As the sun set on the Western horizon, my wife Beth, cameraman Hunter, and I still had six more hours of driving to do. Traveling through Mississippi, the miles couldn’t move fast enough to the Oklahoma border. We were headed to hunt the Okie state for the first time and couldn’t be more excited for a late season bow hunt.
Arriving after midnight, we quickly found our beds so we could start off first thing in the morning. As daylight came the deer movement began. Since hunting over feeders is legal in the state, and late season food sources are a strong necessity to get a shot, we were going to use these to our advantage. Beth was hunting the top of a ridge and not long after being in the stand she had deer coming in. After the first few came in to feed, a nice buck followed but never offered Beth a clear shot.
Setting up just off a food plot on a hardwood creek bottom, I saw a few deer after first light, none large enough to shoot or close enough. Suddenly I saw a nice buck trotting across the plot. He was heading away and I decided to blow my grunt call. With a few short tending grunts, the buck stopped and headed straight for us! He came in on a string to the call and stopped at 15 yard…right behind a tree! Standing there looking, the buck knew something wasn’t right and trotted back up the ridge and out of bow range. Talk about a great start to the trip!
The afternoon was also slow for me, only seeing a doe with two yearlings, but Beth was wrapped up on a food plot with deer. She saw several bucks that were nice and a couple of shooters. None offered her a shot on the first afternoon though.
When morning two began we awoke to rain, which isn’t a good combination for video gear or bows for the most part. We decided to tough it out in ground blinds, we normally hunt in Ghostblinds but in the rain we needed cover for the video cameras. Sitting in the blind as daylight approached we watched the woods come alive on the top of a hardwoods ridge. With the acorns long gone, the only food available was the feeder setup 15 yards away. Several does and yearlings along with one small-racked buck came in to feed then eased back down the ridge. I thought to myself that the rain was setting in harder and the deer would stop their moving for the morning when I looked to our right and a buck was coming up the ridge. Checking him out with my Hawke binoculars, he was a nice eight with a broken rack. As I looked at him, a giant eight point walked into view. This buck had it all: mass, tine length, width, and height.
Quickly I told Hunter there was a shooter coming in and to get ready with the camera. I clipped my release on my loop and readied myself for the shot. The bigger buck came right in and began feeding. I slowly drew by my bow and anchored for the shot. Gently touching the trigger, my arrow released and I hear a loud thwack and watched the buck hit the ground right there! What happened? The chair I was sitting in was a little low in the blind so after I released the arrow, my fletchings clipped the edge of the blind window just enough to kick my arrow up. Luckily my Muzzy plowed the deer’s spine and dropped him right there. After a follow up shot the buck was done. Was I lucky or the buck just unlucky? I will never know, but I had my Oklahoma tag filled!
Beth was back on the same food plot she hunted the afternoon before and again had encounters with a couple nice bucks with no luck. She was looking for her first deer with a bow and was doing all she could to contain herself. She finally had a nice eight point in range and drew back on him only to have a doe walk in the way and she was never able to get a shot off. Over the next three days she saw plenty of deer but no shooters to get an arrow towards. As dark fell on the last afternoon, I asked her if she wanted to give it one more try the next morning before we had to head home. Her answer, “I didn’t pay all this money for a tag to eat it!” She learned from me many times that tag sandwiches don’t taste good!
The last morning she climbed in the stand well before daylight and was ready. The morning was fairly slow then two bucks came in to feed. One was a real nice eight point, and on the last day she wasn’t giving any a pass! She drew back her Elite bow, anchored and placed her pink Muzzy right behind the buck’s shoulder at 31 yards. Beth had just filled her tag and arrowed her first ever deer with a bow, a nice eight point on top of all that!
There is nothing like spending time in the woods with the ones you love. Getting to share Beth’s first bow kill with her was very special and hopefully the first of many to come. She never hunted before meeting me, I don’t know if I’ve created a monster or not but she straight loves the outdoors and filling her tags as much as I do. I know I’m blessed for sure!
Until next time, God bless and good hunting.
- Bow: Elite Pulse (Michael) Elite GT500 (Beth)
- Rest: QAD Ultrarest HD (Michael and Beth)
- Sight: Spot-Hogg Hogg-It (Michael and Beth)
- Broadhead: Muzzy MX-3 ,100 grain (Michael), Muzzy 100 grain 3 blade Pink (Beth)
- Fletchings: Bohning Blazer vanes (Michael and Beth)
- Optics: Hawke Frontier ED 43mm (Michael and Beth)
- Release: Scott Quick Shot (Michael), Scott Little Goose (Beth)
- Scent Eliminator: Lethal Field Spray (Michael and Beth)
- Attractant: Muzzy Bowhunter Setup (Michael and Beth)
- Camo: Realtree APG by Gamehide (Michael and Beth)
- Safety Vest: Hunter Safety System Pro Series (Michael and Beth)
- Pack: Gameplan Gear Spot N Stalk (Michael and Beth)
- Stablizer: X-Factor Outdoors System (Michael and Beth)
- Boots: Lacrosse Alpha Burly in Realtree APG (Michael and Beth)