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Unexpected Trophy

Jeff RedwineBy Jeff Redwine

-- This past year, my family and I moved to Oklahoma for my job. I was eager to find a place to hunt and found a game warden willing to help. He suggested I try a plot of land that is managed by United States Army Corps of Engineers. While it is close to my house, I wasn't sure if I would see any deer, let alone harvest one.

Luckily, I had an opportunity to scout the land with the game warden a few days before I planned on hunting. The morning of the hunt came, and I had to coach a football game. Following the game I headed out.

Once there, I walked through the woods and kicked up two does and thought that my day was done. Fortunately, that day was going to be better than I ever imagined.

I sat down by a tree with my bow and waited. About 15 or 20 minutes passed, and I saw movement about 100 yards in front of me. Whatever was causing the movement came closer. I realized it was a buck. Here I am sitting on the ground with a bow in my hand, no cover to hide behind and a buck is about walk on top of me.

I knew the buck had to see me and would turn to the left or right. I shoot left-handed and hoped that the buck would take a right. As the buck walked cautiously toward me, it stopped behind a tree, which gave me a chance to raise my bow and ready for a shot. It walked a few more yards and paused behind another tree.

At this point, I drew my bow and waited. The buck presented me with a 20-yard shot. I let the arrow fly, but it hit a bit farther back than where I wanted because the deer started to quarter away from me. The broadhead hit and the buck turned away and took off running. I was excited and in awe all at once. I had never harvested a buck before, let alone with a bow on the ground.

I sat there and tried to relax for what seemed to be an eternity. My watch indicated that only 30 minutes has passed. I tracked the buck for about 100 yards and found my trophy.

I called my game warden friend, and he showed up about 20 minutes later with a cart. Together, we began the task of taking the buck out of the woods. The deer weighed 168 pounds and has 8 points. This is considered a big deer for northeastern Oklahoma.

Jeff Redwine
Tahlequah, Oklahoma

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