Editor’s Note: Allen Treadwell from Seligman, Missouri, was a world champion in the international skeet shooting discipline and was on the Olympic team as a shotgun shooter. He was first sponsored by Bass Pro Shops as an Olympic shotgun shooter, then on the Bass Pro Shops’ professional hunting team and the company’s “King of Bucks” TV show. He’s also been featured on the “Winchester Rack Masters” TV show. His main focus is white-tailed deer. Treadwell says, “I wear Mossy Oak on both shows, but I’d wear Mossy Oak even if I wasn’t on television. I believe in the Mossy Oak patterns, and I know they help me take more deer. But more importantly, I believe in the Mossy Oak philosophy of family, fraternity, conservation and passing on our outdoor heritage. I like that Mossy Oak has more than one pattern. When I’m deer hunting, I like to wear Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity. When I’m turkey hunting, most of the time, I wear Obsession. Both of these patterns are open patterns that blend in with the terrain where I hunt. In early deer season, when there's still a lot of green in the woods, I wear Obsession rather than the Break-Up Infinity.”
We were hunting in Oklahoma and had talked to some bowhunters who had seen a big buck on the edge of a milo field. They said there was no way they could hunt this good deer with their bows. One of the problems with the word “a good deer” is the person that’s qualifying the size of the deer. “A good deer” by some hunter’s standards may be a buck that scores 110 inches. When another hunter says “a good deer,” that good deer may score 180 inches. So when someone tells you they’ve seen “a good deer,” you really have no way of knowing how big that buck really is.
When we got to the ranch, at the beginning of Oklahoma’s rifle season, we had an unusual front come in with the wind coming out of the north for 3 days - the perfect wind for us to hunt the area where the bowhunters said they saw, “a good deer.” We knew this front should continue to produce a north wind for 3 days. So, during those 3 days, we planned to hunt this area from daylight until dark in a ground blind that we’d built using natural brush. While we were hunting, I passed-up a buck that would score about 130 points as an 8 point. I also passed up a 9 pointer that would score in the low 140s. Now these were really-nice deer, but I still didn’t know how big the buck was that the bowhunters had seen. When you pass-up bucks like this thinking you might get a bigger one, but not being sure, and not having trail camera pictures of the “bigger buck,” you always second guess yourself. You begin to think, “Should I have taken one of those other two bucks, or am I doing the right thing, waiting to see if there’s a bigger buck?” My ace in the hole was that I knew when I finished this hunt, I was going on another hunt where I was certain I could take a buck at least as big as the two I had passed-up.
On noon of the third day, we had decided to go 100-miles west of the place we were hunting and hunt on a different portion of this ranch. We saw a couple of does in the milo field. We made the decision that as soon as those does left the field, my cameraman, Matt Arkins, and I could come out of our ground blind without spooking any deer in the field. We would leave this part of the ranch and go to a different section of the ranch. However, I saw a big buck at about 400 yards start walking across the milo field. Why this buck was out in the middle of that field at straight-up noon I’ll never know. Matt already had taken his camera off its tripod, packed it up and was ready to go when the does left the field.
When I first spotted the deer coming across the field, I couldn’t tell if it was a buck or a doe. I looked at Matt and said, “Son of a gun, here comes another deer into the field. We’ll probably have to wait at least another 30 or 45 minutes, before we can come out of our blind and leave without spooking the deer.” Being disappointed that I couldn’t leave, I brought my binoculars up to my eyes to see if the deer was a buck or a doe. I was really surprised to see how big he was. When I saw that this was a really-good buck, I told Matt, “Get your camera out of the case. This deer is really a stud.” Matt thought I was kidding, because we had pretty well decided that one of the two bucks that we already had passed on was “the good buck” the bowhunters had told us they’d seen. When I realized Matt thought I was kidding, I said, “I'm serious, bud. Get the camera out, and go to work.” When Matt zoomed in on the deer with the video camera, I really believe he got a worse case of buck fever than I did.
Once the buck was at 80 yards, he started checking out two does. He wanted to see, if by some strange chance, even though the rut was over, one of these does might be in estrus. When he was checking out the does, the buck was at 80-yards broadside, ready for me to shoot. Then Matt whispered, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. The camera battery’s dead.” So, Matt had to dig around in his camera bag to find his spare battery, take the battery out of the camera and put a new battery in the camera. By this time, the buck had gone back into the creek bottom, and I couldn’t see him anymore. Then the buck came back out of the creek bottom and stood on the edge of the milo field, looking majestic and presenting me with a great shot. However, as I reached for the trigger, Matt said, “Don’t shoot, don’t shoot. I think the SD card is messed up.” Matt began to dig around in his backpack again to find his spare SD card. I was totally going nuts! In front of me was a 164-inch buck that was 6-1/2-years old, and I couldn’t take the shot. The buck had presented me two shots within 10 minutes, and Matt couldn’t get the camera to work properly. Matt found his brand-new SD card and put it in the video camera. Next he had to format the card and focus the camera. Now Matt was ready to video the hunt, but the buck had gone back into the creek bottom. Finally, when Matt got everything working on the camera, the buck stepped out of the creek bottom again. I couldn’t wait for Matt to get a lot of pre-roll (video of the buck before the shot). So, I took the shot. In my mind while Matt was trying to get the camera squared-away, I was thinking, “Most of the time a big buck won’t give you but one quick opportunity to take the shot, and we’d already overstayed our welcome.”
Finally, when Matt said, “We’re good to go,” I didn’t waste any time squeezing the trigger. This 10-point buck scored 164 inches. He was the biggest buck I ever had taken in Oklahoma. The outfitter I was hunting with was Brady Walker, who is also a Mossy Oak Pro Staffer. His outfitting business is known as Ducks N Bucks and is located in Burlington, Oklahoma. You can call 620-326-6462 or 316-250-9101, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.