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South Texas Trophies
When Tilicek -- who began to seriously pursue South Texas trophies in the mid-1980s -- got his crosshairs on the buck, the decision to pull the trigger was a no-brainer. "I looked at him and decided to take him," Tilicek said. "He was so big, I didn't have to think about it very long."
At the shot, the 15-point buck staggered and took off. A short while later, Tilicek and his nephew followed a short trail to the buck. After celebrating and exchanging backslaps, the hunters tagged the buck, field-dressed him, and took him back to camp.
"That's when we sat down and methodically rough-scored him," Tilicek said. "It really didn't dawn on me until we scored the deer and added it all up what I had."
What he had was a low-fence non-typical 9x6 buck bearing a score of 197 4/8 inches gross, and 192 2/8 net -- good enough for fifth place in the Region 8 rankings.
"I don't ever expect to kill a better one," Tilicek said.
But last Thanksgiving Day, after a hunt on a 22,000-acre El Ranch in Atascosa County, it's possible that the San Antonio resident had just a little bit more to be thankful for -- as in a huge 10-point typical whitetail with a couple of kickers!
On the first day of Friesenhahn's hunt on property managed by Lew Thompson, the hunter was sharing a blind with guide Clay Applewhite. Late in the day, the pair heard what appeared to be a couple of bucks fighting in the brush -- except that it was far too early for a South Texas peak-rut battle royale!
"After a while I thought, 'Gosh! It's coming through the brush!'" Friesenhahn said. "He came up to a feeder and cleared everything out. He ate around for a little while -- it was very picturesque."
First day or not, Friesenhahn couldn't pass up this buck! After waiting until he was presented with a good shot opportunity, the hunter steadied the cross hairs of his Ruger .280 and finally unleashed the bullet.
"He ran about 60 yards to the edge of some blackbrush," Friesenhahn recalled. "We waited a little while and walked over and I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe the mass he had. His G-2s, his G-3s and his G-4s; his great tine length -- it was just a good deer."
And then some: The Friesenhahn buck sports an official TBGA score of 184 5/8 inches gross and 177 5/8 net, making it the fifth-best typical buck reported in Region 8 last year.
PAT C. BUTLER
"He always came out to what I call the 'porch feeder,'" Butler explained. "In my camp, I like to sit out on the porch, and I have a feeder 150 yards away."
After watching one particular big buck visit that feeder for five years, Butler and his son decided last autumn that it was high time to remove the South Texas giant from the gene pool on the property that they own and manage.
The only problem, Butler ruefully admitted, was that his first shot went a little bit awry, enabling the buck to escape his grasp on that misty November morning.
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