Coming down to the last day of a five-day deer hunt with your tag unfilled isn’t a situation most hunters want to put themselves in. And when the weather takes a turn for the worse—from cold and sunny, to windy with steady rain—the situation can seem even more dismal.
As you likely recall, I and several other editors and writers were hunting white-tailed deer with Rut & Strut Guide Service in western Oklahoma, sponsored by Remington, Bushnell, Hunters Specialties, RAM Trucks and Birchwood Casey. Rut & Strut’s Todd Rogers had already guided the other six hunters to their western Oklahoma bucks. (See Travel Day, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4 to catch up.)
Friday evening found me in a new location, thanks to a change in wind direction from the northeast. The box blind on a hillside overlooking a small wheat field seemed the perfect place to ambush a big buck headed to the field in the evening to eat and look for hot does.
However, the rain started shortly after I got in the stand, and visibility became poor far before the end of legal shooting time. In the end, more than a dozen does visited the field, but only three or four small bucks came in—not a shooter like I had hoped for.
That night left me time for some soul-searching. Was I willing to hunt Day 5 with the same standards I had used so far, or should I settle for a smaller buck? I would have to sleep on it.
Saturday morning brought more rain and very overcast skies, making it nearly impossible to see for at least 30 minutes after the beginning of legal shooting time. I could see a few deer off in the distance, but even with the fine-quality Bushnell Trophy Extreme binoculars, I couldn’t make out anything about their racks.
Checking my weather app, I learned that the rain was expected to continue throughout the day and well past sunset. I quickly made the decision to take the first mature buck I saw. Then I waited.
By about 8:30 I was starting to feel a little demoralized. Would I actually go home from such a deer hunting paradise empty-handed? Just then I caught a glimpse of movement out the right side window of the blind. A mature buck was following a doe down a pasture road about 150 yards away.
The decision didn’t take long. I pushed the muzzle of the Remington R-25 GII out of the window and placed the crosshairs on the buck’s shoulder. The doe had veered off the road and was headed for a draw, followed by the buck. In another few seconds, both would be gone from sight.
One easy squeeze of the trigger, and the deal was sealed.
In the end, I had taken a fine buck that I was proud of. And while I had passed on one that I believe to be larger on the second day of the hunt, that’s just part of hunting.
Special thanks to the sponsors of this hunt, along with Todd at Rut & Strut. I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing this hunting adventure with me over the past several days. It has been a pleasure having you along.Happy hunting!