Opening morning of Texas’ bow season was soggy across much of the state–good for breaking the drought, not so good for deer movement. Dense fog also hampered hunters in the morning. By Saturday afternoon, skies cleared and conditions improved.

My friend Ronnie Parsons, who has arrowed 34 P&Y whitetails in Texas, missed opening morning for the first time in 40 years. He had a good excuse: The ranch he hunts in west-central Texas received five inches of rain from Friday night until Saturday morning. He said small creeks that have been dry for two years were running and the banks of the Concho and Colorado Rivers were flooded. Talk about a drought buster!

It was Saturday afternoon, September 29, when Parsons made his way through the rain-soaked pasture to one of his favorite ground blinds. Late in the evening, a good buck he recognized from pre-season trail camera pictures approached the feeder. The buck cautiously took 20 minutes to get into position. At 17 yards, Parsons punched an arrow through the 11-pointer’s heart. It piled up 125 yards away.

The buck, which field-dressed at 135 pounds, had a typical 10-point frame with an odd 4-inch kicker off the right base. He’ll gross 140 3/8 and net about 129 1/8 P&Y. (Parsons is an official scorer for Pope & Young, so he knows the numbers to the 1/8-inch!) Parsons had his 35th Pope & Young whitetail, all taken do-it-yourself style on a lease he’s hunted forever.

More stories to come of quality bucks taken early in the season.