We now know without a doubt that Clint Gomez has some Clint Eastwood in him.
While that one Clint always got his man as “Dirty Harry,” the younger Clint – the son and obvious pride of HPD Officer Jorge Gomez – got his trophy while on a once-in-a-lifetime deer hunt with his dad.
As Badge & Gun readers know, the elder Gomez is fighting Stage 4 colon cancer. His colleagues at the Airport Division (IAH) have graciously seen to it that Jorge and son Clint got an all-expenses-paid trip to a South Texas deer lease to bag a trophy. The event took place the weekend of Nov. 18-20.
A Number of Trophies
You might say that things went well. Just ask the proud papa!
“It was a hunt of a lifetime,” Jorge Gomez reported. “We went out there and we had the time of our lives. This was the ultimate hunt!
“The only thing that would have made it better was if I was at the ranch and I checked my lottery number and I won!”
The daddy let the son do all the shooting. In all, Clint Gomez bagged 19 “trophies.”
Let’s get the count correct: 16 feral pigs, one doe, one cull buck and one big daddy eight-pointer that will be on the wall at the Gomez home in New Braunfels as a prized trophy that will be in the family forever.
The adventure started on Thursday, Nov. 17, with the trip from New Braunfels – from where Gomez commutes to his duties at Bush Intercontinental (IAH) during a normal work week – to the Thompson ranch in South Texas, 5,000 acres loaded with deer.
The hunts started modestly and increased in intensity and rewards, especially on the last day.
Let the man who named his son after Clint Eastwood tell the story.
“First he got a doe. Then he went on a helicopter ride and shot 16 hogs. After that he got a cull buck that had one antler higher than the other. It was seven points, a three-year-old, a big boy.
“And then the owners of the ranch really wanted us to have a successful hunt. We were supposed to hunt Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We got there on Thursday. We went out Friday morning and evening and Saturday morning and evening.”
We should point out that all of this great hunting came compliments of Gomez’ fellow officers from the Airport Division under the direction of his sergeant (and fellow deer hunter) Paul Carr.
(Sgt. Carr told the Badge & Gun the officers inside and outside his division were proud and honored to see that Jorge Gomez got to see his dream come true. Carr said the group raised more than enough to pay for the hunt and the resulting taxidermy charges).
“On Sunday morning we were supposed to go out one more time. The owner comes over and asks if we wanted to stay an extra night. (Gomez laughs).
“ ‘Well,’ I told him, ‘We’ll go ahead and make a sacrifice and stay another night.’
“We were just having a blast. We got the trophy! Since we first got there we were the only hunters on the whole ranch. The guide took us out and let us know what to hit.
“Monday morning the weather was cold. The guide told us there would be a lot of (deer) movement. We wanted the trophy buck. We headed to the deer blind. The owner had told us that if we didn’t get it today that to ‘schedule a hunt at your convenience with no fee and you can get your trophy buck.’
“We went to the blind. I’m praying that something happens. We’d like to get that trophy this trip!
“We’re waiting. The sun starts coming up. There are three bucks at the feeder. Two are three-year-olds, not mature enough. The other is an eight-pointer. It is a nice one. Yes!
“Clint puts his rifle up there. He shoots him through the lung at 30 yards. He collapsed right there!”
Those in the deer-hunting business have their methods of scoring the buck. This one scored 139 and two eights – almost a 140 class buck!
Papa Gomez called it “a wall-hanger, a memory, a trophy buck! I couldn’t be happier. Clint was smiling ear to ear. So was I.”
Sgt. Carr had recommended Double Nickle Taxidermy in New Braunfels, venturing to say to Gomez that the “operation” would require six to eight months. Gomez said he and Clint was the eight-pointer shoulder-mounted and the cull buck “European mounted” with just the skull and antlers on a plaque.
“That’s what we’re going to get done for him. He’ll be able to share the story for a long time,” Gomez said.
The officer/proud father was encouraged when the taxidermist told him the trophies should be ready in two months, not six or eight. He also was encouraged by the business’ reputation for quality work and attention to detail.
There was another sidebar story to the hunting adventure. Clint bagged 16 feral hogs – the bane of the South Texas corn patches and a wide array of crop farmers. Of the 16, seven were retrieved by hunting guides. Coyotes feasted on the lost remainder.
Gomez said they decided not to process the meat but to donate it to the hired hands at the nearby ranches. “They got seven free hogs,” the officer said. “The meat did not go to waste.”
Gomez said he chose not to do any shooting this time out since “this was all about my son, not me.” He said he did get excited when the ranch owner took him up for a ride.
“It was the first time I had ever been in a helicopter,” Gomez said. “He gave me a tour of the ranch. I thought it would be rough – like an Astroworld ride. But it was so smooth to see the whole ranch from a bird’s-eye view across 5,000 acres.
“We flew across the freeway to his neighbor’s ranch to see the corn fields. We could see these little round pockets in the fields. He told me this was the destruction caused by the hogs. He said we did his neighbor a favor by killing so many hogs.
“He said the neighbor was glad to get hunters up there to get these hogs with an AR-15.”
Gomez is widely known to use prayers to the Good Lord and the constant power of positive thinking to fight his Stage 4 colon cancer. This experience was perhaps the ultimate in positive experiences.
“We were like two little five-year-olds on a Christmas morning the entire time we were there,” he said in summary. “It was amazing the job we had. The success was the icing on the cake.
“We could not have asked for anything else on this hunt. It was the hunt of a lifetime, the ultimate father-and-son hunt.
“I wanted this hunt to be about my son, him being the trigger. His memories will be etched in his heart and mind for a long time. I was there next to him on all the kills except for the hogs.
“They treated us like family, like they had known us for years. They had a sense of humor and were laughing and talking with us about the ranch. They were good people, very respectful.
“It was an amazing experience.
“And I want to say one more thing – I want to thank all my friends, especially for all of their prayers for my health. Please let those prayers continue.”