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BIG OKLAHOMA BUCK DOWN – FINALLY

November 24, 2009 by  
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I have been having a nightmare of a November. I have been sick with Swine Flu, hunted hard in Nebraska, and then hunted for almost a week in Kentucky, and did not score. That is whitetail hunting, right? It is the great equalizer. You can do it all right for a week or two when hunting mature whitetails, and still come up empty.

 Dejected, I left home on November 20th with the Panhandle of Oklahoma as my destination. I was to hunt with Rick Rhoads and Back Rhoads Outfitters (www.backrhoads.com )out of the small town of Laverne. This is less than 20 miles from KS, and 20 miles from TX. A few days before I left, Rick told me they were seeing some good bucks and the rut was going full tilt. I had hope again.

 The first morning, cameraman Rob Snider, and I climbed into a big cottonwood in a small riverbottom. It was cool, but the fog was so thick, we couldn’t see more than 40 yards for 2 hours. The wind eventually picked up and blew out the fog, and we saw some small bucks late morning.

 At mid-day, we went with Rick to another property to check a couple of trail cams. We had a few good bucks on film, the best about a 140 9 point. Rick wasn’t too excited, so we went back to the original ranch. I asked if Rick thought it would be a good move to sit on a food source for the evening hunt as I figured we would see a lot of does, and during the rut, where there are does, there are bucks. I like to play the percentages, and hope a big boy will come out chasing a doe, or come to check all the does on a food source.

 Rick said he had a setup on a triticale field. That is a hybrid of rye and wheat. The deer were hitting it hard, so I thought we should give it a try.

 It was warm and we had a 25mph wind, but almost immediately, does began filtering into the field. We had about 20 does and one 2 year-old 8 pointer chasing them around an hour before dark when we spotted 3 deer walking in down the field to my right about 350 yards away. One look through the binos told me that this guy was a no brainer, and if he would give me a shot, I was slinging lead on the firOK Buck reducedst night.

 When the big buck saw the does closer to me, he came on a steady walk and began nosing and checking them. When he got in range, I got steady and waited for the right shot angle. He was facing me head on and began eating, so I waited a bit longer. Finally when he turned a shoulder to me, I hammered him, and my November jinx was over.

 What a great mature Oklahoma whitetail. I honestly expected to get a crack at a 140ish buck and a 150 if I was really lucky. This Back Rhoads buck was 164” with 25” beams, a typical 10 point frame, a split G-2 and a kicker on a G-3. He is a fantastic old deer.OK Buck beams

 I hung around camp a couple more days and helped scout for some of the other guys still hunting. In that timeframe, every time I went out, I saw a mature buck that anyone would be pleased to have on their wall- the best being a straight up 10 pointer that I guessed at close to 160. One hunter took a photo of a deer at 300+ yards (he didn’t feel comfortable shooting that far) that we all think was in the 170’s. They have some great deer in western Oklahoma, and it is a true sleeper state for trophy whitetails.

 Enjoy Thanksgiving!  I am spending a week with my family, and then traveling to Iowa to muzzleloader hunt with Bill Winke. Hunt Hard…Tim H. 

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