Oklahoma Bowhunting Grand Slam

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The first week of October was finally here. The first three days were spent in my favorite stand watching 3 raccoons in which I had named Larry, Curly, and Moe. The mother raccoon was slightly bigger than the two younger ones, and seemed curious to every movement surrounding them. The days here in eastern Oklahoma in October were still in the 80's with mosquitoes buzzing everywhere. I was wondering if it was still too hot to hunt and questioned myself again over and over. Each day so far, I had hunted morning and evening with only a few does showing up.

Our family is one of three families (all related) that live on the mountain with about 360 acres of land owned by our families. Each year we hunt, we always establish the rules. {8 Point or better for the husbands} {Wives and kids, buck or doe} Now last year I hunted all year and didn't harvest one deer, but I had seen enough antlers to keep me excited. Every time Bill and Grover, my brother in-laws, sure let me know how I got spanked on last years hunt. Both are avid rifle hunters and tagged out the year I brought home nothing. I was thinking about this already early in this season while elevated about 18 feet up in my climber. I wondered, as every other hunter does, will this be my year.

As I looked down from my stand at the raccoons again on the 4th morning of October 2007, I was once again thinking of how pretty they were and how every day I am in the woods, I look for the highlight of the day. Whether this was the highlight of the day again, or was an owl going to sit on the limb next to me, a squirrel sitting on my boot, quail leaving a fast trail for a coyote, bobcats on the prowl, turkeys rustling, what was going to be the highlight? Then, I saw movement directly in front of me. I was a deer for sure, and no does were present yet.

I had placed my stand in what my wife calls the quiet spot. High cedars with no brush, not to thick, but perfect for a good bow shot. A well used doe trail to my right, and another trail coming in from the left, thicker trees to my front. I could see about 40 yards around me with a creek bed behind me on a down hill gentle slope.

The deer in front of me wasn't spooked or aware of my presence as it slowly made its way directly toward me. Sun to my back and the breeze in my face, finally, I could see him completely. "Very nice buck" I was thinking. As he moved closer and closer, I could count 4 on one side and 4 on the other. Not sure if I wanted to take the shot just yet, I moved into position just in case. Standing now and ready to draw, I used the bow as if I was hiding behind its small limbs. The buck was much bigger than I originally thought the closer he moved to my stand. 20 yards and still coming, 10 yards and still coming. He stopped, head concealed by a large cedar tree. I came to full draw and picked my shooting lane. As if knowing I was now ready to shoot, the 8 point stepped from behind the cedar and moved closer, directly into my shooting lane. 7 yards, I picked my hairs on the buck, just behind the shoulder and quartering down. I could sense the raccoons to my right and felt a sense of calm, took a large breath, let it out half way, became steady as a rock and released.

{'Wham"} I dropped him in his tracks. I intended to penetrate spine, heart, and lung if possible for a deadly and swift kill. My broadhead did exactly that. I stood for a moment and watched the buck lie still and quiet. Larry, Curly, and Moe were nowhere to be seen. I called my wife using my cell phone and quietly whispered I had a good buck down, her response to me was "why are we whispering". Laughing a little I said, I am in the quiet spot. The morning picture is of the "quiet spot" deer. High 8 point, big body.

After checking the buck in and heading to the processors, I continued to hunt the evening in another stand. Each day I hunted, I elected to use my climber instead of pre-placed stands used each year. October the 7th, 3 days after my first buck of the year, my 14 year old son was ready for action. This would be his first year bow hunting, and he practiced every day for the last two months. He was actually quite good shooting the pillow target and 3D's, in which I was very proud. Sunday after church, he would be in the woods with me for the evening hunt.

Everything seemed to go wrong. I found out he was afraid of heights the hard way, but patiently, I assisted him into a lock-on stand with steps, explained the safety belt, strapped him in and climbed down. I hooked his bow on the bow string and up and away the bow went. While the bow was being pulled up by my son, I was watching all around me, trying to quiet down the woods, when {Wham}!!!! My right hand was numb. I looked at my hand and there was a deep cut to the bone on the top. My son had almost had the bow in his stand when the bow string slipped. The bow caught me square across my hand. Seriously nervous and seeing the blood, my son asked if I was alright and maybe we should just go home and get the hand took care of. He said he was so sorry and it just slipped, and???? I assured my son everything was fine, helped him get the bow up the stand, and assured him he was ready to hunt. "Don't worry about me son, you just keep your eyes out for the big one. I will be about 100 yards straight across the creek." I pointed with my other hand where I would be, wished him good luck, then started walking away from his stand.

After crossing the creek and out of sight from Chase, I stopped and looked at the top of my right hand. I was hurt pretty good, and I still couldn't make a fist yet. Not wanting to leave the woods with my son still in a stand, I elected to set up on a trail I knew of and wait it out. I pulled off the climber from my shoulder and worried a little about if I could even use the stand to climb or not. After setting up the stand at the bottom of the tree I picked out, we were going to find out if I could climb with one hand. It actually wasn't that bad. Up the tree I went, got situated, smiled a little at how stupid I was to stand directly under my sons stand when he was raising his bow then shrugged it off as "my stupidity, my fault."

Now situated and seated in my stand, I wondered if I could even draw my bow back with the bum hand. So, I stood up quietly, drew the bow and wow, man did that hurt. I sat back down and thought once again, I hope a big buck goes by my son instead of me this evening. Not real sure I could even draw again.

45 minutes later, about 6:05pm, I caught movement from over my right shoulder. Yep, you guessed it. It was a buck, but a very small buck. Knowing that early in this season the bucks were still traveling together, I stood, turned and prepared. Sure enough, 5 yards behind the 4 point, was a small basket 8 point. Immediately I decided not to shoot this small 8. To my surprise, directly on his heals was a really nice 8 point. Now I was getting excited. By the way, the first buck in front had walked directly under my stand and was now in front of my stand. I drew slowly, aimed center mass of the shooting lane in a gap in the brush. The small 8 point buck walked through the gap, and then "There he was", A fine 8 point standing in the gap. Once again, I picked my area of hair behind the shoulder, quartered down, controlled the breathing, paused, and slowly squeezed the trigger release.

{Wham} I dropped him in his tracks. I intended to penetrate spine, heart, and lung if possible again and sure enough, the broadhead did the work. Can you believe this, 6 yards, another nice buck on the ground, just laying there. I stood in amazement, I was shocked. This was a really nice buck, pretty wide and may score as well. The odd thing about this was, "dropped in his tracks." The very thing every hunter hopes for is to find the deer, or even better a swift and clean kill. Well, not only did I find the deer three or four days ago, I found this one too. I was like a dream. Two 8 point bucks, both bow kills, both in the same week, both dropped in their tracks.

I realized after a brief moment of silence, that my hand did not hurt anymore, and to make things even better, my son was on this hunt with me only 100 yards away. The two bucks that were in front of this one, there would be a good chance Chase saw them or even may get a shot. But what will always cross my mind is how big was the buck that was still coming in from behind the buck I harvested. I saw him jump when I released. The evening picture is of the "back hand" deer. High and wide 8 point, Chocolate rack

I climbed down and walked to Chase's stand, walked cautiously up to the side of him and told him we had a good buck down. Excited, he said he saw two bucks running and asked how big my buck was. I told him, "well, I don't know really, maybe you should help me track him". Chase was so excited when he walked up to my tree, buck in plain site. "Man, I'm gonna get me a buck like that"

I went to retrieve the 4-wheeler, we loaded the deer and headed to the house. I was kind of in a hurry as the darkness was starting to set in, and I still needed to check this buck in too. Arriving at our home on the mountain, my father stepped out on the deck and observed our approach. My father had just come in from out of town that day to visit us for a week, so that was kind of cool him seeing me bring in another deer. He was a big deer hunter with hunting skills that I always admired.

As far as the wife goes, she was so excited. Not so much that I had gotten a nice buck, but that I had gotten two nice bucks with a bow in the first week of hunting season. She rubbed it in real good to her two brothers who still hadn't harvested anything. The next morning, as I watched the brother in laws roll out to the woods to deer hunt, I told them the same thing I always told them. "Good luck and I hope you get a big one."

Every bit of this is true, and I honestly believe this will be hard for me to beat next year. After all, now my season just went from deer season, to "dear" season. Being tagged out in the first week of bow season is a sure sign that honey-do's will be a major part of the rest of my season.

Bow: PSC Nova
Arrows: Vapor
Broadheads: Thunderhead 125


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story and nice bucks.

Great story and nice bucks.

numbnutz's picture

Great story and buck, thanx.

Great story and buck, thanx.