John's Journal...

Big White-Tailed Bucks by the Bushel at Oklahoma’s Rut-n-Strut

More Bucks and More Stories

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I’ve rarely ever hunted a place where all 8 people on a 5-day hunt either have taken nice deer or missed nice deer. However, on my recent trip to Rut-n-Strut in Sayre, Oklahoma, with outfitter Todd Rogers, that’s exactly what happened. This week, we’ll give you some of the highlights of the hunt and show you photos of deer taken on the hunt.

Richard Mann, another outdoor writer friend of mine, was also on the hunt and took a nice 8 point with a wide rack and high beams. Craig Cushman, the director of marketing for Thompson/Center Arms, bagged a fine 10 point that apparently had been in a fight and broken an antler just before Cushman squeezed the trigger and took the buck.

But, as always, the best story Click to enlargewas about the buck that got away. Because I wouldn’t want anyone to tell this story on me, I changed the name of the guilty writer to Billy Bob. Billy Bob had found a really-nice buck on the second day of the hunt, and on the third day of the hunt he had an opportunity to take the buck. The buck was more than 100-yards away, but Billy Bob was an extremely-good marksman. His rifle was sighted-in, and he felt comfortable in taking the shot. When he squeezed-off the shot, the buck bolted like he was hit and ran off. Although Billy Bob searched relentlessly, he found no hair and no blood and was heartsick about missing a really-fine trophy buck.

Another writer on the hunt, Brad Fenson from Edmonton, Alberta, a good friend of mine for years, had seen this buckClick to enlarge before Billy Bob took a shot at him. However, Fenson had seen the buck at 300 yards and didn’t feel comfortable taking that shot with a blackpowder rifle. But, Fenson also had spotted some other harvestable bucks in that same area. Knowing that Billy Bob had missed the huge buck, Fenson wanted to return to the same area and try to take the big buck that had gotten away, or one of the other big bucks he had seen. The next day after Billy Bob missed the big buck, Fenson went into the region, spotted a huge buck coming toward him, took out his binoculars and looked at the buck, immediately recognizing Billy Bob’s escaped buck. However, as hestudied the buck, his heart sank. This huge trophy buck had only one side left of his antlers. The main beam side of antlers apparently had been shot off several inches up from the base. Apparently, Billy Bob had hit the buck, but instead of body-shooting the buck, Click to enlargeas Billy Bob squeezed the trigger the buck apparently had moved and had possibly dropped down. So, instead of shooting the buck in the shoulder, he’d nailed that buck’s antler and blew it off the buck’s head.

“I’m not going to let anyone else take that buck,” Todd Rogers explained later. “He survived an extreme hunter encounter and doesn’t have a nice rack anymore. But next year, he’ll have a super rack.”

On the last day of the hunt, Mike Capps, a good friend of mine, took a really-nice buck. So during 5 days of hunting, every hunter in camp either took a buck or had a shot at a buck. What more could you want from a deer hunt anywhere in the nation? We saw plenty of younger bucks that would be trophies next year. And, if anyone’s listening, I sure hope to go back next year. Maybe I’ll see you there. If so, clean out your freezer before you come, because there’s a good chance you’ll have a monster buck to take home with you like I took home with me.

To hunt deer, turkeys, quails, doves or predators with Todd Rogers of Rut-n-Strut, call (580) 799-1920 or (580) 225-6831, or email

Check back each day this week for more about "Big White-Tailed Bucks by the Bushel at Oklahoma’s Rut-n-Strut"

Day 1: Lots of Big Bucks
Day 2: How and Why I Chose My Buck
Day 3: A Gun for All Seasons – the Thompson/Center Encore Endeavor
Day 4: Another Hunter’s Success
Day 5: More Bucks and More Stories


Entry 482, Day 5