Trevor Johnson wasn’t sure he would ever become a Ghost Hunter.
The Gotebo resident had seen the giant white-tailed deer once in person, following the 2018 hunting season. Since then, it had appeared several times at night in trail camera photos on the family farm in Kiowa County.
“I chased him hard with no luck,” Johnson said of the past three seasons of deer. “He never showed up. He was just a ghost.”
This year Johnson’s luck has changed. He spotted the deer earlier this archery season from his stand, but after shooting in the light. A week later he reappeared, but again he could not shoot even though the male was only 22 meters away.
“A doe wouldn’t get out of the way for a shot, so I had to watch it walk away,” Johnson said. “I was miserable. It had been four years and the first opportunity I had and I thought it would be my last opportunity.”
But days later on October 13, Johnson managed to kill the buck, who has an 11-point main frame and split G2 and brow tooth for 13 scoring points. Johnson believes he will score in the top 180.
“It caused me a lot of sleepless nights and anxiety for four years,” Johnson said.
Johnson filmed the hunt on “My World Outdoors,” an outdoor TV show produced by McLoud’s Brandon Adams, the only hunter to kill all five of Oklahoma’s big game species in the same season.
Adams accomplished the feat in the 2018-19 hunting season, taking a white-tailed deer, mule deer, antelope, black bear, and elk, all with a bow. He killed the moose on Johnson’s property in Kiowa County.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has since created a “Super Slam” recognition which is awarded to any hunter who legally harvests a white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, antelope and black bear in one. only season in Oklahoma.
Johnson’s hunt for “The Ghost” will likely air in a year.
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Lincoln County Murderer
Justin Kimmell took his girlfriend’s son on a deer hunt on the morning of the opening of youth rifle season, and the young hunter managed to kill a dollar the couple were aiming for last month.
Later that evening, it was Kimmell’s turn. The Perkins resident ultimately killed a male he had been looking for for four years on his leased land in Lincoln County.
From the trail camera photos, Kimmell knew the whitetail deer was a good deal, “but once I got it on the ground it was a lot different. I was really, really excited when I found it. The mass on this deer is incredible. “
Kimmell assumes the atypical 21 point will score between 180 and 190.
The archery season continues through Jan. 15 and the nine-day muzzleloader season kicked off on Saturday.
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Hunters can feed the hungry
Deer hunters can help feed needy Oklahoma families by donating their venison.
The Oklahoma Department for Wildlife Conservation offers hunters two ways to donate.
Last year, the Department of Wildlife launched a new program called Deer Share, where volunteer hunters post their contact details on the agency’s web page. Then anyone interested in fresh game can contact the hunter by email and arrange for the meat to be collected.
The Deer Share program complements the long-running Hunters Against Hunger program, where hunters can donate their venison through participating meat processors across the state.
To help with processing costs, each donor is asked to contribute $ 10 tax deductible. The minced venison is then distributed to the needy through a network of qualified charities.
State wildlife officials want more deer harvested, giving hunters more opportunities to contribute game through the Deer Share and Hunters Against Hunger programs.
To find out which state meat processors are part of the Hunters Against Hunger program, visit www.wildlifedepartment.com/hunting/processors/hah.
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Another mountain lion in Oklahoma
The Department of Wildlife last week confirmed a mountain lion in Pittsburg County. This is the first confirmation from a cougar in Southeastern Oklahoma County.
One person sent photos of the tracks to the Department of Wildlife and agency biologists went to see and measure the tracks to confirm they were from a puma. State wildlife officials are not disclosing the exact location of the trails.
The Department of Wildlife considers pumas to be a transient species in Oklahoma. State wildlife officials have yet to find and verify a mountain lion den with cubs in the state.
It was the fourth confirmation biologists made this year of a cougar in Oklahoma. Mountain lions have been confirmed this year in Cimarron, Ottawa and Pawnee counties. All cats were captured in trail cam photos.
Since 2002, the Department of Wildlife has been following confirmations of pumas in the state.
You can view the list at www.wildlifedepartment.com/wildlife/nongamespecies/mountain-lion/confirmed-sightings.
Journalist Ed Godfrey searches for stories that impact your life. Whether it’s news, outdoors, sports – you name it, it wants to point it out. Do you have a story idea? Contact him at [email protected] or on Twitter @EdGodfrey. Support his work and that of fellow Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.