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Old 04-08-2015, 10:58 AM   #1
Travissalinas
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Default Sika buck with Cash Joy

1/16/2015 Archery Sika Buck Hunt

If you ask someone what is the next exotic you want to hunt, few people ever say sika. Texas just has some many cool critters I wanted to hunt and I found myself always pushing thoughts of sika to the back burner. I mean if you had to pick between axis deer, black buck, scimitar oryx, aoudad or even fallow deer or a sika buck most everyone I know would pick something other than sika. I have been fortunate enough to enjoy good success on a variety of exotics in Texas and New Mexico and sika hunting had been on my back burner. I always figured I would focus on them one day, and then along came a chance to hunt sika with Cash Joy's Hill Country Hunting Adventures.

The things I learned while researching sika is that the Japanese is the most common with the smallest body and horn configuration and the Dybowski is the largest in both body and horn. The Dybowski sika usually sports some spots where as his Japanese cousin usually is chocolate brown. There is also a Manchurian sika which is not as common as the other two varieties.
I also had some previous hunting experiences where we crossed paths with sika en route to other game. I was guided a whitetail hunter and we wandered across this chocolate deer that was whistling and grunting at us so we ground checked him much to client’s delight. I had also lobbed an arrow at a skittish sika buck while I was out chasing axis only to have him duck the arrow and leave the county. In these field encounters, I observed that sika look and act a lot like miniature elk, they even “whistle” instead of bugling as if they were prepubescent malanistic miniature elk.

My sika hunt was to take place in Ingram near the YO Ranch and according to Cash the sika there have some Dybowski genes mixed in their blood which makes for some better than average horns!
After a very wet September and October, the western hill country of Texas was lush and green and looked beautiful. I spent three days in late October in a bow blind with one sika sighting. He was a shooter but I did not get a shot opportunity due to my hunting buddy, Quaylito, being on the side of the blind I should have been on. Lesson learned is that a 4.5 year old still takes up enough room to cramp a popup blind. There was no wing and Quaylito hasn’t quite mastered the art of stealth and the opportunity quickly disappeared. We heard other sika “whistling” out in the oak forest but they never joined the scores of white tail and turkey that cleaned up the corn each hunt.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:58 AM   #2
Travissalinas
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Cash and I made plans for me to return after a good cold snap and a hard frost to kill any green vegetation and make the resident. Winter arrived late but Mother Nature made up for lost time with some freezing rain and ice storms around the Junction area. By mid-January when I reconnoitered with Cash all semblance of green on the grass had disappeared and the forest floor of the Texas hill country had returned to rock and dirt.
The truck thermometer read 26 °F as we spread out an entire bag of shelled corn in arcing patters near the feeder. I huddled and shivered as dawn approached and listened to the crunch of corn kernels in the mouths of a multitude of dark deer shapes that had come in before the feeder. This was the same spot I had hunted back in October, and again I had the viewing pleasure of a wildlife spectacle. I had eighteen white tails, two of which were mature hill country basket racked bucks, seven axis deer, and twenty one turkeys. Two of the axis were nice bucks, one in mid growth of his velvety rack and the other a fine specimen with hard horns, but again, I was here for sika and I watched that beautiful axis buck gobble down his breakfast.
Cash had scouted the other popup blind and had four sika bucks, two of which were surely shooters so for the evening hunt we relocated to that blind. The wind wasn’t quite right, but then again it was only blowing about 1 mph diagonally to the west of the feeder. Cash had watched the sika herd approach from the opposite direction so I took the stand.
We had bumped several white tail and four young fallow bucks off the feeder when we approached. I was thumbing through my book about the Illinois gangster, Black Charlie Harris occasionally checking the white tail that had quickly returns when I looked up and gazed four chocolate brown sika bucks cautiously approaching from a big flat. One buck was broke up, one was young and two were dandies! I silently got the video cameras rolling and an arrow knocked only to have the sika hang up at forty yards. They milled about while the rest of the deer continued to eat at the feeder which was at a range of twenty five yards.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
Travissalinas
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Then I got a reminder that sika are skittish creatures. One of the bucks screamed an alarm bark and all ten or so deer fled the scene and pulled up about 150 yards out into the flat only to stare back in my direction. Slowly but surely, the white tail crept back to the feeder and began to eat. Then the fallow followed suit. The sika deemed the coast was clear and they returned but they still harbored suspicions about the feeder area.
The sika began to feed but I never could get a shot at the buck I wanted. He had all the traits of old age. His frame was stout and portly, some of his chocolate mane had turned a little blond as if he was graying and he had the best mass and horns of any his buddies. The fact that his horns were not very broken up this late in the season was surprising as well, perhaps due to his above average mass. Another observation was that if another deer moved to his left size he would always shift his stance around. This shuffling always seem to conveniently place him out of danger of standing broadside to me. Before he could turn broadside the same perpetrator as before barked another alarm and scattered all the deer from the target zone.
The same scene unfolded again, only this time the sika took even longer to return to the feeder. Over and hour had passed since the first sighting and day light was waning fast. The clear evening skies promised plummeting temperatures once dark fell and I guess the empty bellies of the sika got the best of them. They returned to the feeder for a 3rd time and this time my chose target was in prime position for a kill shot.
Both cameras were rolling as I slowly drew back my Bowtech Experience. There was not a breath of wind to cover my rustling and one of the whitetail does begin to walk off with in the classic alarm strut. No Bueno, I felt like she was seconds away from stomping and snorting. The same sika who had already barked twice this evening had also jerked his head up but luckily he resumed feeding. I observed all these events in slow motion as I placed the crimson dot of my SABO just behind the shoulder of the sika I desperately wanted. He took a step that now made him quarter slightly towards me. **** the luck I silently mouth but it’s just going to have to do. Then I touched off the release. My arrow was tipped with a fantastic broad head called a grave digger. It is a hybrid of fixed and mechanical blades that I have had wonderful success with. This same broad head hammered the sika buck just behind the shoulder and surprisingly buried up to the fletchings. I was shooting slightly downhill and my arrow caught him about 3 inches higher than I had hoped. Rocks rolled and gravel crunched as deer sped every direction. My buck was easy to track with the red Nocturnal sticking out of him and I saw it eventually tumbled out. I ripped the beanie hat from my ears and strained my ears. I heard a muffled thump and what sounded like a few rocks being kicked then all was still.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:01 AM   #4
Travissalinas
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I sat in silence and watched a few of the now fully spooked deer standing out in the flat as dusk fell. Out across the large flat I could see the beam of Cash’s headlights slowly bouncing their way down the rocky road so I packed up my gear and met Cash where the buck had been standing at the time of impact.
We made a quick recovery of the back half of the arrow that had the Nocturnal and 60 yards later we reunited it with the front half and a fantastic sika buck in between! I’m not sure how to age a sika, but when picked the meat up from the he processor I showed him a picture of the back and he said “I could tell he was old”. I’m not sure if that is a good thing coming from the meat processor, but the sika chopped steaks with jalapeno and cheese have been delicious!
I still remain perplexed as to how the grave digger broad head failed to full pass through. I had similar hits with the same style broad head that yielded fantastic pass through performance, the best of which was through a 210 pound white tail buck. The arrow flew an additional 25 yards through grass and brush before fully lodging in a tree trunk. The thought of staring at this wondering mount and pondering that thought gives me a smile, that’s yet another reason to love bow hunting.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:02 AM   #5
Travissalinas
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjtkxV1eVPk
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
Travissalinas
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also posted the video on vimeo

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Old 04-08-2015, 11:56 AM   #7
Cooper
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That is great......Congrats!!!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:04 PM   #8
Ttechhunter
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Congrats great write up and video.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:14 PM   #9
Hector7
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Nice, congrats
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:40 PM   #10
txpanhandle32
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awesome video and write up, congrats
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:44 PM   #11
npe001
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Awesome video! Congrats and thanks for sharing
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:04 PM   #12
Adam G.
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Great write up and video, congrats!
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:18 PM   #13
The Manager
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That is the next exotic on my list. Very nice and great write up and video!!!
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:21 PM   #14
Ag_Attack
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Awesome!
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Old 04-08-2015, 07:35 PM   #15
Fajkus7
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Awesome video
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:26 AM   #16
Travissalinas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Manager View Post
That is the next exotic on my list. Very nice and great write up and video!!!
yessir PM returned
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:33 AM   #17
Texastaxi
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Sika is high on my list, right now.
I loved that write-up ... could you go totally old school and post a LDP?
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:46 AM   #18
jcso139
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awsome!!!!
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Old 04-09-2015, 12:11 PM   #19
TravisMears.com
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Congrats. Awesome video as always
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Old 04-09-2015, 09:54 PM   #20
doole44
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Congrats...
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Old 04-15-2015, 05:56 PM   #21
twdjr
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Nice!
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:07 PM   #22
Travissalinas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texastaxi View Post
Sika is high on my list, right now.
I loved that write-up ... could you go totally old school and post a LDP?
quizas... but probably not
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:21 PM   #23
ajm2nac
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congrats. great write up, and great video
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Old 06-10-2015, 06:33 PM   #24
RAGUIRREJR
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Awesome video & write up
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Old 06-11-2015, 12:50 AM   #25
WyoHunter
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Great writeup and great video. Congrats on a very nice Sika!
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:34 AM   #26
Hands On
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Great video. Congrats
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Old 08-11-2015, 04:50 PM   #27
Bluesman
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Nice going!
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:44 AM   #28
ajavelina
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Nice shootin!
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Old 01-15-2016, 08:29 AM   #29
Travissalinas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoHunter View Post
Great writeup and great video. Congrats on a very nice Sika!
many thanks, i'm no sika expert, but i beliece this was a pretty good one
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:45 AM   #30
kimbo slice
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things really came together well on that video. sika definitely have a "cool" factor to them. well done
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