2015 was a double edged sword, we had lots of moisture which made the food source plentiful and filled all the water holes. It made for tremendous antler growth, more noticeable on the deer than the elk. It also made for some tough elk hunting since they didn’t have to move very far for food or water. The guides and hunters alike had to work very hard to find the elk. It was also much warmer than in years past, this coupled with hunting the full moon had the animals bedded early and coming out very late. This being said, the guides found a way to put the hunters on the animals. We were 100% on our antelope hunt, with some really nice bucks harvested.
We were 7 out of 9 on the archery elk hunt, with all the hunters having at least one opportunity to harvest the bull they came for. The Drury Outdoors Bow Madness guys, John Odell and Dave Reisner were in camp again this year filming for the TV show, and they brought along Greg Glesinger, a newcomer on the show. This years show starting in late July 2016 will be an awesome show. We had an outstanding average score on the archery bulls, an average of just over 341, which is almost unheard of. We also had one hunter doing a combination deer/ elk hunt and he harvested a giant velvet mule deer.
The first rifle elk hunt started out tough, but by the end of the week we had filled 6 out of 8 hunters licenses. The two that did not harvest had plenty of opportunities. One of the two had had Achilles surgery two weeks before and was in a cast, which made it tough on his guide and him to try to get in position for a shot. He had a couple shot opportunities opening day but chose to pass and again a couple other times during the week and passed. The other hunter had harvested a giant 368” bull with us in 2014 and was looking for something bigger. We found a beautiful 370” kind of bull opening morning and hunted him every day, morning and evening for the whole week. We had him as close as 30 yards of the fence but he just wouldn’t cross. He did pass on several smaller bulls that week, one in the 300” class. Both hunters have rebooked, one for 2016 and the other for 2017. For the week we averaged 329”. Too bad the fence bull wouldn’t cross, it would have boosted our average, but that’s hunting.
The 2nd rifle elk hunt started off really good. Of the 3 hunters that were in camp, 2 filled opening morning. One took a really nice 270” class bull ( not bad for a first bull), and the other a 310” class bull. The other hunter passed up a 290” class bull. The rest of the week we tried really hard to get her on a big bull passing on several smaller bulls. The last morning she had forgotten her license in the motel, so I sent one of the guides back for it and we went on to the ranch. Wouldn’t you know it, we found a big 340-350 class bull in the field with his cows at 200 yards and no license. We put him to bed and waited for him to come back out that evening but he was a no show.
The deer hunts were exceptionally good. We had a group of two deer hunters and a late bull hunter on the first hunt. Both deer hunters took good bucks, one a 167” buck and the other a 175” buck. The elk hunter finally got a 315” bull the last morning. On the second deer hunt we had a group of four hunters. All of them were looking for a giant mule deer buck. The first morning one of the harvested a beautiful, giant 184” buck and another missed a big non-typical. The other two hunters passed on several bucks. On the second day one of the hunters harvested a big wide buck with double eye guards on one side and triple eye guards on the other. Again the other two hunters passed on several bucks. On the third evening one of the remaining two hunters shot a huge 180” class buck and the other hunter missed on a 200” class buck. The last hunter filled on the fourth morning, taking an old massive buck. Overall our deer hunts were the best ever, we averaged right at 175”, and were 100%. Our late incentive hunt we used as a management hunt to cull the undesirable bucks out of the herd. Of the three hunters two harvested old management bucks, one a massive wide 2 X 3 that we have been seeing for at least 4 years and the other an old 3 X 3 that was new to the property. The other hunter could just never get on a good cull buck.
This year we expanded our business to include whitetails, turkey, and hogs in Oklahoma. We leased some tremendous property in Oklahoma, an hour or so southeast of Oklahoma City, in a county known for giant bucks. We limited the whitetail hunters this year to see exactly what we had on our property. We had two archery hunters and two rifle hunters. One of the archery hunters passed on several bucks looking for a giant, the other took a giant non-typical 200” class buck right after the rifle season. One of the rifle hunters took a split G2 140” class buck we had coming to the camera just about every day like clock work. The other hunter passed up several good bucks and then had to leave early due to a family emergency. We haven’t had any turkey or hog hunters in camp yet, but we are seeing lots of turkey and have a bunch of hogs on camera.
2016 is shaping up to be a really good year for the animals and the hunters. We still have tons of food, all the water holes are still full, and we are still getting a lot of precipitation so the animals will have plenty of food to carry them into the spring when the new growth comes in. The bookings are a little slower this year so I still have a few spots for 2016. If you haven’t booked a spot for 2016 give me a call to reserve your spot.
I hope to see you in camp soon.