The Ghost Buck

RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas - South Texas is renowned for its trophy Whitetail deer, and on a cold December day what better time to encounter an elusive buck called the ‘Ghost Deer'.

Hints of color are just beginning to blush the eastern sky as dawn breaks in the Ssuth Texas brush country.

This is the time of year when the buck of a lifetime might magically appear down a remote trail in the vast ranch land of southernmost Texas.

The haunting call of a White tipped dove softly emanates from the thick brush surrounding a fog-shrouded sendero suggesting possibilities the morning light might reveal.

The first deer cautiously edging out of the cloaking woods is a young buck. He appears to be a south Texas unicorn, as half his antlers have vanished. His left main beam has snapped off while fighting another buck, and as he lowers his head to browse you can clearly see the jagged edge of the break.

A herd of javelina are next to venture out as the fog ebbs and flows like a terrestrial tide.
 
Throughout the day, wildlife comes and goes, but the sought after majestic buck glimpsed before only occasionally in predawn light fails to materialize. Wild mature bucks often become primarily nocturnal, rarely exposing themselves to danger in the light of day, and this one is exceptionally wary.

The memory of that fleeting early morning encounter whets the desire for another look, and finally after days of patiently searching he appears just after sunset. He is worth the wait…with some 14 countable points and tremendous antler mass he is the buck of a lifetime. He does not linger and slips back into the brush.

You have to get up early, and stay out late, but sometimes the wait is worth the effort.

 


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