TEXAS Extreme for Extreme Conditions

Robert Valasquez lost use of his legs about 10 years ago, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his passion for hunting. The Texas hunter planted a food plot of Extreme, a Whitetail Institute perennial blend, in September in North Texas; and even though there was very little rain, the plot did well. It was this plot and Valasquez’s hunting dedication that helped him bag a very nice buck.

“Apparently, Extreme utilizes morning dew as a way to get moisture,” Velasquez explained. “Texas has been in somewhat of a drought this year. I have a little 165-acre ranch in North Texas that sits against the Brazos River about 15 miles north of Possum Kingdom Lake. Ever since we started planting Extreme three years ago, we have been seeing more big bucks like the one I shot. I am in a wheelchair due to an accident I had about 10years ago; but with the help of a good buddy, we’ve constructed ground blinds overlooking several food plots. This year was my lucky year. I finally got a shot off on a nice buck and was able to harvest him.

Velasquez chose Extreme because of the climate in North Texas. He knew Extreme was developed to thrive under harsh conditions. “I have been trying to establish a good plot rotation program on the property, and so far it seems to be working great with Institute products. I am going to try PowerPlant this spring.”

“You just never know if you’re going to get enough rain; so when Extreme came out I was excited that someone had finally created a product that would grow in places where it just doesn’t rain that much,” he said. “The soil on my ranch is sandy loam, but as you get closer to the river, it is red clay. I grew up hunting in Utah and New Mexico, and I wanted to teach my kids how to hunt and enjoy the great outdoors. I have two sons and a daughter, and they all enjoy hunting. My daughter killed her first deer last season. It was a small spike buck that I let her take. It was a great first deer.

“When I first purchased the property, we were seeing deer, but mainly does and an occasional buck here and there. There were always smaller young bucks that roamed the place. Since we started planting Extreme two years ago, however we have been seeing larger bucks that frequent the plots.

“I also use the 4-Play mineral blocks and Cutting Edge and can see that the deer love them. We have an abundance of wild turkey on the property and they seem to like Extreme too.

“I was lucky to have simply been out hunting the weekend I killed my big deer. It was my son’s last football game of the season and probably the last time he would ever play the sport. He was a senior, so I couldn’t miss his last game. The football game ended about 11p.m., and it takes about two hours to get out to the ranch. By the time we left, it was midnight, so we didn’t arrive at the ranch until 2 a.m. A friend and I went by ourselves since it was too late to take the kids with us.

“We just couldn’t miss opening weekend. We slept for three hours and were up around 5 a.m. I made it to Robert Valasquez didn’t let being confined to a wheelchair stop him from harvesting a great buck in north Texas. The blind about 5:45 a.m., a little later than I had hoped, but it was still dark.

“Velasquez gets around with an ATV. “A good friend built ground blinds so that I can wheel right into them, “he said.

“At first light I started to hear the turkeys’ come down off their roost down by the river, and the Sandhill cranes started flying overhead to their feeding grounds, “he said. “It was a cool, beautiful morning and a great time to be out in the woods. I was enjoying the morning when I noticed movement in the mesquite trees and watched a little fork-horn buck trot out and into the field of Extreme to feed.

“I could tell he was a little jittery by the way he kept flinching and looking back into the mesquite trees. He stayed in the plot about 15 minutes until he finally bolted into the sanctuary. I call a little 20-acre area that is thick with oaks the ‘sanctuary’. It’s a place we do not enter and the deer feel safe. Another 15 minutes passed by and movement again caught my eye. I noticed a big bodied deer making his way through the mesquite trees toward the field of Extreme. When he finally came out of the mesquite, he raised his head, and I saw he had a pretty nice rack. I pulled out my binoculars and glassed him and quickly counted his points on my side. I saw three up so I knew it was at least an 8-pointer and was certainly a shooter.

“The nice 8-pointer made it to the field but stayed on the edge behind a couple of mesquite trees. He was there about five minutes when something caught his eye, and he began to trot fast toward it. Seeing my opportunity to bag him start to slip away, I grunted. He didn’t respond, so I grunted again, and he heard it. He stopped. By that time, I was already pumped up, and it took me a little while before I could squeeze the trigger. Just as I pulled the trigger, he spooked and my shot hit him too far back. I didn’t think I hit him at all and was pretty angry with myself for missing such good opportunity.

“After about an hour of thinking about what had happened and continuing to glass the area for signs of the big buck, I figured I had missed my chance. It was 6:50 a.m. when I caught movement and saw antlers protruding through the trees. The buck stepped out, limping. I pulled the trigger and put him down. I am just thankful the buck didn’t run off and die somewhere else.”