After many seasons under my belt using modern and traditional equipment, I felt that it was time to put the work in and go 100% trad, this season. I've always wanted to kill a P&Y or mature buck with my recurve so this is the season. I'm not getting any younger. :)
I'll update this thread from now until the end of our season here in SE Oklahoma. I'm going to be as honest and level with you all, as I can be. Might be some bumps in the road, but I'll work towards my ultimate goal... and that is to kill a mature, and hopefully P&Y scoring buck with one of my recurves.
The action will really start around the 5th of November when my wife, Lana, and myself, take two weeks off during prime rut time. Until then I'll post some of my earlier pics from the woods here and practice from home. Hope you all will follow along and you enjoy it.
Oh... there will also be ample pics of our little dog, Tater tot. :)
My current location... 12 yards to that trail. Classic funnel stand. Had four different bucks cruise through yesterday morning. Swatting mosquitos away today. Had a female bobcat with two kittens walk behind me 15 minutes ago.
Well, drew blood about ten minutes ago. Not a buck, but a boar. Up and down was center mass, and about 3-4 inches back from a ten ring. I forgot to mention, I'll kill some hogs. They don't get a pass. Especially when they bathe in front of me.
So the blood was unreal for the first 100 yards and then he hit a nearby field. It was still quite easy to follow in the grass and we soon found ourselves going towards the truck. We lost blood under a big cedar tree where it turns out he had bedded. This bed was less then 50 yards downwind from my stand. When I shot, he did a big semi-loop and then behind me somewhat. When I walked to get initial blood at dark, I must have pushed him from his bed. If he would've went on a straight line away from my stand, i might have found him tonight. Nonetheless, he's dead out there, because you don't take an arrow where he took one tonight, and survive. I'll look tomorrow but doubt there will be any carnitas off of him.
This is what I did most of the summer... plug arrows. Some days were better than others, some days were a struggle. The days of struggling diminished to the point I was smashing arrows in the targets at my backyard limit of 18 yds. Plus the arrow building and sharpening broadheads brought back a bit of nostalgia from when I started out bowhunting. I killed a bunch of animals with Zwickey heads starting out on my compound. A part of the process I really enjoy.
Back to the pig I shot last evening. This is where the arrow entered and close to the same angle. Going to look again for him in a few minutes. I know he was hurt bad and the shot was lethal. Just a matter of finding him in waist high grass or briar thickets if that's where he went. Can't imagine he'd be too far away given how much blood he's lost, how quickly he initially bed down and the arrow location. He's dead, I know that.
This is the stuff (grass/weeds) he ran into after his initial bed. It was like the old needle in a haystack. Well, we didn't find the needle. We did grids up and down the creek and in the field in various directions, checking every clump of trees. I still think we would've found him last night if he wouldn't have wrapped around and bedded directly behind my stand and right next to where I walk out. Again, I know the boar is dead and that brings me some satisfaction to eliminating another breeder. I rarely eat the big boars anyhow.
elkster... no dogs, except our little wiener dog. I'd like to find someone close by with one. Could be quite useful some day. Next hunt will be on the 5th of November for 12 days straight. Hopefully cold weather will move in along with the new moon.
I appreciate all of you guys that follow along. I know these types of threads can get boring and rhetorical and I'll do my best keep it lively. Giving daily updates when the REAL hunt begins, next week. Including pics and videos.
One of the reasons, besides I love sharing my hunts with others, is that I wanted to hold myself accountable (not falling back on my modern bow) and not giving up on this goal. If there's hurdles that seem too large, I'll trudge on. But... I'll always be true to myself and the game I pursue. If I'm a stupid mess out there, I'll hang it up. But, don't think that'll be the case.
One thing I've done this year more than ever, is get 100% confident in my weapon. Getting the right arrow combo and enough grains per pound (gpp) with my arrow setup. I'm just under 10gpp on my setup off of my 60" 52# checkmate recurve. Also around 11gpp off of my 62" Roy Hall 43# recurve. I plan on shooting both this year.
I've hunted 3-4 sits this season and haven't stepped foot into my REALLY good stands. I'm sure looking forward to some N/NE winds and getting going. By the way... I don't shoot at the pigs in my deep stands. ;)
Thanks for doing this, Rick. Great stuff. I've found that you learn a lot about yourself doing live hunts like this. We all have a lot of introspection as we do what we do for hours and days at a time. But thinking about and verbalizing it can make it coalesce into something to improve your hunting or your life.
Keep posting and don't kill anything for awhile, ok? :-)
I’ll say a couple of things for Rick, especially for those that have not met or hunted with him. He’s one of the most cerebral hunters I’ve ever been around. In the few years I hunted with him in Oklahoma, I was always amazed at how detailed he was from hanging stands to analyzing thermals/ wind to the enth degree. With his knowledge of his property to his level of detail, we all are in for a treat with this thread.
I remember being there. I think. I did a couple seasons of wheels and loved it...you know...like disco music. It was great. Going full 'trad' was my equivalent of putting down the chainsaw and picking up the double-bit. I may not knock as many down but I appreciate every one that falls. Cue the dulcimer music....
Best of luck in your endeavor! I almost called it an 'undertaking' but thought better of it with Halloween in a couple days. ;-)
You'll get em. My son followed me into traditional archery 4 years ago, after watching me shoot sticks his entire life. He's a fine hunter with a couple Wisconsin P & Y bucks to his credit with compounds.
Since the switch he's taken 2 does and 4 bucks, and got this one last saturday.
Jaq, thanks man. I'll try to wait to kill until the 10th or 11th. ;)
Aaron, thanks for the kind words. You're a good friend.
I hope I can make this happen, I've been thinking about this since late April when I decided to go full in. Appreciate the words of encouragement. Sometimes, that's what it takes to go the extra mile, hang that extra set, shoot more or even stay on stand longer. This is going to be a long week!
Rick... funny you mention Lana. She is trying really hard to shoot her first P&Y buck. To the point that she's obsessed with it. I try my best to tell her to "have fun" and not obsess over it. Shoot what you want when that time comes and NEVER have regrets for what you shoot. She was a bit pouty last year after shooting the buck pictured here. I told her she should be extremely proud for putting a great shot and killing a buck that the majority of hunters in Oklahoma would be proud of. I do my best to not push my agenda or limits upon her, but she's driven as well. So, we could see a monster falling at her hands as well. Wouldn't hurt my feelings one bit! :)
Jaq... she's healing from a fall she had a couple weeks back. She left the camper before me to head to one of her stands in the dark. She got about 100 yards from the camper and realized she had forgotten her seat cushion. She laid her bow down and started her way back. It had rained overnight so the ground was wet. She slipped on a wet rock and tumbled to the ground, hitting her face pretty good. It was shocking to me when she opened the camper door holding her mouth with blood seeping between her fingers. She bounced back pretty quick after realizing she hadn't broken any teeth or bones. On to the stand she went... lol
For the record... She knows I'm posting these pics too.
Finally! Been watching this for 3 days and finally a Tater sighting! :-) Good luck brother! Hope you and Lana each fulfill your goals this fall. I know you guys will have fun no matter the outcome. Stay safe and shoot straight!
You're going to have to start another thread once the real hunt starts. Weather is looking kind of dicey up here in Iowa for this weekend but I'm only looking for one to make the Pokem' Young club. I'll be following. Good luck!
That sucks for Lana. Hopefully the recovery continues. Something similar happened with my late wife. Had to take her to the hospital for stitches in her lip. Even though she kept telling them I didn't do it, I could tell everyone in there was thinking, "Sure, thats what they all say.."
Funny you say that, Lou. We laughed about that same subject. I'm sure there were people on both sides of our family and some of her clients that discussed that amongst themselves. I can assure you, there would've been ZERO pics if that were the case. Might've been pics of me with two black eyes, although. :)
My wife fell down the steps a couple years ago. Got pretty beat and bruised up. She swore she had broken her ankle so, the next day I took her to the ER. Man, was that ever a eye opener. Had people from human resources and several male doctors come in and kept asking her what had happened. It took 4 times before I caught on to their insinuations. At which point I told them what I thought about that. My wife was naïve too. But, when she realized I was right about their intentions, she got madder then I did
Phil... we thought about that, believe me. We had many concerns with her although. One, the grass was SUPER tall and the briars were another hurdle. We just spent a bunch of money in vet visits and lots of physical therapy for her herniated disc, back in May. We didn't want to derail the healing she's had up to this point. She's all of 9 lbs too. There's times when I wished she was a bit larger so I could turn her loose during times like those. Good point none the less.
First sit of November. Hunting a bedding/feeding transition area along an old grown up right of way. My stomach is queazy, like in a good way. Wind should be coming across my body and then in my face by 8am. I know does bed in here, so should see a buck or two hopefully. One sit them off to Lubbock, Texas to meet up with family for OU/TT football game. Love this time of year!
Safe travels down to Red Raider Land for the game! Although I would have to root for the old alma mater and you’re probably on the other side of the stadium:-). Hopefully you don’t miss a visit by Mr. Big while your over there at the game!
Tavis... you know, it will be okay if I do. I don't spend a lot of time with my family and this is a big deal for us to get together. I'll have plenty of time in the next two weeks while on vacation to catch up to a buck. We will be staying with my cousin who is a HS basketball coach there in Lubbock. A few of my Okie sports junky cousins from Norman are all going. I've never been and looking forward to the experience. Monday... it's full fledged killing time! :)
Here's where I'm at now. Should catch some deer heading to bed in the next couple of hours, hopefully.
Knocked the antlers around awhile ago, along with my damn fingers. Beautiful out here!
One lone doe so far. Funny thing she did too. She came right down a trail at 30 yards and then before crossing into the woods, she did a Z pattern all the way to the creek and then back to the same trail but into the woods to my North. She was completely upwind also, and calm.
John... if you're on social media you can look up Oklahoma Bowhunter. The fellas name is Kregg Griffith. He's got a variety of style of hats. If you need his number, I can get it to you. He's a good friend of mine.
Good luck Rick. Worthy quest for sure. I wish you the best of luck. Following along. However painful, perhaps you should stop shooting hogs to up your odds. But, I admit, I don't have to deal with them on a regular basis. Carry on!!!
Looks like Tater Tot could very well bite your ass. Haha.
Thank you, Andy. I'm laying off the hogs unless it's one monster we call "Goldie". He's huge! Probably close to 300# and reddish/gold with black spots. If I see him, I'm dropping the hammer! As far as TT goes, she's a pushover unless you are a squirrel. ;)
Hey Rick, good luck, the very first PY buck I killed was with the stick a few years back in Nebraska. So if I can do it , you surely can. The score was PY 126 3/8. No doubt, that memory will be at the top of my list for WT kills. I hope for the best on your quest.
Good luck Rick! I start my annual hunt on Wed. with a trip to Boggy at MCAAP (if you have any tips for Boggy, let me know. The place I used to hunt in Boggy is now in Deer Creek!) After that I will hunt until the Sunday after Thanksgiving. This is without a doubt the best time to be in the Oklahoma woods!
Rob, for sure man! Best of luck at Mac! What a great time to be there! I don't know a lot about Boggy, except it's the first one they call to load up in the mornings... "Boggy drivers!" Lol. Good luck man!
Here's where I am tonight. I really don't have a lot of confidence in this stand. It's a stand I put up two weeks ago because I noticed there were white oak acorns falling and a fresh scrape 20 yards from the tree. Wasn't a lot of room to go high with this stand so it's only 10 feet off of the ground. Bedding to my SE and West. They will transition across the field in front of me some. If I see one I want to shoot, maybe there will be a opportunity to call one in. Will probably be last hour movement. Also, I've never sat in this stand or area before. There's also a pond to my North and persimmon thicket to my East, which is void of fruit.
If you look between the "V" in the tree you can see the ladder stand.
Another day started... Lana stuffs TP in her nose to keep from dripping while she walks to her stand. ;)
Me on the other hand, I made about every noise possible getting in this morning, along with walking through spider webs, breaking every damn stick and dead limb, splashing through the holes the hogs dug (and almost breaking my ankle), and having deer blowing at me. Not to mention the waist high WET grass I walked through now has my pants saturated. But, it's gonna get better. Lol
The spot I oh so eloquently snuck into this morning is about a 200 yard walk through a grown up field. It's about 150-200 yard wide briars and oaks that border a creek to my North. I'm on the SW edge of the trees with a slight NE wind blowing into my face. 4 does came through minutes ago heading South.
I came in here back in August and cleared some pretty good lanes.
Lana just reported she had a wide spindly eight point dogging does over by her. Needs another year she said. Check in around noon or so...
Just had a mid 130s 9 point run a doe right under my stand... I mean directly under! I was debating on shooting him until I saw that he was almost 20" wide. Probably 7-9" g2s and 3s. Split g2 on his left side. I watched him at 10-15 yards for several minutes behind me, before he broke out of the briars and chase the doe under me. Good stuff!
Justin, exactly! There's an old ten foot ladder there and then there's 4/5 screw in steps to the hang on. That short ladder was part of another stand years back when an F1 tornado came through and tore down my funnel stand area that was 75 yards to the East. I simply utilized it to get higher. Good eye!
Thanks, Nick & Aaron! Aaron... yep, still shooting the old checkmate.
Back in the same stand as yesterday morning. Reasoning is the amount of doe traffic I saw yesterday. Plus the 9 point was nice to see as well. The brisk NE wind serves me well in this stand too. I almost didn't come to this stand because it is so hard to get in here. I tweaked my back this morning while taking a dump. Good lord! You ever heard such crap?! lol
I'm not the type to keep people in suspense. I'm not sure what NT P&Y is but right now I don't care. I'm writing this because it's raw, right now and in the moment. I killed this beautiful buck this AM and I knew he was running dead when I released the arrow. I am now sitting here looking at him and pulling in his aroma. I thank god for this opportunity and I'm so grateful! I shot him at 7-8 yards. The arrow hit its mark and i saw blood explode from the "ten ring". I could hear him expiring from my post.
This has been a goal of mine since May. I put all of the pieces together with my bows to make this happen. Namely, practice, practice and practice some more. Getting the right arrow combo and darts for broadheads was key, in my opinion. Once that confidence builds, then fall back on your hunting abilities.
This morning started out with myself doing the internal debate... which stand? Eventually, my intuition told me to go back to this stand, as it sets up great for NE winds and it's a great transition area. Plus, I'd seen seven does and a very nice buck the morning before. I usually get in this stand right about shooting light, because of its nature and it takes me a long time to get in there due to overgrown fields and the holes from the hogs.
Once on stand I got all my garb ready and sat down to have a chew. About 30 minutes later I hear grunting and two small bucks come running through doing circles. I know what that means. Hot doe in the area! They jacked around like they were in some kind of circus and finally after snort wheezing at each other, they moved on.
At 7:25 I catch a glimpse of movement to right and close! My immediate thoughts, Holy S--t! He was coming fast and on a trot, bearing down on my locale. I stood, grabbed my bow and had just enough time before he got behind some brush to "meh" him to a stop.
Now, here's where I almost F'd up... for some reason I had my hat on "normal". Don't know why, because I know I can't shoot my curve with my bill forward. I didn't realize this until I came to almost full draw after the buck stopped at 8 yards! Well, I muscled through it and in the process pushing my hat to the side and anchoring, solid. Then I delivered one of the best shots of my life. When the arrow hit, he gave out a bellow and immediately I saw blood explode from his rib cage! He ran off and seconds later I could hear him taking his last breaths. I sat back down and tried to capture what had just happened. It was like a dream.
I'm SO VERY grateful for this opportunity and also proud that I could share this with so many. It's something I'll talk about and think about until I die.
Thank you all SO very much for checking in. Grateful.
Simply Awesome on every level. That is a world class buck. If that don’t make p&y then to hell with them - sure looks like it will with ease. Congrats Rick! Most guys are happy with a fork horn as their first trad buck - thanks for raising the bar buddy! Lol
My stand in center frame. I'm standing where the buck stopped.
My stand in center frame. I'm standing where the buck stopped.
Thanks guys! Really appreciate the comments. I do have another buck tag I'd like to fill. Lana is on stand right now. Haven't heard much from her, assuming it's quiet where she's at. I'm lying in camp with Tater tot because I came down with a major head cold. Got me feeling like junk!
Here's a few more photos showing entrance and exit.
Paul, I had never seen him before yesterday. He appeared like a ghost coming in fast from my right. I was fortunate to get him stopped and put an arrow in him. Those opportunities are fleeting as we all know.
Way to get it done Rick! Spread didn't look like much until the later pics - what a toad. Another buck and a few doe tags along with 'blondie'. You've still got more hunting to do once feeling better. Good luck Lana.
Outstanding! Ya know when something like this happens, it's ALMOST always ..... "darn, all of the sudden this giant buck came barreling in and was just there looking at me, I reached for my bow and the last I saw was his good by wave, and he was a monster" ..........
Inshart (Bob), you are so right! He came through a lane I purposely cut back in August. The deer were diverting around the briars and this downed tree to the point they were 30-40 yds out and behind obstacles. I spent a hot day in hell working my ass off on something I thought would work. I'll be damned if he didn't walk right out of the thick briars and through that lane. All of that blood, sweat and aches/pains the days following was worth it!
Can’t leave you alone for a minute and you go and kill a slob of a big buck!
Congratulations! That is an incredible buck! Spectacular job all the way around with the practice with your recurve, setting up the trails, picking the right stand and making the shot on a big buck under pressure!
Thanks for taking us along on the adventure, even though it was over quickly! Thanks for not for not dragging it out to Christmas:-)
Great shot! I learned my lesson a few weeks ago trying to go too tight behind the shoulder, hit the buck's scapula which can happen all too easily if the buck dips or you are off just a few inches. Well done!
Ha ha, Greg! I actually hurt it leaving to go down there, by lifting the trailer on the ball. I'm resting right now and Lana and myself have another week of Hunting ahead of us. I think I'll start another thread so folks won't have to sift through this thread. ;)
Thanks again, all! Something about dragging a big buck out, put me down for the count! I've been sick since Thursday. Feeling a bit better today, but still have lots of drainage. Coughing is another story!
I'll post on here if things get hot and heavy. Lana did have a Big 10 run a doe past her setup tonight. Another fella sat one if my stands this morning and shot two pigs and a 117" 11 point. Glad he shot the pigs!
Lana is in a new spot, I'm in a stand I've not hunted all year. In fact, I've got three stands in the next 5 days that are virgin. Ready to arrow another and help Lana drag one out. Stay tuned... this could get REALLY good. :)
Old school bibs for tonight's hunt. Made by Sitka.
Old school bibs for tonight's hunt. Made by Sitka.
Back in the thick stuff...
Back in the thick stuff...
This morning was cold AF! You Paul's brothers can keep that stuff in Canada, man! I'm not used to 21 degrees in November!
I did manage to see some point blank does, a black boar hog and a coyote. Lana had some good action! Had does in the neighborhood of 15-16. One decent buck that got behind her and got her wind. She's was distraught so she got down and went back to the camper by 10 am. Found out she had some type of stick tights all over her ass and in her under clothing. She wasn't happy at the camper... ;)
Here's a few pics from yesterday and today. I'm back in my old haunt from last Wednesday. Will be my last NE wind for a bit. South winds are coming. Blah
First pic is of Lana and her crazy ass makeup. She loves her some latex paint. Cracks me up!
Rick, why wont you stick a hog in there? Worried about tromping around looking for them? Why not just bring a rifle into the stand and blast them? Next day, the deer won't even care, wont they? You could also use a .22 with a suppressor and take head shots if you're worried about lighting off a rifle round on your land...
Thanks fellas! Can't wait to take him to the taxidermist on Sunday. Going to do my first pedestal type mount.
Ike... it's mainly right now during the rut that I will let a few pass. Primarily my deep sets where it's tough to get into. I wouldn't want to have to move a 200 lb boar out of the area and stink it all up as well. I'd also hate to carry a bow and a gun in there. Actually not sure of the legalities either.
This is the bloodtrail from the buck I killed. Thought some would get a laugh from it. It's who I am, I do get a little exited. At the end when I said... "look at that", several times, I was thinking of that guy that his staple is... "would you just look at that". lol
Man I'm late to the show wished I'd of been following from the beginning. I was wondering why there wasn't more of a story on the Oklahoma forum. Again what a beautiful deer and a amazing write up congratulations Rick. It's even more impressive sense you killed the only big buck in SE Oklahoma. Hear that everyone there are no more big deer in SE Oklahoma buy I hear Kansas has P&Y behind every rock and tree.
I’m just glad you put the disclaimer that you weren’t crying in there. Might have had to revoke your mancard! Now if you HAD dropped that hand warmer, well, then I could understand shedding a few tears ;-)
Congrats Rick! I hadn't seen the completion until now I guess I was in the woods a little too. Anyone who gets a deer with trad is special in my book and you got something extra special! Way to go hope Lana connects before your season ends.
Thanks again, everyone. Heading out to stand in just a few minutes. This moment plays in my mind every time I sit in a stand. Hopefully, there's another out here I can put a another tag on. A pig will work too. :)
Rick, you better bring him up to Omaha so we can score him over a couple too many cocktails. They say everything gets bigger after a few drinks...or maybe it's smaller? I don't know, it's between Christmas and New Year's, I don't even know my own name or what day it is anymore! Ha!
lol... Brotsky. That rack will be scored next month. No need to go up there with it and get trashed, then leave it and forget where I put it.
You know, I was thinking just how fleeting these bigger mature deer are to get close and ultimately kill. As an example, he's the only buck I got in front of me that I wanted to put an arrow in. I've seen one other 8 point that might push 130". That's the biggest I've seen since that day. Safe to say, you'd better take advantage of those opportunities when they occur.
Well, I was going to do a pedestal but decided against it. I did do a sharp left turn like he was when I arrowed him. I think he turned out well. Got him back last month. My taxidermist was gone flying people around the world and had to put his taxidermy on hold for a bit, which delayed all his customers. He let everyone know beforehand too. He did a fabulous job, in my opinion.
Ya know Rick, I just went through this thread again now. I'm not sure I gave it the time it really deserved seeing as it was huntin' season and all. It's really something special that season you had there with the quest and fulfilling it!!! So happy for you brother. I'm not sure if this is the lease you lost, but if it is, there is sweetness in having completed such a goal before losing the spot, especially not knowing the loss is coming. (not to re-open that wound) Regardless, a full congratulations are in order, super happy for you.
Adam, it is the lease i'm losing. But... looks like he might be willing to split it up. Still negotiating. The landowners never made it clear their expectations until big money rang his phone. Ultimately it might be too rich for my blood. I'm not too worried, I've already got leads to other places and there's always public land. Already looking towards our next adventure. Who knows, maybe my next thread will be "Public land P&Y quest". :)