If you haven’t booked a hunt yet and you are looking for a place where the opportunity to take a good buck exists and you will get treated like royalty I would recommend Krooked River Ranch (KRR.com) in north Texas. Roy and Becky Wilson have a great operation and can provide hunts for all levels of hunters. It is 100% fair chase and although I can guarantee you a great hunt I won’t guarantee you a deer. Unlike some places that I would classify your hunt on a level of “canned hunt”, where the deer wear ear tags.
In fact, I was just reading an advertisement for a hunting excursion where they guarantee a buck in the 170-180 inch class, a no kill and you don’t pay fee structure. This makes me think that they have the deer tied up somewhere and parade them out like a suit at a tailors shop, offering you a choice for the once in a lifetime buck. Once, that is, until the next time. I guess I fail to see the fun in shooting fish in a barrel or cows in a pen. I have known men who didn’t care how they achieved their goal but they were never the kind of man I wanted to spend any time with at a deer camp.
The reason most of us hunt, especially whitetail deer, is that we never know what we are going to encounter when we step into the woods. Sure the more we prepare and sharpen our skills, the higher the odds are in our favor, but we know it is not a sure thing. In fact, I would be willing to venture a guess that most top notch hunters, Stan Potts or Larry Weishuhn, would never place the odds of their harvesting a Boone and Crocket buck at higher than 1-3% on any given hunt. And these guys know what they’re doing, which means the odds for guys who are a notch down are at less than 1%. Not that it won’t happen, cause, hey even a blind pig will find an acorn every now and then, right. So we all go afield in hope of seeing our dream deer.
This is the core definition of fair chase and why high fence ranches don’t have the term “fair” in their title. The fact is you can locate that 200 inch deer on a high fence ranch on most any day of the week and if you don’t, well you can try again tomorrow, he may have just been bedded up for a period of time. Now contrast that to a fair chase ranch and you have no idea if that buck is around or even still alive. He may have decided to put on his rambling hooves to another ranch, even though you have food and cover, the fact is he might have decided to see what the doe life was like on down the road and that is what makes the game so exciting and why most fair chase hunters shoot when given the chance at their buck. They can’t guarantee that buck will be there tomorrow.
So as for me, I’d rather have a long shot at a 150 inch deer, than a sure thing at a 200 inch deer anytime. For me, that’s what fair chase is all about, no guarantee’s.
God Bless, Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
A Krooked River Giant, taken by the author, guided by Roy Wilson