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Oklahoma Deer Hunt Much Better Than OK

GuinnBy Kelly Guinn

-- My hunt for a trophy buck began in late October 2007 in Woods County, Okla. I was hunting from a ladder stand about 100 yards from a river. Some does, spikes, and young 8-point came into view, but no mature deer. However, my friend Lanny Mattison was seeing good bucks about 20 miles west from this spot. When it came down to crunch time, Lanny let me hunt in one of his areas.

He’d been seeing bucks there about twice a week. These included a double main beam and a decent droptine buck as well as couple of decent 8-pointers. Chances were good that at least one of these bucks would show up.

The area was wheat field surrounded by deep draw with tall prairie grass and lined with cedar trees. The weather could not have been better: light south wind, temperatures in the mid 50s and not a cloud in the sky. I positioned myself in one of the cedars with my back to the main part of the field. In front of me were several slight runoffs leading to the draw. On my left were two fingers of the field with some tall prairie grass separating them.

The sun was setting, painting the sky in a red-orange afterglow. The sound of dirt crunching behind me got my heart racing, but I could not make anything out through the grass. I turned to my left and there on the skyline approximately 150 yard away was THE buck. My heart jumped into my throat. 

The buck continued to feed toward me for what felt like an eternity, but I just couldn't get a good rest to make the shot. I backed down one of the run-offs so that I could get to the edge of the field and about 20-30 yards closer. I opened the bipod, set it in the dirt and took steady aim.

I couldn't believe it was about to happen when he fed into a depression in the field. All I could see was his back and the top of the rack. I had to wait again. My heart was beating so hard, I thought I was about to have a heart attack.

The buck turned broadside and trotted out of view behind some tall prairie grass on one of the field fingers. I couldn’t believe it. I folded up the bipod and dropped to my knees.

As last light approached, I caught movement just in front of the same finger of grass that the buck went behind. Peering through the binocular, I could make out the back half of a deer, but it had come out with three others and I was not for sure it was the buck. There was a cedar just behind the silhouette. With the setting sun behind it I couldn't quite make it out, but went ahead and raised my rifle and put the figure in my scope.

After a couple of minutes, the deer faced me and raised his head. All I could see was the huge rack in the setting sun. You can't imagine how beautiful that was.

I gained my composure and squeezed off a round. The bullet fired from my T/C Omega hit the mark at 40 yards, and the buck dropped like a rock. I went through three primers trying to reload, and then I went to look at the prize. It’s by far the largest deer I have seen while hunting: a mainframe 10-pointer with several kickers and 16 scorable points. The rack scores 146 inches under the BTR system, with a composite score of 165 4/8. The gross Boone and Crockett score is 156 2/8 inches with a net of 145 inches.

I want to thank Ron Thompson for letting me hunt with him, Lanny Mattison for the use of his spot, and both for all that they have taught me.

-- Kelly Guinn

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