Craig Turney's 2005 Buck

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 07:45 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.

After a moment I determined that he wasn't going to move again. I checked my watch, 08:20. 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! One, two, three... 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.

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 record book.

Craig's buck ended up scoring 156 5/8 gross and 148 2/8 and was taken at Covenant Ranch!

Written by: Craig Turney
Convent Ranch

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