Just when you thought the early archery season couldn’t pack any more surprises for East Texas hunters, word of another whopper whitetail comes trickling down the pike.
This season has been a remarkable one thus far. In fact, judging from the results turned in by area bow hunters since the Oct. 1 opener, it is almost scary to think about what might happen once the general gun season gets underway on Nov. 5.
In looking back, I can’t recall another archery season in these parts that has kicked out so many giant deer, so early in the year. Already there has been one buck in the 190-class, at least two bucks in the 170-class and at least one in the 160-class taken by East Texas bow hunters. All of the bucks were killed on small tracts of open range property, a couple from counties with limited histories of producing big deer.
Kevin Wisener is an Angelina County building contractor who took his deer hunting business to Houston County about two decades ago. His father-in-law helped him hone his archery skills on the Davy Crockett National Forest, but he has since leased a pair of 400-yard tracts of private property about two miles part.
Wisener has hunted all over the region, but he is convinced there is something in the Houston County soil that is conducive to growing big racks.
“I’m drawn to this area,” he said. “That’s not to say there aren’t good deer in other counties, but I’m convinced we have some really good seed over here.”
Ol’ “Key Ring” is rock solid proof to support Wisener’s claim.
“Key Ring” is the nickname Wisener’s daughters gave to a stud of a buck that began showing up in his trail camera photos a couple of years ago. Last season the buck sported a typical eight point frame with long main beams, thick tines and a kicker off each of its G2′s.
“The first time my girls saw his picture, they said ‘look daddy, you could hang your keys on those antlers,’” Wisener said. “The name stuck, so that’s what we always called him.”