posted on June 29, 2014 13:58
By Mike Handley
If you're going to spend an afternoon in a deer stand when the mercury is pushing 100 degrees, you'd better keep the wind in your sweaty face.
Bowhunter Jody Slingo knows this. Even though he could pinpoint - almost to the blade of grass - where an incredible buck would enter a field every evening, even though he had a slam-dunk stand positioned in the perfect spot to intercept it, he climbed that tree with only a north or northeast wind.
And in his part of Oklahoma, that pretty much means the 12th of never.
Jody first saw the deer of his dreams feeding in the alfalfa normally frequented by does before the 2010 season opened. It was with four other bucks: three juveniles and a decent 10-pointer.
He went back later and hung a stand where the predominant south wind wouldn't blow his scent into the adjacent bedding area. The first three times Jody hunted from it, the buck emerged from the timber 300 yards away, always from the same place, and came toward him. But darkness always fell before it strolled within bow range.
Four days into the season, the rare north wind came, allowing Jody to slip in and hang another stand closer to where the buck always exited the timber. But the deer didn't show.
The next evening, Jody was back in his south-wind stand, hopeful but worried that he'd somehow spooked the big buck, that he'd never see the monster again. But his stress was unmerited.
Once again, it emerged from the same spot as it had the other times. Ditto for the next two days, and all Jody could do was watch, sweat and drool.
The high temperature on the windy second Saturday of bow season was 94 degrees, but that didn't keep Jody from climbing into his stand. After all, he'd seen the buck every day except when he went in early to hang a second stand.
At prime time, while he was watching a doe and her fawns in the alfalfa, the 10-pointer appeared suddenly within range. Jody was two or three seconds away from shooting it when he glanced down to see the big one practically underneath him.
The rest, as they say, is history. The buck's BTR composite score is 192 3/8 inches, and it'll be showcased in Rack magazine this fall.