Record Quest is headed to Texas this week. I’ll be hunting rangy, high-racked Lone Star whitetails through the week in ranch country south of San Angelo.

I love hunting Texas. I never tire of the balmy weather or the warmth of the people. Or the diversity of the hunting. Quail rise on the two-tracks and bobcat tracks trace the senderos. And pigs are everywhere. It’s the first of two trips Record Quest will make to the Lone Star State. My colleague, Gerry Bethge, is bringing a crossbow to the Ford Ranch near Brady later this month.

I’ll be hunting a low-fence property, more than 9,000 acres of brush and uplands that’s being managed for big bucks. My timing should be pretty good. I just talked to ranch manager Billy Bob (of course) Galbreath, and he says bucks have been chasing hard for the past 10 days.

Is the rut winding down? Nope. He expects to see hard-charging, active bucks through mid December, and a cold snap should keep them rutting hard. Cold? It’s 5 degrees in Montana as I write this. How cold can it get south of the Pecos? Galbreath says nighttime lows have been dipping into the 20s.

“But in the afternoons we’re up in the 70s, so bring some shorts!”

I’m packing now. I’m hoping to encounter my season’s biggest buck in the mesquite and chaparral. And maybe I’ll get the chance to bear down on a pig or two after I fill my deer tag.