Hunting from a small hang-on type stand in an oak flat near a deep brushy ravine I bagged the biggest deer of my life. On Sunday morning of the opening weekend of the Oklahoma gun season I was hunting a spot in Noble County that I had hunted for 3 years previous without any success. In fact, the one time I went there this year during muzzle-loader season the deer sign was as slim as I had ever seen there. The main reason I even hunted this area on opening weekend was that the wind direction was completely wrong for my only other area. I was shocked at the deer activity - in 6 hours over 1-1/2 days I saw 11 deer & 10 were bucks. They were just cruising back & forth thru the woods looking for does.
This buck was the 3rd one I saw that morning & I believe I actually saw him about 30 minutes before legal shooting light! As I was climbing my tree steps around 6:15 I heard a deer walking towards me. I froze & tried to blend into the tree trunk - I couldn't see the deer but by the sounds in the leaves I knew it was less than 40' away. About the time it finally started to walk off (5 minutes or so) I heard ANOTHER deer walking towards me! This deer came within 10' of me (I was only 5' off the ground) & turned to walk away. It had a large body but I couldn't make out the antlers in the pre-dawn darkness. Before legal shooting time I saw one more small buck - all 3 went in the same direction. About 10 minutes after legal shooting time the deer started to filter back from the direction they had went. First was a small 4 point buck, then a decent 8 point buck five minutes later. I was trying to stay extra alert by telling myself "that biggest deer hasn't come back thru yet" when I caught movement! I immediately saw it had a good spread & at least 8 points - as I got ready to shoot I had to look ahead to find an opening as the woods were pretty thick. I tried to stop him by grunting with my mouth but he didn't even flinch at the sound. It only took me half a second to realize he wasn't going to stop so I squeezed a quick shot just before he went into some thick brush 45 yards away. My aim was true & he went down on the spot.
This is the biggest deer I have ever taken but not by much. The 10 point rack has an 18" inside spread with a gross score near 140 & the deer dressed 152 lbs. Also of special note is I was able to go get my 7 year old son to help load the deer 'cause I forgot my gate key - he also TOOK this picture! (he may have a future as a photographer).