A Buck Called Stone

Show Notes

The late season junkie tags one early! This week on the Oklahoma Outdoors Podcast, John tells the story of his early season archery buck he named Stone. John is not a big early season hunter. In fact, he has repeatedly preached how early season is not a good time to hunt for the majority of people out there. But, leave it to mother nature and a buck named stone to make a fool out of him. With drought like conditions, a major storm, and a buck who held on to his summer pattern a little too long, things worked in John's favor only 5 days into the 2023 deer season.

In this episode, John talks about the off season scouting and habitat work that laid the groundwork for his October hunt. With the dynamic of his neighbors changing, John has had to rethink his habitat and property layout. Those changes and a lot of hard work in the spring payed off with a solid buck at 18 yards on October 5th! By far the earliest in the season John has ever tagged a mature buck, or any whitetail for that matter.

Check out the Sportsmen's Empire Podcast Network for more relevant outdoor content!

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Hey guys and gals, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors podcast brought to you by Arrowhead Land Company. Here you will be educated, entertained, and equipped to get more out of your outdoor experience. So hold on tight because here we go.

Howdy doody folks, welcome to the Oklahoma Outdoors podcast. I'm your host John Hudspeth and welcome to the show. If you can't guess by my voice, I'm in a pretty good mood and that's because we're just a few days into deer season. And I have already filled a buck tag by far and away the earliest I've ever killed a mature deer and don't know what to do with myself, but we're gonna get into that here in a little bit You could probably guessed it.

That's what we're gonna cover today. My 2023 archery buck [00:01:00] Early season and it's gonna be a good old time Normally this point in the show, I talk about what I did last weekend and everything. But honestly there wasn't much to it, so I went killed this buck on Thursday, came back and worked Friday, just like any other Friday, and then Saturday, I think I sat on the couch from about 10. 30am to about 6. 30pm watching college football, which was amazing, something I don't do a lot during deer season. And then Saturday was my wife and I's anniversary, and so I let I kept the baby during the day. Let her get her nails done and everything all day and then we went to a nice fancy dinner that evening, so that was fun.

Sunday we went to church and then my mom left for Nebraska because my sister's about to have her baby. And so my wife and I went over and hung out with my dad and kept him company. I think he's headed up this week when the baby's actually born. And so that was pretty much the weekend because I had already done what I needed to do.

Yeah, that was last weekend. I am, I think I'm going to be [00:02:00] hunting this upcoming weekend, but we're going to talk about that kind of in the episode towards the end. So we'll get there. So yeah we're like two and a half minutes in, not even that. And I'm already pretty much done with this intro.

So that's it for this week. As far as the intro, I already told y'all what this episode is going to be about. And so we're going to hear a quick word from our partners and then we'll get right into the story. Of the buck I call stone, there is truly no place like the great outdoors in Oklahoma. When you're out in the wild, you want your wireless devices to work unlike other carriers.

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Bravado Wireless, the power of connection. All right folks, welcome back and we are going to jump into the story of Stone. And [00:03:00] I will warn you right off the bat, this may not be the longest episode in the world because there's really not. a ton to the story. At least the actual hunt. There's plenty to, me getting this deer killed, but the actual hunt itself was pretty short and sweet.

But I want to go back in time just a little bit as I always do. And, I may have shot this deer on October 5th, but I really killed this deer back in gosh, probably February. And so last season ended. And as I always do, after the season ends, I usually go on one good scouting walk through my sanctuary.

The spot that I never go. It's about 70 acres, it's fenced off, and we never let the cows in there. It's this big, deep, nasty canyon, and so we just don't want the cows in there because we're afraid we'll lose them. It's got basically three kind of major draws that come together. There's a spring fed Creek in the bottom.

So there's always water down there and it's just a perfect little deer hidey hole. And like I said, I think it was January [00:04:00] 21st. Walked a lot of the ridges. Walked down into the bottom. I had, Onyx up and I was like marking where the different draws came together. And I found like this cool little swampy area.

And just like I said, just did a big, just thorough walkthrough. Two years ago, we burned the kind of north half of, this little sanctuary area. And then this year my goal is to burn the southern half. And the southern half is closer to my kind of hunt areas and stuff like that. It's the side I really wanted to get burnt, but it's also a little trickier.

Some steeper angles, closer to the neighbors, all that stuff. So honestly I was a little bit more scared. So we did the northern half first, get some experience. And then we were going to come this year and do the southern half. And so like I said, I did that walkthrough on January 21st. And then February 4th, I took the dozer back there for the first time, and there was one bedding area that I'd been working on last year.

I went ahead and expanded it a little bigger, took out some cedars. Cleaned up [00:05:00] some fallen trees, made it a little bit more accessible, if that makes sense. I want it thick and nasty, but I also want deer to be able to to be able to get through there. And so I made some little, paths, just push stuff out of the way.

Like I said, expanded it, made it bigger. Went through and just made some random other little clearings and stuff like that. And basically just spent a whole day back there. Just clearing new bedding areas. And so that was February 4th. I believe it was February 18th. I went back there again, and spent, excuse me, spent pretty much an entire day cutting fire break.

And went along the southern boundary all the way around, made a big huge loop, tied it in with the fire from last year, and that that area would have been about 30 acres. So that was what I was hoping to burn this year. Unfortunately, I was not able to burn it. We had a crazy spring we had just lots of random rains and everything, which I know at this time of year sounds weird to say we had rain but we did.

And and just, it just [00:06:00] never worked out for me to get up there and burn it. Like when I had time to do it, the weather wasn't right. When the weather was right, I didn't have time to do it. And so unfortunately enough time went by, got too late in the year, everything greened up, and I just wasn't able to get it burned.

But like I said, I'd still done a bunch of work, for the bedding. And I've I've mentioned on here a few times, I've, I didn't used to worry about bedding too much because we had such, Like all the neighbors around us are super thick and nasty and we've never had that much hunting pressure.

So I've always been a little bit more focused on food. But this year I guess last year it started, all that's changed a little bit. We're starting to get some more pressure from the neighbors. One place sold, another place got leased. And I've been trying to do a lot more work and really make our place a good one stop shop.

And like I mentioned, there's water in that canyon, there's tons of cover, I'm planting food on the outside of it. And so that was my focus this year. Which, I mentioned the food, that kind of brings me to the next stop. I really... [00:07:00] picked up my food plot this year. I've never really done spring plots.

Honestly just never really had the money in the time and stuff to do it in the spring. I'm always really busy. But this year I just dedicated myself to it. Cause again, I'm trying to make our place a one stop shop. And so I've learned over the years that you can't like, I'm better off not hunting that Canyon.

I'm better off not hunting in it. I'm better off giving that to deer. Letting them, do their thing, have it, feel safe, live down in there, and then I hunt the edges of it. And I went, again, I scrolled through my phone, I'm pretty sure that February 18th, when I went in there and cut that fire break, I'm fairly positive that is the last time I have been in that sanctuary, I still haven't been in it, I didn't have to go on this hunt either.

So again, the entire, rest of spring, summer, now going into fall, the deer have just had that to themselves. So they feel perfectly safe. And then right outside that Canyon on the east side, which is where [00:08:00] I hunted, I put in my big food plot. I always, I've always had it in the fall. This year I went ahead and planted in soybeans.

The soybeans turned out great. We had a lot of spring rains and stuff, so they got good. They fed a lot of deer. They unfortunately did not make it till season because of course that rain, shut off. So they weren't able to keep up with the deer pressure. And then to the north of the canyon where, you know, the saddle as I call it I have another food plot there that's smaller.

It's maybe an acre and that's being generous. But I actually had some extra soybeans, and so I went ahead and planted that, even though it was just an acre. They wiped that out pretty quick. It didn't last near as long, but that's understandable. And then you go down the ridge, and I had another soybean plot down there.

And that one lasted a whole lot longer, just cause not as many deer go down there. It's just kinda, it's a lot further from that core area I was talking about. And again, I say all this to say that just, I put a lot of work in this spring to make this place. what I want it to be. Had the water, had the food, [00:09:00] had the cover, and then just really, I was doing it for the 2 percent buck, if I'm being honest.

Just to add a little bit more I bought a new bigger protein feeder and put that protein feeder up back there in the big food plot. And I've never fed protein. There was one year... Before I got married that I fed protein. I fed dairy pellets a cheaper version of it but I didn't have those feeders fenced the hogs got it all and put a bad taste in my mouth and I've just never really again never really had the money time and effort.

But but this year I was like, you know what? again, I was doing it more for the two percent buck and more for attraction like If you start feeding protein in May, which is what I did, you're not gonna see a big, jump in antler growth from, May to October. It's just not how it works.

You have to do it much more intensely than that. But, I just, again, I started doing it for attraction. And I think I, it was either late May or early June when I got that protein feeder up. And didn't have a camera on it for a little while cause it was just [00:10:00] kinda early. Put a camera on it probably late June, something like that.

And this buck stone was actually one of, if not the first deer that I started getting on that camera. And I had a camera in the food plot, and I had a camera at the feeder. And he would be on both of those almost nightly. And when he first started showing up, I judged him too quickly in a bad way.

I thought he was going to be like a scrub 8 pointer, if I'm being honest. Cause you know, he had pretty short fourths. And his brows grew awesome. I was like, sweet, like this deer's going to be cool. And then just the more he grew, the more disappointed I was. He ended up not being super wide.

He had some decent twos and threes. But, even then, not crazy, even once he was finished out. And it took him a while. He didn't start growing his fours for a while. So I just thought he was going to be like a scrub 8. He was with another buck that I was much more excited about, a little bit bigger deer.

But I also thought that other deer was a little bit younger. And time will tell. So they're munching on soybeans every night. They're eating at the protein feeder every night. [00:11:00] And that's basically what kept up through the rest of the summer. So those two deer ended up both being pretty good.

Again I judged Stone too early. He ended up finishing out really nicely. I just didn't give him enough time. And all of a sudden he popped up these little fours. Forrest kept getting a little bit bigger. His 2's grew a little bit more. He got a little heavier and everything And I pretty quickly determined like alright, this is a deer that I need to target.

I could tell by his body He was mature. Again, I have no history with him So I can't say for sure but just judging from past experiences and seeing him around other bucks and stuff pretty Positive he's five years old at least five years old. The other deer he was with Ended up being a little bit bigger, but pretty sure that deer was a year younger.

So I'm thinking he's probably four. He could be five, but I really think he's four. And and that deer is going to be really special next year. That's a slingshot. And so yeah, coming into season, these deer just coming in like clockwork, like pretty much every [00:12:00] night. July 14th, I got a picture of the 2 percent buck that sent me, over the wall.

But then he disappeared again. He didn't come to the feeder. I got a picture of him out in the food plot. Just one picture. Facing the camera. I showed him to a couple of my close buddies. And they're like, dude, that's not him. Or you're like, you can't tell, but I've just seen so many hundreds of pictures of this deer over the years I was like yes it is.

And I started to doubt myself cause weeks went by, if not months with no pictures. And then finally, I think it was in late August late August or early September, I got a confirmation picture that it was in fact the 2 percent buck. He started coming around more often But just as always, I'll tell the story of him, hopefully someday when I kill him.

I call that deer the 2 percent buck, because I give myself a 2 percent chance of killing him. He's just not a very killable deer, even though I get a bunch of pictures of him. And so anyway, as season gets closer, I'm looking at all the different deer, I get some other cameras rolling [00:13:00] and it's just very obvious that Stone is gonna be my number one buck.

He's I think, like I said, that other buck was a little bigger, but he was a year younger. And so he's mature, he's a good solid buck, and he just seemed to be the most active, and especially daylight active. So all those things is why he went to the top of the list. When he shed his velvet, he actually finished out a little bigger than I thought he was going to be, which is nice.

And I talked about why I ended up naming him Stone. Really a couple reasons. I set that camera in the food plot to where it would also take videos. And I was very excited to check it this summer. Got it, and I had several videos of Stone, and for some reason I don't know if something else set the camera off, or a little twitch, but I just had four or five different videos of this deer, and I hadn't named him yet, and he's just standing perfectly still, just like looking off in the distance somewhere, it was a ten second video, and he like wouldn't move the whole...

There was a couple of them that I thought maybe the video was frozen or [00:14:00] something, and then maybe he like twitches a year or something. And so I started thinking of a name with that, and I was like statue, statue's not very catchy and then I was like, man, he's just a, he's just like a rock solid deer.

And that's how I came up with Stone, cause he's not a monster, he's a good deer, but he's not a monster. But he's just, he's consistent, he's solid, he likes to hold still, and so that's how I named him Stone. And again, I had him identified September rolls around, Velvet's off and he's just doing the same exact thing that he had been doing since June.

Nothing was changing, and y'all have heard me talk about how I'm really not that big, usually, on early season. I've just never really had a mature deer, follow a script. Usually, end of September, they start shifting their patterns and moving to their fall range and, or, just not showing up as much.

Maybe the October lull has something to do with it. I don't know. But I've just never really felt like I had a legitimate shot at killing a mature [00:15:00] deer on opening day. But again, the closer we got. Stone was not changing his pattern and he was coming out in daylight quite a bit. And I started talking about on here, like I might actually have a shot to kill this deer on opening day.

So we make it to the week of opening day and I, I'd been checking the weather and stuff, but I hadn't looked too close because I just assumed it was going to be. Another hot south wind day just like any other day because it was going to be hot and I had already started conducting this plan Like a DIY air conditioning unit for my blind where you like fill a cooler with ice and you cut a hole in it And then you run a fan into that hole then you cut another hole in it and you put like a PVC 4 inch 90 degree elbow on it and that fan like pushes the cold air from the ice Out onto you and I had it all worked out I was actually ordering pieces for it and then it was like, it was I think Wednesday or something Opening day was a Sunday [00:16:00] and it was a Wednesday and actually clicked and checked the wind and that's when I realized for whatever dumb Stupid reason we were supposed to have an east wind like Saturday, Sunday, Monday Like day before day of and day after no idea why there was no front.

There was no But just for whatever reason, those three days we went from having a south wind, which would have worked to an east wind. No idea why. It's I already had it cleared with my wife to go. I wanted to go, I wanted to hunt. I had this deer coming in. I tried I, yeah, I left that part out.

I had tried to plant my food plots, but I hadn't got them in. So I was also wanting to get my food plots planted and I was trying to decide Do I want to plant food plots on Saturday if I'm going to be hunting on Sunday and, potentially screw it up? So I was just running this whole big battle through my mind over and over again.

Kept getting closer, and I was actually stressed out about it because I was like I have a [00:17:00] chance, like that's something I've always wanted to do, is kill a buck on opening day, and I have this chance, but I just don't know if I can pull it off. And so it kept getting closer, and finally I just decided there's no way I don't want to screw this deer up.

If the wind is coming from the east and the deer is coming from the west, there's just no way. Cause I, I was looking on the map what if I scoot further north? What if I try to set up a ground blind? What if I try to, use a, my, my mobile stand but again, there was just no way.

And so I decided it would be better to use that weekend to go ahead and get my food plots planted, not hunt, and just be patient. And so one of the hardest decisions of my life, but that's what I ended up doing. And so I planted my food plots. And then Sunday when I could have been hunting, I drove home and just football.

And so again, very difficult decision, [00:18:00] but in the long run, I knew it was the right call. And sure enough, he kept coming in daylight. I was checking the weather and we had this front coming in on Thursday. And so I was already pretty ready. To hunt that front for multiple reasons one is supposed to be cooler Two that front was bringing a north wind which is like perfect for this setup Absolutely, perfect.

So I was really excited about that And then what it just kept getting better in a good and bad way better hunting, but we had a crazy storm come through the day before Wednesday night I've, I've talked about that on my Instagram and posted some pictures. We think there might have been a small tornado around nobody ever saw one, but it blew our center pivot over.

We had limbs down and everything. I really expected all my blinds to be blown over. I've checked three of the four, three of the four still up. The fourth one I don't know about yet. But just a terrible storm and that night my cameras were dead, which [00:19:00] is a good thing for me, because if I get to hunt the next day, because, I I've learned this in the past, but it really brought home last year during muzzleloader season when I took those few days off work and I was able to hunt three or four days in a row and it just kept raining and raining and after hunting in the rain for several days, that storm finally moved out.

Yeah. And that's when I ended up killing that good buck, because they just pinned down they were pinned down for so long that they just finally had a chance to get up on their feet, and they got up on their feet early. So that was what I was banking on, and so I actually had to work that morning, so I worked Thursday morning left early, drove out there I wore as light of clothes as I could, cause it was still pretty warm, I think it was like 80 that day.

I had bought for my, what I thought I was going to be hunting in 92 or 93 or whatever. I had bought these two little like rechargeable fans. I think they're like 8 or 10 inches, something like that. And so I had, sprayed down and scent free, washed my clothes, drove around a different route [00:20:00] to make sure I wasn't going to be downwind.

I had my fans and everything, brought a ton of extra water, and so my plan was to get in the blind, and of course, the windows and door and everything had been shut, so I knew it was going to be hot in there, even though it wasn't super hot that day. So my plan was to get in, open all those doors and windows, let it air out.

And then close as many windows as possible, run those fans and just try to keep from sweating because like I said, it was still pretty warm. So that's what I did. I came in from the east, wind was from the north, I knew the deer would come from the west. Get in there, open the windows and all that, let it air out.

And I started, I sat for a while with one north window open and one south window to get a breeze. Again, to keep me from sweating. Had the fans running and it actually felt... Really good in there and so about probably six o'clock something like that I went ahead and closed that south window still had the one coming from north had the front window that I figured I'd be shooting out of open, and then still running those fans.

Watching [00:21:00] the clock, getting a little later, and I didn't know how early to expect Deer. They had, like the day before, he had been there at 710, and end of daylight was like 738, something like that. But again, I thought they might be moving a little earlier. So that's why I went ahead and closed up some of the windows.

About 6. 15 or 6. 30 or so, I went ahead and turned the fans off. I still had a little bit of breeze coming in from the north. And my eyes are just fixed on this fence crossing to the northwest where I was fairly positive these deer were coming from. I knew they were coming from the west, but there's two different ways they come into this food plot.

There's an open gate kind of to the southwest, and then there's just a spot that they just decided that was going to where it going to be where they jumped the fence to the northwest and I'm not sure why I thought they were coming from the northwest but I just assumed it's just when I know when I sit there that's where I see a lot of deer come from and it seems like especially the [00:22:00] big bucks come from the northwest so sitting there trying to keep from sweating drinking water and everything fixed on the northwest and all of a sudden I catch movement to my left and I look over And I can tell it's a good deer.

And so I put my binoculars and I realize it's slingshot and slingshots, the four year old, the deer that I'm really trying hard not to kill. And I think two days before that he had come out really early and way before, not necessarily way before stone, but he'd come out quite a bit earlier and so I saw him come in.

I was like, Oh no, like he's going to come up here. He's going to have to stick around for a while. And I'm going to have to try to not spook him and not shoot him. Because again, he's a very tempting deer and wait for stone to come in. So I'm a little bit taken by surprise. Cause he came through the open gate to the Southwest, which makes sense because the wind was from the North.

And so that way he circled downwind a little bit. [00:23:00] And so I'm looking at him. And then I see that there's another deer in front of him. And so I look at that deer, and it's a super young yearling buck. Not sure where he came from. He hadn't really been with him. And so then I, to get a better look at that deer, just to make sure I wasn't seeing something, I lean to my left, look out through the other window, and I realize that there's another deer in front of that deer, and that it's Stone.

And Stone's the lead deer. He's coming out. He's out in front. I take a quick look through my binoculars just to double check and there is no doubt about It's him. I check my watch. It's 637 I think 635 637 somewhere in there Legal light ended it like 628 so I mean we're almost an hour before shooting light and again now I'm starting to get a little worried Cause they're definitely swinging down wind.

And so I reached up, I closed that window on, the north window. So there's no longer a breeze coming through [00:24:00] again. The wind's pretty much straight north, but it did have a little bit of east in it when I was walking in. So just trying to be super cautious and and they're definitely looking up at the blind.

I don't know if they're just not used to seeing that window open. I don't know if they can tell. Again both of these deer are new. I don't think they've ever been spooked out of this blind or anything like that. But they're definitely looking at the blind. And I wanted to film. I wanted to take pictures with my phone.

I had my nice camera up in there. Not my video camera, but just my regular camera. I wanted to take pictures. But guys, I'm just not, I'm not to that point yet. I'm not to the point where I... Will risk spooking a big deer to try to get some pictures or some film like I would just rather kill them and so I made the decision when they were probably 50 yards out.

I was like none of that. So put the camera down Picked up my bow got my release and I'm ready. Like I'm in kill mode now, and so they keep coming in I'm using the blind to hide [00:25:00] myself. So I'm not really watching I just I know they're coming in every once while I'd peek out a little bit just to make sure they were And and they come straight in front of me.

They come to the feeder. So stone jumps in first, young deer jumps in, slingshot jumps in. They immediately pushed the young deer out of the feeder pen. And and they're just hanging out and stone would not give me a shot. And so I'm sitting there, I haven't drawn yet. He's walking around, and honestly, I was a little surprised Slingshot was pushing him around a little bit, actually.

Again, I'm fairly positive that Slingshot was a younger deer. Just a little bit younger, but he was definitely the dominant deer. And stone was not messing with him. And so he kept mewling around and I'm There's a little part of me like still looking around for the 2 percent buck because he's also been coming to this same spot He had not shown up in daylight, but I'm thinking, these deer so hurt so early he might be here early [00:26:00] and and finally stone works his way to the left And he's broadside and I'm like, all right, this is the time.

Go ahead and draw, make sure I have a good anchor. And again, they've been out in front of me for a couple minutes. And so some of my nerves has gone away. I say that, I feel like that helps and hurts me because I don't want to screw up it lets that pressure build some, and and so I don't know I've never decided if it's better to see the deer for a long time or let it just happen super quick so anyway, as I draw, obviously the heart starts racing a little bit more but I'm sitting there, I'm looking at him, And it's just clear he takes a little bit of a step to his right, which makes it a perfect quartering away shot, set the 20 pin on him, he's about 18, I never had to range him, I just know, and and let the arrow fly, and there's a very Quick moment in time.

Milliseconds where I think oh crap I pulled [00:27:00] it and I think I might have actually pulled it just a little bit to the right which is what I tend to do But when I saw that arrow hit and go through all that worry I knew right then and there that it was a dead deer. He jumped, mule kicked, did all that.

The arrow I'm not sure what happened to the arrow. I'm not sure if it was stuck in him a little bit or if it hit a rock or the panel or what. The arrow went probably 20 feet in the air and landed pretty good ways away from where he was standing. I think what happened was Actually, I just thought of this as I'm talking.

The arrow ended up coming out his opposite shoulder. It was a great shot. I, it, like I said, I pulled it a little bit to the right, but that was good because it hit back. Ended up quartering straight through his heart and coming out the opposite shoulder just like you want it to.

And I think what happened was when he loaded and jumped, basically that arrow was coming out and it just launched it up into the air. So he goes running [00:28:00] off to the south. I can see him and everything. He's pumping blood. I'm just sitting there whispering go down.

And I was pretty sure I saw him go down, but there was a little bit of a tree that he wrapped around and so I couldn't be 100 percent sure. But I just Like I, I just sat there in amazement, like not a, I think I was just like, what did I just do? A little part of me was, I'm trying to explain all these emotions now.

There was no disappointment. A little part of me was, though, was just like so confident that I was gonna get him, that I almost felt like I wasn't as excited as normally. Not that I wasn't excited to get him. I just like I knew I was going to get him Like I was just that confident. He was going to be there One of the most confident I've ever you know, I keep I told y'all multiple times the deer I killed last December was the most confident I've ever felt going into a hunt This might have even topped that like I was just so sure that I was gonna kill this deer [00:29:00] that Again, like it didn't take away from it in any way, but it was just a little bit different Cause I was just so confident in it.

So yeah. So like I said, great shot, felt super good about it. Slingshot was running around like what the heck's going on. He ended up working off pretty slow, which I was glad about. I was worried about educating him. Gave him some time. Didn't mess with going to the spot of the of the shot or anything like that.

Just went to the arrow and. Sorry, my printer just made a noise. Went and picked up the arrow, check the arrow. The arrow looked great. And so I just walked over there and ended up finding him. No problem. Didn't have to grid search or anything like that. Didn't have to look for blood. He went, I'm going to say probably 80 to a hundred yards, which is pretty amazing because he, it was a lung shot and heart shot.

So the fact that these deer can make that far. Just crazy so yeah, great looking deer, awesome great hunt man, [00:30:00] one thing about killing a deer so early, it gets dark late, and so everything gets pushed back by the time I got him, Loaded up and took him to the house to show my brother and his kids and everything It was like eight o'clock or something like that.

Had to run to town to get ice by the time I got you know ice and everything luckily I bought a Baby Ruth bar at the gas station while I was buying ice because I got back to the house and my dad was there and he was basically already in bed And so I couldn't make dinner or anything Still had to go up there and, gut him and take pictures and all that.

And so it ended up being a super late night. I think I got in bed. Gosh, probably 12, 15, something like that, by the time I got him taken care of and, showered and cleaned up and everything like that. And then, of course, my adrenaline was pumping, and so I didn't end up falling asleep until about 1.

30 that night, something like that. And just a great, awesome hunt. One that [00:31:00] I've... I've dreamed of for a long time. Everything just worked out how it was supposed to. I don't know what else to say besides that. I know it's not the most exciting story because I don't have all this history or encounters or anything like that, but it's like.

I feel like everybody dreams of two stories you dream of the story where you have all these crazy encounters, and it's a cat and mouse, and you finally kill him in the end. But at the same time, I think if everybody's honest, you dream of just having that nice, simple, easy, deer comes in and you kill him story.

And that's what happened on this one, got him to the processor the next day worked out the, my guy who does my euro mouse is just gonna pick him up from there. I actually got a call from them today, meet should be done soon, getting a little bit of everything, and and yeah, like I said it, not the craziest story in the world but that's the story of Stone.

And I'm not gonna do a full shoulder mount decided to just do a Euro. I scored him for the bow hunting league guys, cause I'm going to enter him and he ended up [00:32:00] going 143 and two eights. And you will never hear me complain about shooting a nice, typical 10 point in the one forties. I do it every day of the week.

So yeah, that's it. That's pretty much the story of stone. That chapter closes and a very exciting chapter opens, and I think I hinted to this in my intro. But with Stone in the books, I'm pretty sure I am basically dedicating the rest of my season to killing the 2 percent buck. And obviously he's always been in the back of my mind.

I've obviously somewhat been hunting him. But I've never really been like, alright, this tag right here, this tag is for this buck. And only this buck and I'm not necessarily like a full hundred percent on, if some mega giant shows up, I'm obviously going to hunt and try to kill that deer.

But of the deer that I have on camera right now, in inventory it's him or bust for me. I think there's another pretty nice mature deer that would be awesome. But I think I might actually try to get my nephew [00:33:00] on him or maybe a buddy of mine. We have a pretty good crop of younger deer this year.

I got a really good four year old some good looking three year olds. But we just didn't have quite as many mature deer running around this year as in the past. And so it's a little easier for me to to basically put my eggs in the 2 percent basket. And so I have years of trail camera data.

Over the years I've learned that I feel like as deer get older, they become a little bit easier to kill. They come a little bit more predictable. And I think part of it is just they get a little overconfident, they've done it for so long. They've always been okay. So they just let their guard down a little bit and so that's what I'm banking on I have never had this many pictures of the 2 percent buck this early in the season a lot of times I get some summer photos.

He goes away for most of October Into October, into November, I'll start getting some random photos of him, as he's chasing does and running around all over the place. But, nothing [00:34:00] consistent. And then usually late season is when he really dials in and starts coming in fairly consistently.

He's never been the buck that's just going to be there every day for two weeks in a row. And again, if he is, it's always at night. But again, getting older the weather just seems to be cooperating this year. I have my spots pretty dialed. I know when I can hunt them, when I can't and one thing that I've already I guess just decided on is hunting this deer probably means just hunting less in general.

Like for the rest of the I've done one sit this year. We're almost halfway through October and I've done one sit but I think that's just what it's going to take. I think I have to make this deer. So unbelievably comfortable that he is just okay moving in daylight. I really think that's what it's going to take.

I'm tracking his every movement. If I get a picture of him, I save it. I'm trying to put all the pieces together. Looking at the weather, the wind, where he's coming from, where he's going to afterwards and and [00:35:00] just building the case, starting the chess match as always. So yeah, hopefully that's exciting for you.

Oh, excuse me. Hopefully that's exciting for you guys to hear. Like I said, might be hunting a little less. I don't know. I will be hunting this coming weekend. We got this big old cold front. I want to say the high on one day is only like 65 or something like that. Low's getting down into the upper 40's possibly.

And even though it's, quote on quote, the October lull I'm probably going to be out there. Just depends. I'm really curious to see what happens in the next couple days. Again, I'll be watching my cameras to see if it's worth it. I really... really need to kill some hogs and some coyotes.

I've been getting a ton of pictures of those. And so I think Saturday morning I might actually sit close to the saddle. That's where I've been getting most of the pictures of them and just try to kill some dadgum varmints get them out of the way before, the good hunting gets here. Still got my Iowa trip, still gotta do some hunting over in Texas, I still need to kill some does on our place for sure, got youth weekend coming up the [00:36:00] following weekend after this one, and still plenty of hunting to be done just not sure how much hunting I'm gonna be doing. Focusing on bucks on our place, unless it's for him, not sure if I should say it's his time, or my time, or what, but that's the goal this year now. Again, can't believe I'm saying it, but I just don't know if any other buck on our property at this point would make me as happy as that deer. And so I think it's worth the wait, and as I mentioned before, I think the best time to kill him is probably late season.

That potentially muzzleloader, especially with muzzleloader going into November. But again, that's also when I kind of plan to go to Iowa. So definitely gonna have to weigh that out in my brain, but yeah. All right. So that's pretty much it for this weekend. Like I said, a little bit shorter episode.

Thank you guys for all your support. Thank you for listening to the podcast, sharing the podcast. I love getting, messages and comments and stuff from you guys on social media, so please keep that up. This time of year, usually things pick up a little bit as far as the comment section and [00:37:00] the messages and had some people reaching out to me, and I absolutely love that, so please keep doing that.

Thank you for listening to my story of stone. Thank you for all the support again, and that's going to do it for this week. So until next week, I will see y'all right back here on the Oklahoma outdoors podcast.