I told you my Ford F150 was headed back to Nebraska and my trip wrapped up with a great hunt that was a nail biter. I hooked up with Eric and Shannon Ravenscroft at SBG Hunts in the Sandhills of north-central Nebraska. Eric and Shannon take a minimal amount of hunters on the family ranch, but what a ranch it is.
River breaks, rolling prairie and irrigated hay meadows create a wonderland even Santa would love to hunt. We saw large densities of muleys and whitetails with good numbers of mature deer. Of course the ultra-giants were hard to come by since they were tired from the rut, but that didn’t sway our pursuit.
Over the course of the four-day hunt we had multiple close encounters and actually passed on several better scoring bucks than what I shot mainly because they were young with lots of Sandhill potential. In the end we dogged a small herd from sunrise until midday when an ancient buck finally tired of the paranoid does. They went one way, uneasy by the rustling prairie winds and he went another to find a cozy bed.
Eric and I spotted him bedded 100 yards away and I plopped down to get a solid rest for my TC Triumph. I dialed up my Nikon Monarch to 16 power and sent a Hornady SST bullet on its way with a puff of White Hots’ smoke.
The buck rolled down an embankment and I ended my Nebraska hunt with a hearty smile that even Santa couldn’t match at the end of his long Christmas Eve journey. If you’re in the field yet consider this. First, bucks are tired and will be looking for energy and solitude. Some of the bucks we spotted were staying close to the food, but burrowing into rugged, nearby country for refuge. Secondly, hunt early and stay late. Bucks were showing up at the end of shooting light and leaving fields before sunrise. Finally, consider Nebraska for muzzleloader hunting. Tags are unlimited and the hunting is Husker-worthy.
No rest for the weary…next stop, Texas!