October 18, 2021
By Blake Garlock
Breaking News Bucks 2021
Two years ago, Clay Algeo started getting pictures of a nice 2 1/2-year-old whitetail on a piece of family land that he hunts. In 2020, as a 3-year-old, the buck returned to the property just north of Tulsa, and he put on a lot more antler than he had the previous year.
“When he was a 3-year-old, I was hoping he’d make it just one more year,” says Clay.
Luckily for Clay, the buck survived the 2020 hunting season. And in 2021, Clay began closely watching the buck and trying to learn his habits.
“He had a really small home range,” says Clay. “He stayed on this one plot of land, and I watched him grow all summer.”
While Clay was watching the buck during the summer, he was strategizing on how he could get a shot at the deer. There’s a spot on the property where there are two ponds that have a narrow piece of land between them. And Clay determined that the strip between the ponds was the kill spot. So, he did his best to increase the odds of the buck being there.
“I laid over some trees and made some brush piles to really pinch his movements down to this spot,” says Clay. “I even went as far as digging a ditch to help me sneak into my stand without being spotted by the buck.”
Clay says that the property was a little difficult to access, so he dug the 100-yard and roughly 4-foot-deep ditch to conceal him, since his tree stand was tight to the buck’s bedding area.
Clay also had some pressure to get in and kill the buck early in the season. His wife was pregnant with their family’s third child, and she was due shortly after the season opener.
“I knew I only had five or six hunting days before our baby would arrive,” says Clay.
Oklahoma’s archery season opened on Oct. 1, but Clay needed the perfect wind to get in and hunt the buck. On Oct. 4 the wind was perfect, and Clay made his move.
Most hunts don’t go as planned, and rarely do they go exactly how you imagine them. However, Clay’s hunt followed his script perfectly.
That evening, Clay used his ditch to sneak into his tree stand. Clay saw three different mature bucks during the sit, and his target typical was the last one to come out of the bedding area. After a perfectly placed arrow hit the buck from 20 yards away, the buck ran 50 yards before falling over. And Clay recovered the deer just as the sun set.
Clay rough scored the buck at 185 inches gross, and the deer has a 22 1/2-inch spread. However, Clay’s good fortune wasn’t over yet.
“To top it all off, our baby was born four days later,” says Clay. “It’s been a rush ever since.”