"You can't really call a $4,000 whitetail hunt a bargain, but you can call it a good value. The hunt I'm talking about takes place on Stasney's Cook Ranch near Albany, Texas. The best 10 bucks taken by trophy hunters here last season averaged 155 gross B & C points, and the top five bucks averaged 163 gross. All totaled, the ranch sold 20 total trophy hunts last year, the top 15 of which averaged 148 7/8 gross B & C.
"That's an excellent track record by any standards, particularly when you consider that this is a fair-chase hunt on 25,000 acres of rugged West Texas brush country. There's a small high-fenced enclosure inside the ranch that was built as an experiment, but the 15 bucks mentioned above all came from the free-ranging herd outside the fence.
"There are very few deer blinds on this ranch. You won't spend your hunt sitting and waiting for a buck to show up at a corn feeder. Most of the hunting here is safari-style, riding slowly in a truck, glassing distant hillsides and stalking target bucks. Bucks here respond well to rattling, particularly around late November and early December when the rut is going strong. It's not uncommon to see 20 bucks in a day.
"This is a three-day hunt with excellent accommodations and very good ranch-style food. You're on a big, working ranch about 20 miles east of Abilene. At night, you can sit around the fire pit and listen to the coyotes howl. The nearest town, Albany, is about 20 minutes from the ranch headquarters (three miles from a paved road), but most hunters never leave the ranch during their three days there.
"One of the best things about this hunt is that there are no bonus fees added to high-scoring bucks. You hunt for one........(continued)