One day to scout. Two days to hunt. When the pressure is on a limited-draw tag holder, he puts his faith in HuntStand.
Hunting a new area is always a challenge. Especially when you have only one day to scout it. More pressure comes when your limited-draw tag is good for a brief two-day Oklahoma muzzleloader hunt. Luckily, Mike Burnside, 54, of Talala had a plan, which included leaning heavily on the HuntStand app. Burnside’s Week Two win earns him the ALPS OutdoorZ Bino Harness X and Vital X rangefinder pocket, AND makes him eligible for our Grand Prize Drawing: A choice of either a sweet new binocular, OR a cutting-edge riflescope, from hunting optics specialist Leupold (contest details below). Enter now to join the fun!
Here’s his exciting story in his own words: “I was drawn for a two-day muzzleloader controlled hunt at the Beaver River WMA McFarland Unit in western Oklahoma, which took place Oct. 27 and 28, 2018; there were only 10 tags available for this hunt so I was very fortunate to get drawn,” Burnside wrote. “I spent many hours using HuntStand to check satellite images of the area and maps; not knowing where I would be allowed to hunt within the unit, my research was simply to get familiar with the area.
“I arrived at the hunt area the night of the 18th, and received permission from the WMA manager to scout an area that I was interested in; I would be hunting this area unless I felt I needed to change during the hunt. I entered the area before sunrise and set up on a rolling ridge looking out over a large flat consisting of native warm season prairie grasses and salt cedar trees. There were no trees tall enough to support any sort of elevated hunting, so all of the hunting would consist of spot and stalk, and setting up on likely travel routes. The HuntStand app pointed me to several different positions on and along the ridge, based on the prevalent winds. HuntStand also showed a small front scheduled to push through the area Saturday evening that would shift the wind from south, southwest, and west to north to northeast. Indeed, the two-day hunt would feature winds blowing from virtually all directions, so knowing when the switches would hit was critical. I saw some very good-quality bucks during that day of scouting, and so I knew right away the hunt held good potential for success.
“The first day of the hunt found me checking my HuntStand app before daylight to confirm the anticipated wind directions; I was also able to pinpoint my exact location using the navigation feature, which was very handy in a new area with no familiar landmarks. With information in hand, I moved down off the northernmost part of the ridge and set up in a small brushy thicket. Morning came and went with me seeing some decent bucks at long range and one good 10-point buck harassing some does. That buck was unavailable for a stalk due to the wind direction. My afternoon hunt in the same area found the same type of results; spotty deer movement with none of the caliber of bucks that I had seen during my scouting. As I often wonder, how do the bucks know the season is officially open and decide to alter their movement?
“On Sunday morning, the last day of my hunt, I again kept tabs on the wind direction via HuntSTand ; winds this morning would be north to northeast all morning, perfect for my location for trying to work my way in for a close-enough shot with my muzzleloader. I sat on the ridge as the darkness gave way to dawn and saw many does and quite a few immature bucks; I glassed one mature buck that really piqued my interest until I saw that he had broken off the majority of one main beam. I sat and glassed until late mid-morning when all of the deer had found shelter in the salt cedar trees and native prairie grass.“I sat and laid out a plan of action for my last evening hunt, then decided it was time to make my way back to my pickup. As I began my walk back, I glanced at a small draw where the public land fence met some private land; there were several mature cottonwood trees at the uppermost portion of the draw and a small overgrown weed and brush thicket as well. As I eyed the area, past experience told me this was a great out-of-the-way spot for a buck to bed down. Using the HuntStand Hunting app to confirm the wind direction of north-northeast once again, I decided a stalk into the area against the wind was worth a risk, especially with the hunt hours slowly fading away. As I worked into the area, the sound of an animal rustling out of slumber 30 yards away gave way to a buck running 40 yards and stopping to look back at what had startled him. At 11:20 a.m. that morning, the bark of my Knight Disc Extreme .50 caliber muzzleloader officially opened up this bedding area for another buck to claim.
“The field-dressed buck weighed 187 pounds at the WMA mandatory check station. Without having the HuntStand Hunting app to track the constantly changing wind directions, I may never have gotten a chance to visit this deer check station. Thank you HuntStand!”
To enter the ScoutLook 2018 Big Buck ALERT contest, simply send us a few clear, high-res. digital photos (three to five) of your 2018 buck (accepted NOW THROUGH NOV. 29) along with a brief story of your hunt that explains how the HuntStand app played a part.
Be sure to tell us if your buck was known to you or a newcomer, then describe the area where your stand sits, or where the encounter took place, as well as the fateful day’s wind and weather conditions, and of course, the blow-by-blow account of the exciting action as it unfolded. Include your full name, age, successful hunt date and state, weapon used, and also be sure to include your mailing address. Your e-mail subject line should read: Big Buck Alert! Send your photo(s) and requested info to: [email protected]Team HuntSTand will choose 12 weekly winners that we will share with the extensive HuntStand community; EACH weekly winner will receive BOTH the Bino Harness X (valued at $49.99) AND Vital X rangefinder pocket (valued at $19.99) from ALPS OutdoorZ (see above). In addition, at the end of the 12 weeks, all weekly winners will be placed in a drawing for our Grand Prize. The Winner will GET THEIR CHOICE of a Leupold BX-2 Tioga HD 8X42 binocular (shown above, a $389.99 value) OR a Leupold VX-Freedom 3-9×40 CDS riflescope (see below), a $389.99 value.
Good luck out there this fall from all of us here at Team HuntStand , and let us know when (and how) you score!