Tim Starkey’s friends can breathe a sigh of relief.
The 25-year-old oil field worker has buck meat, which means the jerky is about to flow. He’ll continue to give it away, but this batch will cost him a lot more than he normally spends for spices. His taxidermist can vouch for that.
Tim’s was one of the first Oklahoma bucks liked and shared across Facebook this fall because he shot it on Day No. 1 of bow season. He was hunting a friend’s 60 acres for the second year in a row.
“I was getting so many trail cam pictures of him, I should’ve called him Movie Star instead of Dank,” he laughed.
Because the big buck and another seemed inseparable, Tim and his wife, Amber, joked that the duo reminded them of Chip (Chipper Jones) and Dank (Jeff Danker) from outdoors TV shows, and the names stuck. “His deer,” was Dank, the larger of the two.
Business kept Tim out of the woods on opening morning, but he was hunting by 4:00 that afternoon. His stand is a tall, double-person model attached to a willow at the corner of a first-year soybean field.
About 6:45, Tim saw a couple of does enter the beans he was watching. Five minutes after they strolled into the wide open, a buck came out of the woods on Tim’s side of the field, about 100 yards distant.
“That was the very first time I’d seen him on the hoof,” he said.
The shot was 27 yards, and the buck hit the dirt immediately. The arrow clipped the top of both lungs, but it must have also nicked the spine.
“It took me a long time to calm down. Regaining my composure was quite a task,” Tim said. “I had to talk myself down.”
After decompressing for nearly 45 minutes, he eventually was able to descend his 21-foot ladder. Even then, Tim avoided going directly to the downed deer. Instead, he walked to the edge of the field to wait for his brother-in-law, Joe Crook.
While most hunters might set speed records in getting to their dead bucks, Tim kept his distance. He was worried that the moment he touched it, the story would end.
“I just didn’t want it to be over,” he said.
The deer will be scored this month.
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