by Craig Turney
I entered my tree stand in the Pecan bottom behind the watershed
at about 0630 and made myself comfortable. Not a monumental
task considering the weather was very good. Temperature was
in the mid 40’s and winds were calm. It was so warm that
I did not wear a heavy coat.
About 0745 I detected movement about 200 yards out, toward
the watershed dam. I could see plainly that it was a deer. Carefully
picking up my AR15, I scoped out the area and found nothing.
The deer had vanished. I continued to watch the area for about
10 minutes and still saw nothing. Taking a chance, I exited
my deer stand to walk in the direction I had seen the deer.
After closing about half of the distance I hid behind a large
Pecan tree and scoped out the area again. Still nothing. Where
had it gone? After a minute or two I decided to squat (without
my spurs) down beside the tree and wait. That only lasted a
couple of minutes when my legs began to hurt. As I stood up
to stretch my legs, a doe came blasting past me. When I turned
my head at the noise she made, she stopped abruptly, whirled
toward me and just stared at me. Without moving I just watched
her hoping that she would wander off. A few seconds after she
stopped, another doe comes freight-training past her and stops
to look at me. At this point I decide to just let them wander
off on their own. As they meandered around, the first doe came
close enough to me that I could reach out with my rifle and
touch her. After a few minutes they wandered off about 25 yards
and looked in the direction they had just come from. In a moment,
two more does joined them. This was really a special moment.
They had no idea I was there. They were very calm and collected.
I let them wander off on their own, and after several minutes
they were gone. I decided to go back to my tree stand and wait
to see if there was a buck behind them.
After reentering my tree stand and making myself comfortable,
I began to scan the area for signs of movement again.
Several minutes later I spotted another deer about 200 yards
out. Carefully picking up my rifle and lifting it to my shoulder
again, I peeked through the scope to find it. In a second or
two I picked up the deer. The brush and Pecan trees were dense
enough that at first I could not tell if it was a buck or doe.
Watching the deer meander around, I determined it was a buck,
and kept following it through the scope. Watching him as carefully
as I could, I saw that he was heading for a clear shooting lane.
As he stepped into the clearing I could see that he was indeed
a nice buck. I remember saying to myself, “nice rack”.
Without thinking I squeezed off my shot, and he dropped in his
tracks. I scanned the area for a moment and picked up his antlers
sticking up just taller than the grass. I waited to see if he
would move, and after a moment I determined that he wasn’t
going to move again. I checked my watch, 0820. I exited my tree
stand and walked over to him. The closer I got the bigger the
rack got. When I was close enough, I started counting points,
1,2,3….12! I couldn’t believe my eyes. I walked
back to the truck and drove to him. After hauling him up onto
the bed, I snapped a picture of him with my camera phone and
sent it to my friend Aaron who was hunting on his own land about
a mile away.
The upshot of all this is, God is really good. Judy, the love
of my life had prayed specifically that I would get a “really
nice” buck this year. Her prayer was answered, and then
some!! It looks like his rack will score high enough to be entered
into the Oklahoma Cy Curtis record book.
IS THE CY CURTIS PROGRAM ?
The Cy Curtis Award, named in honor of the man most responsible
for the restoration of white-tailed deer in Oklahoma, was established
in 1975 to recognize trophy deer taken throughout the state.
All deer legally taken during the 1972 season or thereafter
are eligible for scoring. Official scoring of trophies can be
done any time following a 60 day drying period. Measurements
must be taken by an employee of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Conservation, or by a measurer certified by Boone & Crockett
or Pope & Young. Sportsmen who harvest deer that meet minimum
entry requirements (a score of 135) are acknowledged by receiving
a certificate as well as having their names entered in the state