BADF Life Hunt for axis buck first of its kind
By Tim Schoen
On June 28, 2013, the Heart of Texas BADF Chapter sponsored a very special Life Hunt, the first of its kind for our chapter.
This would be the very first hunt for 8-year-old Royal Hutchinson, who was recently diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Royal would be going after a beautiful axis buck on a trip donated by Rain Creek Ranch near Brady, Texas.
He and his mother Brandy met BADF staffers Larry Hart and Tim Schoen in Brownwood for our 75-minute trip to the ranch.
We went to the lodge and unloaded our gear, then dropped of some things at the blind in preparation for the next morning's hunt.
Next, we returned to the lodge for a delicious meal of axis burgers prepared by ranch manager Kyle Nunn and his wife Lori.
After dinner, we visited on the deck and watched the many whitetails and axis deer feeding around the lodge. Nature's TV - you just can't beat it!
As the sun rose the next morning, we saw lots of activity around the tower blind. Royal had a blast watching numerous white-tailed deer and turkeys feeding all around our blind.
Eventually, a trophy axis buck came to the water and feed, but it didn't stay long enough for Royal to get a shot.
Hunting central Texas in June can get quite uncomfortable. With temperatures climbing above 100 degrees by mid-morning, we decided to get breakfast at the lodge and relax through the heat of the day.
We changed blinds for the afternoon hunt, this time bringing a cooler packed with water and ice. It was 106 degrees when we settled into the blind at 6:30 p.m.!
Soon, the whitetails appeared in the roads and fields to feed, then a small group of axis fed out in front of us.
We thought this would be a perfect scenario, because we'd set up our camera and rifle in their direction. But in hunting, of course, things rarely go as planned.
As I looked over my shoulder to see if the whitetails were getting spooked, I saw a big axis buck feeding in the road. We decided to reposition Royal for the shot attempt and quickly got everything resituated.
As the big buck fed into view, Larry readied Royal for the shot.
That gunshot was a very sweet sound indeed, especially after an hour in a blind with four miserable, sweaty people!
I knew the axis was solidly hit, and after reviewing the video, we decided to go look for it.
A short distance away, there lay Royal's magnificent axis buck. He'd made a perfect shot!
After some quick video and picture taking, we loaded up his trophy and quickly got it to a cooler.
We cannot thank Kyle and Lori Nunn of Rain Creek Ranch enough for the experience of hunting these beautiful axis deer on the 3,600-acre partially-fenced ranch. Not only was it a blessing for Royal and Brandy, but for Larry and Tim, as well.
The Heart of Texas BADF chapter looks forward to being able to do more hunts like this with Rain Creek Ranch in the future and helping make dreams come true for those less fortunate.
Editor's Note: Please become Facebook friends with Rain Creek Ranch and the Heart of Texas BADF chapter. They've helped make the world a better place!