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Thread: Southeast Oklahoma Whitetail 2015 Firearm Season

  1. #1

    Cool Southeast Oklahoma Whitetail 2015 Firearm Season

    Howdy, howdy from sunny Oklahoma. My dad and I just completed a successful whitetail hunt for our 2015 rifle season, where we each shot nice eight-point bucks. We'd each taken nice bucks during our October muzzleloader season, but this hunt was a tad more memorable.

    We hunt on the small farm where my dad grew up in Pushmataha County, Oklahoma and have access to several adjoining farms giving us access to roughly 750 acres where we're often the only hunters. I typically spend every-other weekend there doing basic maintenance on the house, mowing the grass, arranging the cutting and sale of hay, and recording wildlife/scouting deer. You can imagine my enthusiasm when I was privileged to take these photographs the weekend of 11-7 and 11-8 when these bucks were in full rut on the south edge of our property.

    Our gun season is sixteen days and it began the morning of November 21 with extremely WINDY conditions, the sustained winds being between 20 and 30 MPH and gusts up to 45 MPH. The deer and other animals stayed hunkered down almost all day until the wind laid down and dissipated around 5:00 in the evening. We began seeing lots of immature bucks (small eight-pointers, six pointers, forkhorns, and spikes) and does, but none of the big boys like I'd been seeing outside of our season. We stayed after it, heading out at 6:30 in the morning, taking a short break at noon for a bite to eat, and staying out until after 6:00 in the evening, but neither of us saw anything we felt comfortable shooting. I had arranged to take vacation for the first full week of the season and my dad is retired, which allowed us to focus only on hunting.

    I headed out a little later than usual the morning of 11-24 and as I was walking to a favorite spot for deer traffic, I saw a deer loping across a hay meadow towards the timber and mountain to the east. The light was still dim (it was about 6:50 A.M. and official sunrise was 7:05), but I could see through binoculars that it was a decently mature buck. I was a little unsure of attempting a shot under those conditions in the field, so I hesitated. The deer loped on and the distance grew a little more. The buck then stopped at the edge of the timber and was broadside to me. I leaned up against a post oak tree and looked through the crosshairs and regained my confidence. I held just aft of his right shoulder and squeezed off a shot from my 7mm-08. I saw a big puff of hair fly off the buck who lurched and disappeared from view. I knew it was a solid hit. I quickly chambered another round and started across the meadow towards where I'd seen him last and found him piled up about three feet from where he'd been hit. It was a clean, fatal hit.

    I dressed him out, drove my pickup to where he lay, loaded him in the bed, and hung him from the ceiling of our walk-in basement. I split his chest open and removed the heart and lungs where I found penetrations of both lungs by the bullet.

    The distance turned out to be an honest 255 yards, which was further than I'd shot an animal in quite some time.

    My rifle used is a custom MRC 1999 built for me by Mark Penrod of North Manchester, Indiana. It has a 24-inch Krieger #2 Sporter barrel, McMillan Classic stock (dig the gray color), and Leupold VX-III 2.5x8 in Leupold STD mounts. My 7mm-08 load was a 140-grain Sierra BTSP over 41.2 grains of VV N140 in Remington brass with a Remington 9-1/2 primer; this was good for 2763 feet/second and 2371 lbf-feet energy at the muzzle.

    One deer down.

    My dad continued on for the rest of the day without seeing anything he wanted. I headed back out to near where I'd shot my buck around 5:00 that evening and looked to the south to the place from which I usually hunt and could see a large buck walking east at a casual pace towards the timber cover. I told my dad and he headed to that spot the next morning. He left the house at 6:19 A.M. and at 6:40 I heard a shot. He called me a few minutes later and told me he had a nice buck down and could I bring a pickup near him. I threw on some clothes, headed out the door, and drove within about 100 yards of him (the ground was quite soft). I dragged his deer to the pickup and we both loaded it into the bed.

    He said he no more got into the spot where I'd sent him than this deer was there -- the shot was only about 40 yards.

    He used a Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in 7x57mm with a load consisting of a 150-grain Nosler Partition over 49.0 grains of RL-19 in Remington brass with a WLR primer. (I loaded these for him, though he hasn't chronographed the load.)

    I always have a good time hunting with my dad, but this seemed like an especially well-timed hunt -- heavy rains rolled in right after he got his deer and are predicted to continue through the remainder of this weekend and possibly into the first part of next week.

  2. #2
    Nice report. Looks like you and Dad had a great hunt!

  3. #3
    Thanks for the write up! You're a lucky guy. Lovely rifle you have.

  4. #4
    Very interesting. Not sure what a 'post oak tree ' is but must be a steady rest for a 255 yard shot.

  5. #5
    Thanks for the comments. My dad is 74, still in great health, and has a lifetime of deer hunting experience (he's been at it since he was 13). Here's him in 1956:

    This is a post oak:

  6. #6
    Great write up, you look nothing like your Dad though...

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by RickyC View Post
    Great write up, you look nothing like your Dad though...
    I'd like to think I'm handsomer......

  8. #8
    nice write up there. Always enjoyable to read the excitement other people get from their hunting trips. Glad you've had a good season. Is that the end of your quota now or can you shoot more? Perhaps yo get an extended season for bow hunting?

  9. #9
    Great write up!
    It's good to see that some of those that started in the 50's are still at it nowadays.
    It must add that something really special to your Father/Son relationship!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    nice write up there. Always enjoyable to read the excitement other people get from their hunting trips. Glad you've had a good season. Is that the end of your quota now or can you shoot more? Perhaps yo get an extended season for bow hunting?
    We're allowed two deer of either sex for archery season, which runs October 1st through January 15th, two (one antlered and one antlerless) for our nine-day muzzleloader season, which ran from October 24th through November 1st, and two (one antlered and one antlerless) during our sixteen-day gun season which started November 21st and runs through December 6th. Some parts of Oklahoma (everything except the panhandle and the southeastern counties) also have a holiday antlerless season where each hunter is allowed an additional doe, but I don't think either of us will do that this year. It's also possible to get drawn for a "bonus" controlled hunt, as we did for Wichita Mountains NWR in 1995, 2005, 2013, and 2014, which can give the hunter an opportunity for more deer yet.

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