Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Catching up with the Chase...Oklahoma is OK with us!!

Travis and I have been weekend warriors for the past 4 or 5 weeks traveling to Indiana and back to Illinois for rifle and bow hunts. Unfortunately, thanks to poachers and bad luck, we weren't successful.

However, our luck turned around on a recent trip to Turley Ranch in Durham, OK.  Making the 14 hour trip in one day, we arrived to this unbelievable 22,000 acre property on November 30th with Gray and his Texas Nanny, Monica, in tow.  Scott Schultz, THE MAN at ScentBlocker, was at camp and tagged out for the season!  On the morning of the first day, I shot a very large and mature 8 point with my 270.  He was 176 yards away and a beauty with thick, chocolate horns.  I was pumped, to say the least! Timing couldn't have been better because Gray's cough had gotten worse and the afternoon (post-BBD) Monica and I took him to Cheyenne, Ok and he was diagonsed with bronchitis.  Poor guy.  Travis was sick, too, so with both of my boys under the weather, there were some tough sets!  Travis got a big 8 point on Wednesday afternoon and I took a doe during the same set.  He completed his rifle tag with a doe on Friday afternoon.....and The Chase TAGGED out in Oklahoma!  I can't begin to express what a good feeling that was!!  Just in time for the bow hunt..... We spent the weekend putting out Day6 cameras to scout the deer, sets, as well as patterns, watching the SEC Championship (War Cam Eagle!!) and shooting our bows with our teams' NuFletch colors.  I was more than proud to sport my orange and blue NuFletch and watch them group tight! Of course, Travis has his crimson and white NuFletch for his Alabama team who won't be going to the National Championship this year... (there are some plus' to being the blogger)

Scott Schultz left camp, as well as a couple of others, and in came Russ Carreker of Day6 Plotwatcher and Jeff Ensor of NonStop Hunting.  On the first morning of the bow hunt, I awoke from my pre-sunrise nap :) to see a gaggle of deer around me.  There are so many deer and turkeys at Turley Ranch.  At one point, I counted 87 deer in one field (!) and watch 94 turkey (yes, I'm a nerd who counted them) roost behind me in a beautiful sunset. Unbelivable, I know.  Thank goodness for the cameras and upcoming airing of The Chase because seeing is definitely believing!

Back to the 1st morning...I grunted 2 bucks in and they came within 8 yards of my Summit stand!  Oh my gosh! I contained myself enough to draw without being busted and held back for 4 1/2 minutes because there were limbs in the way of my shot and, of course, the bucks weren't reading my mind & hearing my prayers of them turning broadside!  The larger of the 2 buck (a 12 pt. who I named Dropsy because he had a drop tine of 3 inches or more) went off chasing a doe but the second, still mature and thick 8 pt stayed below and in front of me. Finally, I felt I had the shot and took it.  Dadgummit!  I hit limbs and the arrow landed right below him.  He ran off a few yards only to come back and stand on top of my arrow in the ground (!).  He was on a suicide mission for sure. 

Each and every set, Lee Bell - cameraguy, and I had an encounter or two of some of the largest bucks either of us had ever seen.  Through 9F and ice and snow, for one reason or another (mostly due to crazy suspicious does), I wasn't successful in getting Mr. Big down.  However, I had an amazing time not only watching all the wildlife at Turley at the peak of the rut, but also the hospitality we received at the ranch.  The food was superb (think I gained the 5lbs. I lost in Illinois and then some) and the accomodations wonderful! Lorrie and Tony Sumpter certainly know how to put hunters on some ginormous Okie Bucks!!!

Travis finally got over his cold and on the last morning of the bow hunt, he landed a MAN of an 8pt he'd been watching all week long - not only in person, but on the Day6 cameras we reviewed twice a day!  He shot him at 30 yds and he dropped within 5 yds.  Woo Hoo!

We are almost back to Alabama and will miss everyone at Turley!  Hopefully, The Chase didn't wear out their welcome and we'll be back next year.  I have a feeling Gray will be asked to return with or without us :)  It's hard to determine out of the 3 of us, who had the most fun.


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