"Of Mega-Bucks, Prayers & Dreams"
Sealy Outdoors Mega-White Tail Buck Contest
"Hearing the brush part behind me I "immediatley froze" just as prayer #1 appeared not more than twenty yards from me where it began stomping and snorting while staring straight at me."Too close for me to even "breath", stated the wide-eyed hunter, "the massive 12 point G-4 "Mega-Buck" stood its ground for what seemed like "forever" before finally raising its tail and bolting off down the sendero and into a thick patch of Mesquite and Cacti. "Sick & shaking with a good dose of "Muy-Grande" fever, I finally "breathed" and moved to release my gun safety "just" as another huge "Mega-Buck" trotted out into the sendero. "But this time I was ready, grinned the hunter, "as prayer #2 was about to be answered!!
In the world of hunting, most of us who trek the woodlands, sendero's, and ridge-lines to enjoy our hunts, seldom experience the "ultimate" thrill of bagging those Mega-Buck's of our dreams. "But, for the few who've managed to realize those dreams, "we, of the more normal hunting experiences, are content to read about those who experience the adventures of their lifetimes. Such as what happened to Kenneth Harding, of Tyler, TX., who experienced an emotional "roller coaster" while on a deer hunt in South Texas.
Making the eight hour drive from Tyler to their Company's open range hunting lease in South Texas, Ken Harding, and co-worker, Bill Blomdahl, arrived at the 9,000 acre Webb County spread on December 2nd, of 1999. Hot and dry when they arrived, Ken was determined to bag a record deer from the Callaghan Ranch which had previously produced a 10 point Big Buck contest winner for Bill for a lower 160 point buck. "With my entry in the Sealy Outdoor "Mega Whitetail Bucks Contest", stated Ken Harding, "I was pressing the on-going friendly rivalry between Bill and I to the hilt as to "who" would get the biggest buck this year. "Several incredible deer had been spotted on this ranch last year, Ken advised, "and Bill had scouted a young buck that would've scored in the upper 160's, so he went off to that area to try and hunt for him, while I decided to check out some untouched areas which were in the middle of some thick cactus & mesquite patches near some creeks. "I was very surprised to spot several nice mature bucks moving about this area, Ken informed, "so I set-up my tri-pod stand in a deep creekbed for the next days hunt.
"Excited by an early cold front that was moving in the next morning, "I fully expected to see something really exciting at my hunting spot as I quickly dribbled some corn, and some Tink's, (a doe-in-heat scent), before climbing up into my stand to wait for first-light. "This is always a very exciting area to hunt, explained Harding, as he spoke of being able to see everything from Bob-Cat, to Javelina, to Cougar, walk out from the thick brush. "You just never know what you'll see in this area, Ken advised, stating that this rugged area was the same as it must've looked over a century ago.
"Just before first light, Ken continued, "the wind suddenly shifted in from the north as a young buck passed through and kept on going at a full trot. "Right after that, Ken informed, "a massive buck with a 12 point typical rack suddenly "parted" the brush and moved within 20 yards of me where it immediatley started snorting and stomping its feet right in front of me. "The huge Buck never allowed me to move as it just kept staring at me for about 15 seconds before finally raising its tail and bolting off back into the thick brush. "Whew" was my first expression as I finally breathed in some fresh air, "then, Ken further informed, "as I moved to take the safety off my rifle a second "huge" Buck loped into the sendero right in front of me. "But this time I was ready, Ken advised, "as I was able to get off a shot that I thought hit him square. "But, Ken grimaced, "the Buck didn't go down but kicked out its legs instead and bolted into the thick patch of cacti and mesquite. "Devasted and sickened by the thought that I may have just wounded the deer of a lifetime, "I just sat there for about 30 minutes "fussing" before finally moving down to see what had happened. "After spotting some good blood signs on the ground, Ken advised, "I then moved into the thick cover to try and locate my "Muy Grande" "Little did I know at the time, Ken Harding stated with a smile, "but the answer to my 3rd prayer lay but 50 yards in front of me.
"With a typical twelve point spread that scored 192 "Boone & Crockett" points, Mega-Buck CEO, Bob Sealy, began to announce to the huge crowd at the George R. Brown Convention Center, in Houston TX, "from Tyler TX, "your 1999 "Overall" Gun Division winner, Kenneth Harding of Mineola, TX. As the proud hunter, husband, and father of newborn twins, stepped up on stage to accept his awards, an archery hunter from Sherman TX, prepared to make his way to the stage.
With caution in the winds, the seasoned bow hunter alerted to the motion of the 10 point buck as it neared his position, but only mental sights would bracket this deer as Mike Corzine allowed the buck to pass as he had his bow tracking something bigger,...... "a lot bigger!!
Located north of Dallas TX, along the upper Red River basin of Lake Texoma, Grayson County provides some exceptional deer hunting, an opportunity that Mike Corzine, and hunting partner, Ray Petree, took advantage of during the extended bow hunting seasons. Corzine, a former rifle hunter, bought his first bow back in '91 and only chuckled at the comment made by the clerk who advised that Mike would hang his rifle up after getting "the feel" of the bow. To this day, stated an appreciative Mike Corzine, "I have yet to pick my rifle back up as "the feel" of bow rekindled an old dream of becoming "the ultimate hunter", where skill & stealth over-rides the mechanics of the bottom line hunts.
It was this newly honed hunting skill that Mike Corzine had with him the evening of November 7, while on his GameTamer tree-stand focussing on the massive 13 point rack of a mature "mossback", which in turn was focussing on the commotion just below him. It was 5:45 pm, and with the daylight fading fast, two doe's were "acting-up" just below Mike's stand as they were keenly aware of the huge bucks presence.
s the heavily racked buck suddenly disappeared behind some Cedars, Mike, worried by the quickly fading light, strained now to keep track of the buck's position as he now concentrated on the doe activity below him, watching their large radar like ears as they seemed to monitor the bucks location as it casually moved towards them. Suddenly, as one of the doe's reared up to "wack" the other doe with her front hoofs, the huge antlered buck finally stepped out into an openning not 40 yards to Mike's left. "But, as Mike's aim was obstructed by a small tree, he held his breath, and his bow at half-draw, "another step, and the huge buck was only 30 yards away now, "but still no shot was available as it was protected by a small bush, "then, as the buck moved closer, Mike, his Mathews Ultra-Max at full draw now, let fly as the buck took his final step. A loud "SMACK" followed by the "thwip" of a released arrow echoed the hit as Mike's Muzzy armed Easton ACC-Shaft found its target. The buck, now kicking-out wildly, crashed into a Locust tree and quickly disappeared back into the thick brush. Holding his breath for what seemed like eons, Mike finally breathed out a sigh of triumph "just" as the final shards of daylight ebbed into total darkness. Mike Corzine, his heart pumping now from the essence of the total preditor, stepped down from his stand as he now faced the task of finding his Mega-Buck trophy in total darkness.
"And from region 3, Bob Sealy announced to the throng of hunting enthusiast's, " with 181 & 2/8ths Boone & Crocket points for his "massive" 13 point buck, your "Overall" Archery Grand Champion from Sherman TX, Mike Corzine. As the husband, father of two, and "seasoned" bow hunter stepped up to claim his archery honors, a rekindled dream of becoming "The Ultimate Hunter" had finally come true.
MEGA WHITETAIL BUCKS
Ken Harding and Mike Corzine take the top honors at Sealy Outdoors- Mega Whitetail Bucks Texas Big Buck Contest, which covered the 1999-2000 Texas Hunting season.
Ken Harding of Tyler, TX won Overall Grand Champion Gun Division, Region 4- 192 B&C
Mike Corzine of Sherman, TX won Overall Grand Champion Archery Division, Region 3- 181 2/8 B&C
WINNERS BY REGIONS AND OTHER DIVISIONS
REGION 1- GUN TYPICAL
REGION 1- GUN NON-TYPICAL
REGION 1- ARCHERY TYPICAL
REGION 2- GUN DIVISION TYPICAL
REGION 2- GUN NON-TYPICAL
REGION 2- ARCHERY TYPICAL
REGION 2- ARCHERY NON-TYPICAL
REGION 3- GUN TYPICAL
REGION 3- ARCHERY TYPICAL
REGION 3- ARCHERY NON-TYPICAL
REGION 4- GUN TYPICAL
REGION 4- GUN NON-TYPICAL
REGION 4- ARCHERY TYPICAL
REGION 4- ARCHERY NON-TYPICAL
YOUTH DIVISION- TYPICAL
LADIES BEST BUCK
OPEN DRAWING (between members)
Duffy Benjamin Polaris Sportsman 500
For more information on Mega Whitetail Deer, as well as Big Bass Splash, Team Splash, Big Trout Splash, and "other" special events, contact Sealy Outdoor's at (409)-698-2591 -or clic to- <www.sealyoutdoors.com>
Mega Whitetail Bucks sponsors; Dodge Trucks/Texas Dodge Dealers, McCoy's Building Supplies, Compu-Feed Electronics, Force Flight, Texas Fish & Game Magazine, Knight & Hall Game Calls, Rockin' L. Ranch, Hot Trails Scented Candles, Academy Sporting Goods, ACCO Feed, Meyer Custom Boots, Polaris, GameTamers, BOSS Game Feeders, Whitetail Hunters Inc, Freer Deer Camp, Sportsman's Taxidermy, CactuFlage, Back Country Antlers, Double G Ranch, "and" the 1999 Mega Whitetail Buck Contestants.
Ken Harding with his Mega-Buck rifle division
Mike Corzine with his Mega-Buck bow division
< photos by Ed Snyder >
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