Jack Brittingham Hunts Rancho Encantado

Featured on Buck Fever III

Another of my favorite hunts on “Buck Fever III” is the buck I took on Rancho Encantado, which means Enchanted Ranch. This 5,000-acre ranch is located near Catahoula, Texas. My hunt took place in early December, and even though the weather was warm, the bucks were still rutting. I had watched one particular buck since he was three-years-old. On the ranches I manage, I don’t allow a trophy buck to be hunted until he is six-years-old. I previously had mis-aged this buck, so he was actually four-years-old when I first saw him. I once hunted for this deer in the same blind for three days. I know most people wouldn’t hunt the same blind for three days, but I had a favorable wind and didn’t want the buck to see me coming to or from my blind. I knew the buck had come to this area before. I felt if I stayed stationary, even though the buck was moving, eventually he would come in front of my blind.

Spending three days in the same blind waiting on a trophy buck is boring. I saw the same deer come by each day. The spot where I hunted was a crossroad spot. A road ran in one direction and a pipeline ran in the other direction. There was a corn feeder close by that lured-in does during the rut. However, I didn’t see big bucks come in and feed very often around a corn feeder. I believe most of the time if you’re using feeders, you will see the biggest bucks around them during the rut. That’s when the bucks are coming to the feeders to find does to breed.

The first two days I never saw the buck. However, on the third morning, he came in just at daylight, out of the brush. He stepped to the edge of the road and spotted the does around the feeder. Then he started moving toward the does and came within 20 yards of my enclosed blind. Because the buck moved in so early, I didn’t have enough light to take the shot. He checked out the does around the feeder, determined they weren’t in estrus and started to leave the feeder. As I watched him go 75 yards away from me, I never had enough light to take the shot.

Then more does came to the feeder, and he came back to check them, before moving off again. Three times, he came to check out does but left the area of the feeder when he didn’t find an estrous doe. The third time the buck left the feeder, he went 100-yards away. Although I thought I might not get a shot at him with my bow, he returned to within 30 yards of the blind as new does came to the feeder.

This time I had enough light, so I drew my bow and shot. The buck was quartering-away from me when I took the shot. I had to place the arrow a little bit farther back from the front shoulder than where I liked to place the arrow. But the arrow passed through both lungs. The buck only ran 70 yards before he went down. This buck scored 196.

Also on these two new whitetail tapes, you’ll see my son take a 9-1/2 year-old buck that scored 198-3/8 Boone and Crockett points with a rifle. Too, you’ll see many more big bucks taken on the two Buck Fever III videos.