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Public Land Buck

Old 11-30-2016, 07:33 AM
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I had a hell of a time during this rifle season here in Oklahoma. Opening morning I had to drive around the Public land for about an hour before I could find a parking area without any vehicles in it. The Public area is 30K acres but its split into several units so good hunter etiquette is to find an area where you won't ruin someone else's hunt. The sun was coming up so I hurried up got my stuff on and headed in along a side of a wooded draw. After about 300 yrds I decided to relieve myself since I hadn't done so after my 3 hour drive to get there. Well while in the process the sun is already on the horizon and I can see in the draw and something looks a little orange down there. Sure as heck I put my binos up and there is a guy watching me with his binos. UGH I back away and walk around him only to see another person 100 yrds in front of him in the same draw. Heck with this I go up on the hill and sit lol. Thanks to them I seen 22 deer the first day including a nice 7 pt that followed my drag right to me. (I had for gotten to take it off my boot). I played with him for a bit by grunting him in till he got tired of it. Seen plenty of doe's also but didn't want to shoot one since it was going to be hot and I still had 5 days to go. That ended up being a mistake. Deer activity slowed way down cause of all the idiots out there thinking they have to walk everything up and try to jump deer. Seen maybe 1 or 2 a sit after that first awesome day. On Monday evening I went to an area that is a pain to get to, half mile across 2 deep draws with tall grass and scrub oak the whole way. I like to sit on a tall hill overlooking the 3rd draw then past that is private land. There is about 500 to 600 yrds of private land to my north that separates 2 of the public units. While sitting there I hear a shot from the other unit and 2 doe's come running across the private into the draw I'm sitting over. About an hour later one of the doe come hobbling up with her front leg barely hanging on so I had to put her down. Oh did I mention how rough the terrain is? This is not an area I want to shoot a small buck or doe and this doe is a dang yearling to boot. Any way I pull her out of the draw and get back on my hill when I decide to take a look on the other side. As soon as I stand up the guy sneaks up 40 yrds from me and shoots a buck on private that was headed to public. I dang near gave him a heart attack when I said "did ya get him" lol. I also explained to him that he shot on private and needed to contact the game warden to let him know of his mistake and that he would probably just get a slap on the wrist if he comes clean. They said they would and left and I commenced to dragging my little doe out. The next evening I decided to go to the same spot. Started glassing and I seen antler sticking out of the grass. Its the dang buck they shot. They never called the game warden and worse they just left that buck out there. I started texting the warden as I keep is info in my phone just in case. Told him the situation and he said he would be out there in a bit to help drag it out and sign it over to me. While were texting I was watching a doe on a private green field when I heard a shot and the doe takes off running and falls over. 4 guys on public walk up and start standing and the private fence when 2 of them jump over and run to get the doe they illegally shot. So I inform the warden and he hurries over to that unit and confronts them with the descriptions and info I was giving him and they finally confessed. Needless to say they weren't happy after dragging her a little over a mile to receive the $1800 fine. Shortly after he shows up and we get to dragging the buck. After getting the buck out I skin a both hind quarters and the back strap and all the meat was ruined after sitting in 70 degrees all day. I got to keep the little antlers but man I was ticked off that they could just leave an animal out there like that to go to waste. The next morning I went to the other side of the unit also a half mile in and spotted a good buck in a wooded draw also about a half mile in. Never got a shot at him and had to head home to run to Kansas and the inlaws home for Thanksgiving. We got back Friday and Saturday morning I was on the road and 2:30 am to head back to a hill to watch that tree line. After setting up I hear limbs cracking and leaves scrunching all around down the tree line. Sun comes up and wouldn't ya know it a bunch of cows broke the fence down and came over from a private property to the north. Needless to say all I saw that morning was cows, a doe with 2 youngins and the highlight of the morning a group of 5 baby bobcats all walking single file. I left for the truck about 11 am and went driving trying to find another area but there were still campers everywhere so I went back and took a nap in my truck for about 30 min. Started in I and couldn't make up my mind on whether I wanted to set up in the trees or up on the hill overlooking the edge. I decided since its my last evening hunt to go get set up in the trees on a rubline I had seen the Wednesday morning before. I get about 30 yrds from the tree line and I see movement. Through the binos up and can just make out the legs and the bottom of the belly of a deer. Since I was needing the meat I was committed to shooting any deer at that point. Well after about 15 min it was still standing in the same dang spot. I put the binos back up and can just make part of an antler moving a little and can tell it had good mass so here comes the fever lol. I had a hole of about a foot to shoot thru and had to wait and hope he would step in front of it. About 10 min later he take the few steps and I get the shot off and he drops right there. There are no words to explain the excitement and relief I felt at that moment. Took an hour and 15 min to drag him out and my legs were like jello by the time I made it. No canyons or draws but a couple hills and uphill the whole way out thru scrub oaks, Yucca plants and 2 ft grass made it a bugger but I'd do it again in a heart beat.
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:55 AM
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Nice buck. sounds like you earned him!
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:06 AM
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Yep. Not a giant (scored right at 130") but I worked harder for this one for sure. Its getting harder and harder to hunt public land here. I prefer to take the bow out but the hot weather made that very unproductive this season. I still have till Jan 15 though so maybe in a few weeks they will get back on some normal patterns and I can get one stuck.
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Old 11-30-2016, 08:35 AM
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Sounds like a heck of a trip, congrats.
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:19 PM
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Nice story and good work! Great buck for sure and you earned him

I can't imagine owning that strip of private land in the middle of public.


Oh, and use some paragraphs next time... my not so young eyes will have an easier time following along LOL
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:47 PM
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congrats, reminds me of my first good public land buck, but I had a lot longer drag, but I kept going back, killed 19 bucks and a bear in that hole before I decided that spot was for men younger than I
RR
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Old 12-03-2016, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by WV Hunter
Nice story and good work! Great buck for sure and you earned him

I can't imagine owning that strip of private land in the middle of public.


Oh, and use some paragraphs next time... my not so young eyes will have an easier time following along LOL

lol Sorry bout the no paragraph thing. they were there but when I copy and pasted from word they jumbled all together. Maybe next time I'll make the font larger for your aging eyes
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Old 12-03-2016, 07:44 AM
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Congrats I can respect that kind of hunt and that's not a bad buck either
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Old 12-04-2016, 05:57 AM
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really nice story. i enjoyed it.
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:31 AM
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congrats. sure a lot of illegal stuff going on there
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