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Calling Deer on a Trophy Whitetail Ranch


Editor’s Note: Les Motheral has been a Mossy Oak Pro for the last 4 years, lives on the north side of Fort Worth, Texas, and has been hunting whitetails for 30 years. He’s a whitetail guide at the Monarch Ranch. When we asked Motheral to name his favorite Mossy Oak pattern, after a long pause, he said. “I wear different patterns, depending on where I'm hunting, the time of the year and the game I'm hunting. Each Mossy Oak pattern is really designed for a different purpose and a different type terrain. Probably, the pattern I use most often is Break-Up, because it’s a more-versatile pattern than some of the other patterns.” 

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I guide at the Monarch Ranch. When you like to deer hunt as much as I do, being able to see and hunt whitetails as much as you can is a dream come true. As a guide, I don’t carry a gun, but I get to find and call in those big whitetails for the hunters who do carry guns. When my hunter takes that buck of a lifetime, I feel as successful as the man who’s squeezed the trigger, because I’ve found the deer and possibly called in the deer that the hunter takes. 

Motheral_day4The closest big town to the Monarch Ranch is Del Rio, Texas. But the ranch is halfway between Del Rio and Sonora. I think the biggest buck ever taken from the ranch scored about 190 Boone & Crockett. However, just about always we can find a buck that will score 150 to 160 for our hunters. The technique we use most often to put a buck in front of a hunter is rattling. The ranch manager, James Fleming, believes that one of the reasons rattling has been so successful is because our property is not very open, it has a lot of brush where we hunt, and it’s such a vast area. So, the bucks can hear rattling from a long way off. It gets their attention, and they’ll come in to investigate. The other factor that makes rattling on the Monarch Ranch so effective is that we have an extremely-low doe population. 

I was able to take my son, Justin, on a cull deer hunt at the Monarch Ranch. We were both excited about him being able to take a deer there. I started rattling. As soon as I crashed the horns together, two big bucks came right in front of Justin. Before I stopped rattling, we had pulled eight bucks out of one canyon that came to the rattling horns, and they were within shooting distance. The biggest buck would have scored about 170 points B&C. We were surprised to see a buck that big in that area with so many other bucks around him. I'm sure Justin would have liked to have taken that buck, but that buck will be harvested by one of our paying customers. Justin is 19-years old today, but he was 16 when we went on this hunt. 

Justin and my daughter, Jordan, who is 17 now but was 14 back then, both took 10-point cull bucks that would score between 130 and 140 B&C off the ranch. Both of these deer had small racks. They were older bucks, but they didn’t have much mass, and they were never going to be more than 10-pointers. 

To learn more about the Monarch Ranch go to their webpage at

Day 3: Hunting the Free Ranging Axis Deer, Fallow Deer and Nilgai of Texas

Tomorrow: Improving the Quality of the Bucks on the Monarch Ranch

Hunting the Free Ranging Axis Deer, Fallow Deer and Nilgai of Texas
My favorite exotic animal to hunt is the axis deer. I love to bowhunt, but I hunt axis deer with a rifle. I have a friend who has 100 acres in Kerrville, Texas, with low fences. All the exotics that come on his property are free-ranging. One day when I was down there hunting, an axis buck appeared. When I saw the beauty of that animal and took a really-nice axis buck, I became excited

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