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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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