Recent Journal Entries

Father’s Day weekend turned out to be quite a special time for me as I not only spent it with my family, but many of my closest friends while being recognized for my work as the wildlife consultant for the McCall 501 Ranch.  On Saturday, the fourteenth of June, I was honored and humbled by the unveiling of a bronze image of myself at the elaborate trap and skeet range located on the McCall 50 ...

As I walked down a partially vegetated sendero (ranch road), I paused every 50 or so yards to listen for the ‘bobwhite’ call of the male bobwhite quail.  It was late May, and we had just received an abundance of rain, which triggers calling by the beautiful chestnut-brown, white-bibbed game bird.  I was attempting to call in a few of the more aggressive birds by imitating the call of the ...

Easter weekend for the Zaiglin family began on Thursday afternoon, April 17 when we traveled over 100 miles south to our favorite ranch on the Nueces Strip.  It’s a highly anticipated weekend with nonstop action pursuing long beards, hunting for shed antlers, and some gar fishing.  This year was particularly special because six-year-old McKenzie decided to hunt with Grandpap fo ...

Our third morning was spent with graduate students of the Borderlands Research Institute on a ranch near Marfa that was involved in the West Texas Antelope Restoration Program.  Recognized as the fastest land mammal on the North American continent, antelope in West Texas reached a population peak of an estimated 18,000 animals in the 1980s.  But with extensive drought, coupled with exces ...

On early Monday morning, the seventh of April, I along with wildlife instructor Steven Evans and five of our wildlife students at Southwest Texas Junior College in Uvalde, embarked on an extensive field trip 300 miles west to the mountainous Trans Pecos region of far West Texas. Four and one-half hours later, we arrived in Alpine, county seat of Brewster County, the largest county in the state an ...

The second morning we drove to the top of Pena de Francia the second highest mountain peak in the park to tour an ancient monastery and one of the highest shrines of the Blessed Mary in the world. Three quarters of the way up the winding mountain road we spotted some goats and I proceeded to stalk them in order to film the magnificent animals. Showing little fear of humans I got quite close to a h ...

Sheep hunting has always been one of my favorite challenges, and after taking three of the four species of North American sheep, I crossed the Atlantic to Spain in early March to hunt the gredos ibex.       Following an eight-hour flight out of Atlanta on Friday, March 7, my wife Jan and I arrived in Madrid, Spain where we enjoyed several days of touring the city before ou ...

In February, 296 of the brightest and most dedicated deer biologists in the Southeast gathered to share and discuss their latest research findings related to our most popular big-game animal on the North American continent--the whitetail deer--in Athens, Georgia at the 37th annual Southeast Deer Study Group Meeting. Auburn graduate student Clint McCoy and his associates focused on how adult wh ...

I spent the sixth morning of my annual sabbatical in the thorn scrub looking for a 6x7 my companions had seen in the recent past, but only filmed several nice, not exceptional-racked bucks.  The latter part of the morning was spent at the windmill close to where I saw a tall, narrow, but heavy ten-point with an extra six-inch tine that wrapped around its left beam just above the burr, but fai ...

On the 11th of December, I along with several of my closest hunting companions crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico to enjoy our traditional sabbatical pursuing and filming some of the largest-racked whitetails in all of Mexico. With gear stowed followed by a welcomed Mexican dish, we entered the brasada to enjoy what we assumed would be a great antler year, and we were not disappointed. It w ...

Greg Abbas is a champion caller and also a call maker. Find out more about him at www.awayhunting.com Here we are in the middle of winter. Spring turkey season is a long way off but now is a great time to get outside and do a little scouting and find a few birds. One guy who spends a lot of time scouting is Greg Abbas of A-Way Hunting products. Abbas has spent most of his adult life guiding ...

This has been an incredibly tough winter, especially for those of us who live in the Midwest and Eastern United States. This time last year we had roughly eight to ten inches of snow on the ground; so far this year we have over four feet of snow on the ground. On top of receiving lots of snow, the temperatures have been below normal. In fact, we have had several days where it ...

Every December, Mathews Archery holds a Mathews Retailer Business Show at a resort in Wisconsin Dells. Dozens of archery-related companies license the Mathews logo and the Lost Camo pattern. Many of these licensees have booths at the show and show off their latest and greatest products to Mathews retailers attending the show. Below are a few of the items that caught my eye whil ...

This past fall was extremely busy as I not only serve as the Department Chair and Coordinator of the Wildlife Management program at Southwest Texas Junior College, but I also consult with a considerable number of landowners interested in sustaining quality deer herds. More importantly is the fact that students in the wildlife program benefit from the ranches I work with as many of them obtain ...

  Randy hiking the Bright Angel Trail. I am always looking for ways to prepare myself physically and mentally for backcountry hunting trips. Backcountry hunting is my favorite style of hunting. The downside is backcountry hunting is extremely difficult. The only way to truly prepare for this type of hunting is to spend time in the backcountry. Randy Herlein A friend of mine who lost a l ...

On Thursday, August 15 I drove 102 miles east to San Antonio, Texas and the J. W. Marriott Hotel to attend the 15th annual Texas Deer Association convention. Following a regional office meeting, I caught up with five of my wildlife students and got them settled into the rooms I had booked for them.  As chairman of the Antler Scoring Committee, I am responsible for the scoring of all antlers ...

On the seventh day, we rose early once again, but this time we would be retrieving, not spooring buffalo.  After a delicious breakfast, we returned to the downed buffalo, but not before cutting our way through the underbrush.  And even with six individuals armed with razor-sharp machetes, it took a while before we reached the animal.  Shortly afterwards, the 1,600-pound-plus buffalo ...

Utilizing darkness to conceal our movements, we returned to the heavily used crossing we set up on the fourth evening.  This time, however, we were ensconced behind a sand dune located in the dry river bed hoping to catch buffalo crossing the river, but once again the buffalo failed to appear. Later in the morning we returned west of camp, located fresh spoor of several bulls, and followed t ...

To have scored so early on a great bull, especially in such challenging terrain, was truly gratifying, but we now were on the third day of safari, and I was focused on just how it would turn out. Once again we parted camp long before daylight, walking the river road, scanning the jungle floor for fresh spoor. Not long after we got started, we came across the spoor of three dagga boys, but continue ...

It didn’t take long based on all the signs we saw on day one to figure out that the buffalo preferred feeding on the Zimbabwe side of the river, using the South African side as their sanctuary.  So on the second morning, we rose at 4:30 a.m., and following a hardy breakfast, we negotiated our way west of camp along the river in the dark to a well used crossing we discovered on day one.  ...
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