunt In: Callahan Cty & Woodbury Cty Iowa
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Thanks guys and the really lucky part was that I shot him in an area where I was able to drive my range right up to him. Had I killed one of the bulls that I was previously after, it would have been a extremely tough pack out.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:36 AM   #30
Fmjag64
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Hunt In: N.TX & W.TX
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That's awesome! Good job!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:38 AM   #31
unclefish
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Location: Katy, TX
Hunt In: Elk in CO....Deer in Lyons, TX
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Fantastic! Congrats on a great bull!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:42 AM   #32
Jesus is Coming
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Location: Duncanville,Tx
Hunt In: A great spot
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Great bull! Great write up too!
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:42 AM   #33
sectxag06
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Location: Austin
Hunt In: Eldorado
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congrats and Gig 'em.
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:44 AM   #34
letsgoboys8204
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Location: lakeside,TX.
Hunt In: Childress,Colorado
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great job and awesome story
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:53 AM   #35
James
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Hunt In: Kinney County, Kansas and Out West
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Very cool, great bull! Gig Em
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Old 09-23-2019, 09:58 AM   #36
quarterback
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Sunnyvale
Hunt In: San Saba
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Great bull, way to stick with it and get the job done. Congratulations on getting it done in New Mexico.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:04 AM   #37
ccbluewater
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Location: Cypress
Hunt In: Freer
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Awesome write up, and bull! Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:05 AM   #38
Briar Friar
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Texas
Hunt In: San Gabriel, Colorado and Rio Grande watersheds
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Gigem! Good bull!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:12 AM   #39
Chad C
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Location: The Hills
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Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:17 AM   #40
KactusKiller
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Location: Midlothian, TX
Hunt In: Irion co, Navarro Co
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Man that is too cool!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:18 AM   #41
Killer
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Location: Powderly, TX
Hunt In: God's green earth
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congrats on a great bull!
8 years is a long wait but it looked like it was worth it!
After packing bull moose out of Alaska tundra and elk off mountains in Colorado. The best part of your story was "I killed him in an area were I could drive my Ranger right up to him"
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:27 AM   #42
topwater blowup
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Spring
Hunt In: Victoria
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Wow sounds like a tough hunt with the infringement of neighboring guides. Congrats on the Bull...
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:28 AM   #43
Jspradley
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Location: League City, TX
Hunt In: Wherever I can
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Awesome!! Congrats man!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:34 AM   #44
03GruntUSMC
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Wilco
Hunt In: Llano, Tx/ Colorado
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Fantastic write up! Congrats!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:37 AM   #45
Dusty Roads
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Deer Park
Hunt In: Victoria
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Congrats... Thanks for sharing
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:40 AM   #46
Arrowslinger1
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Wills Point Tx
Hunt In: Rotan tx, Coleman ok
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Bad *****
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:41 AM   #47
marshhunter
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Tomball
Hunt In: El Campo / Brookshire / Pineland
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That is freaking AWESOME! Congrats!!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:43 AM   #48
roberts
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Austin,TX
Hunt In: Llano and San Saba
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Congrats on a great bull.
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:44 AM   #49
Quackerbox
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Location: Magnolia
Hunt In: The woods
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Dang, is Dirk Durham your brother?


nice bull!
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Old 09-23-2019, 10:46 AM   #50
elhefe
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Location: Montgomery, Tx.
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that is awesome. Congrats and thanks for sharing
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