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2011 Turkey Hunting Recap

by Dustin DeCroo 22. May 2011 11:52
Dustin DeCroo


Turkey season is always highly anticipated for me and the Spring of 2011 was no different. I received my new Mathews z7xtreme at the end of March, waiting for the opener was much the same as a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I had hoped to hunt Turkeys in Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma but only accomplished two of the three. The season was still an extreme success as I was able to kill three toms on video and have some great hunts with my best of friends.

These Wyoming Merriams were fired up well before opening day.

The first weekend following the 6th of April in Oklahoma has become a new found tradition with my friends Tony and Trey. The birds are plentiful as are the laughs and good times. My flight to Oklahoma city was delayed four hours in Denver and after a two hour drive we finally arrived and went to sleep around 4:30am. Three short hours later we woke to a risen sun and the smell of Folgers brewing in the pot. Before the strike of noon there were three Rios in the back of the Duramax. The afternoon hunt would be my first chance to draw blood with the new Mathews.

The Oklahoma Red Dirt was our hot and dry home for the weekend

Trey and I set up the Double Bull and decoys on a flat where the birds generally pass through on their way to roost. It was 98 degrees when we left the truck and one degree less than it would take to melt a human body, on the inside of the blind. After an hour of heavy perspiration didn’t we had birds working. A group of jakes spotted the B-Mobile and quickly came to investigate. The biggest of the birds was sporting a five inch beard and with three tags in my pocket, he was worthy of my new bow’s first kill and to test the new NAP Gobbler Getter broadhead. The bird stopped at 22 yards and my NAP Quikfletch disappeared behind the wing bone, bird number one was in the dirt. The rest of the evening supplied more jakes but no long beards. The majority of the rest of the trip I spent behind the camera, but the birds escaped our efforts. The footage of this hunt should be on Season 2, Episode 3 of Bowhunt or Die in June.

My first kill of 2011 and the first kill with my z7xtreme.


The following weekend Prostaff member Dan Schafer traveled to my house in Wyoming to chase Merriams. We had a fantastic hunt killing four long beards in two days, but I’ll let the video tell you the story... Check it out here.

Dan's spot and stalk Merriams in Wyoming!

Tagged out!

Unfortunately, other commitments kept me from hunting Easterns in Kansas but hopefully next spring, I’ll pick up right were I left off in 2011. Now it’s time to start stickin’ wild hogs and Alligator Gar in the South!

One Year, One Mile... What a Difference for this Buck!

by Dustin DeCroo 25. January 2011 11:09
Dustin DeCroo


As the temperatures dropped into the low teens, my blood began to run slightly warmer than usual. I was in the Oklahoma tree stand at 6:15am, almost 45 minutes before rays of the Eastern sunrise would allow me to shoot any creature.  I setup the Sony HD overlooking a spot where an incredible 21pt buck had stood the morning prior, hoping to catch a glimpse of him on camera and maybe even behind my top pin. 


Rewind three weeks.  Two of my best friends had each captured photos of a stud non-typical on trail cameras on adjoining properties in December of 2010.  The deer was quickly given the name “Cyclops” as he appears to be blind in his left eye or missing it altogether.  Night after night the deer would return to eat corn but never did show up in the daylight.  We drooled over him on a daily basis and were eventually able to count 21 tines, “Cyclops” became “Black Jack.”  Expecting no change in Black Jack’s pattern my friend Trey and I headed to Northwest Oklahoma where the deer are plentiful to say the very least... the images of Black Jack still filled our mind.


Both the date and time are incorrect but there is no arguing the character of this deer!


We returned from our hunt which was a success in terms of both, bowhunting and good friends spending time together.  On our back we stopped and checked the camera that Black Jack had posed for on a nightly basis and we were shocked to see that he had actually visited for breakfast at 8:15 that morning.  Late that evening we were talking about deer that we had caught on camera as I moved photos from my old laptop to my new one.  As the click and drag process continued, Trey said, “Wait, go back!”  I double clicked to open a photo of a velvet deer that showed up in August of 2009... it was him.  Unmistakably missing an eye with incredible mass and short tines growing off the main beam below the brow tines.  The photo was from a property a little over a mile away than the December photos of 2010.  We thought the deer looked old in 2009 but he certainly wasn’t on the downhill in 2010.  In 2009 Black Jack was a tight racked main frame eight point with kickers off of his right and left G2’s and few stickers coming off below his brow tines.  In 2010, he exploded with non-typical points.

These are the first time the buck ever showed up on our camera in 2009!


Our first daylight photos of Black Jack...

Fast forward to the morning of the hunt.  It was 11 degrees with a 7mph wind and 80 percent humidity, a real feel of -7.  I made it to 11am before I had to surrender to the cold and with zero deer sightings it was that much colder.  Although I didn’t get to see the deer, there is great anticipation for next fall, as well as shed hunting and trail cameras during velvet season. Black Jack was a stud in 2009 and a toad in 2010, what 2011 brings... I’ll wait and hope to see!


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