Texas has always been a state known for its trophy whitetails and abundance of hogs. However, the Lone Star state is also gaining recognition in the professional football community as the place for hunters to go when their football season ends.
During professional football season, the athlete’s time is limited and all focus must be on the next game. If the athletes do get a chance to hunt, it’s usually only for a small part of the day on their one day off a week. However, a large portion of that day is usually spent doing extra film study or rehabilitation so they can be ready on game day. Many times the only chance to hunt is the few weeks later in the season, during the rut. The Texas rut is late in the season, especially in South Texas. This creates a perfect scenario to have a chance of a buck walking in close to your blind or stand. And that is why Texas is a paradise for professional football players and those who like to get out and hunt big bucks, feral hogs, and other predators late in the season.
Pro Athlete Outdoors had the opportunity to connect with several NFL football players in south Texas. Below is a recap on their hunts. To see the photo gallery of all of pics from the hunts, click here.
Colt McCoy and Joe Thomas
The Cleveland Browns Quarterback, Colt McCoy, and his 5 time Pro Bowl Offensive Tackle from the Browns, Joe Thomas, headed down to Abilene for the first part of their two ranch hunting trip. It was at the Sandy Oak Ranch that Joe took his first buck of the trip. It was an 8 point that scored 135 inches. This buck would have scored 140+ had both brow tines not broken off.
From the “Shinery Belt” of Texas they headed down south near the Rio Grande at Carrizo Springs. This is home of the Faith Ranch where Joe and Colt hunted for two days and harvested 7 bucks. Joe shot a 9 point that was real wide (24 inch inside) and heavy, and measured nearly 148 inches. He also shot a 13 point that went about 151 inches. The other two that Joe shot were both culls (ranch management bucks), scoring between 130-140 inches.
“I shot 3 bucks on the trip,” said Colt McCoy. “The first buck I shot was a main frame 10 point, with a 3 inch tine that came out of the base of the main beam.” Colt was very pumped about this buck, as it ended up going 161 inches. “The second buck I shot was an 8 point. It was very old and perfectly typical.” That buck went a little over 141 inches and the last buck he shot was a cull 9 point, going in the 130's.
One interesting thing to note about the 11 point that Colt shot was that the buck was taken on a low fence, unfed pasture that hardly gets hunted. This beautiful buck was entered in the non-typical Texas awards shows.
Stephen, Quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, also made it out to south Texas for a few days of varmint and deer hunting. He was able to harvest a nice buck on the Espejo Ranch in Caterina, Texas. The coyote and bobcat were both harvested at the Griffith Ranch in Encinal, Texas.
This was John’s first trip to Texas to hunt for hogs and whitetail deer. The Quarterback for the Washington Redskins joined fellow BYU Cougar and Heisman Trophy winner, Ty Detmer, on his ranch in South Texas. The T14 Ranch is a 1,300 acre ranch only a few miles outside the city of Freer in Duval County. This area is home of the Muy Grande Buck Contest. He took his younger brother Andrew with him and they both harvested their first Texas whitetails.
Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver, Jordan Shipley, makes it a priority to get to Texas after every season. This year he was able to hunt near Throckmorton County, as well south of Uvalde Texas. The bucks he shot were both on private, low fence ranches.