The archery season in Oklahoma opened on October 1st 2010. This was the first year that the state game department allowed anyone to use a crossbow. Previously, only persons with disabilities as deemed by a medical doctor could legally carry a crossbow during archery season. This year was different; anyone could carry a crossbow into the woods.
As soon as this news hit the stands everyone in the state was out to purchase a crossbow. My uncle Ronnie Pulchny was no different and due to a pinched nerve in his back I can't blame him, he purchased and practiced shooting his crossbow throughout the months before season, along with his compound Matthews set at lower poundage to ease the pain associated with the draw. His aim was true with each weapon by opening day. Due to work on opening morning he was unable to hunt
On the 2nd evening of bow season Ronnie Pulchny way able to get into a stand in the farthest reaches of the property hoping to connect on an absolute monster buck that had appeared several times on his trail cameras. With daylight dwindling and his crossbow in hand he was nearly ready to pack it in and head home calling opening day a bust. That's when he heard something running his way and he soon saw several does and fawns being followed by nothing more than a coyote. The “song dog” walked directly under his stand. And after having lost a beautiful mount of a great 12 point 145 inch buck the opening day of the season before to the coyotes he decided to go ahead and shoot the coyote, which had no idea he was there.
Ronnie then proceeded to take aim with his crossbow with; ten minutes of light left in the day, and sent the aluminum bolt into the scavenging predator. The animal made quite a bit of noise and along with the sound a crossbow makes he made the assumption we all would have “well that's it”.
At that moment he heard another set of footsteps headed his direction and quickly loaded a new bolt into the crossbow. And to his amazement it was a buck that Ronnie had never seen. A main frame 8 point with a sticker off of is left G2 appeared. This buck would break the 125” mark without a doubt and there are very few hunters that would let this buck walk at 20 yards. As the bucks head dipped behind a red cedar and legal shooting light coming to an end the buck finally offered a shot that Ronnie was comfortable with. He took careful aim and sent the bolt on its way to make a killing shot on the impressive animal.
Once recovered and home he sent me pictures and we had a conversation about the buck. He was confident the buck would make Pope and Young easily and then I stuttered a bit and said “didn't you shoot it with your crossbow?” he replied “yes” and then I had to tell him the buck was ineligible for the Pope and Young record books along with our states Cy Curtis record books having been taken with a crossbow. He was not aware of, and kind of embarrassed to have not known. However the buck was still a fine animal and nothing to be ashamed of harvesting on his first hunt of the season!
As the next day passed I called to see how movement had been and he reported that he was now carrying his compound just in case he got the opportunity at a P&Y buck. We both laughed a bit. With both of us knowing that he would be holding onto his last buck tag for the rumored 200+ inch buck that was hanging around our properties. However that chance would never come for him, on the 3rd day of season he could be found perched back in the same stand he had harvested the first buck from.
From out of nowhere another buck that he hadn't seen prior, a beautiful non-typical buck appeared. This buck would also break the 125” mark. As the bucks head dipped behind the same red cedar, Ronnie drew his Matthews to it anchor point and as soon as the shot was offered the carbon shaft was on its way. The unlucky deer expired in moments, not making it far from sight.
In that moment Ronnie had ended his buck hunting for the season. He still had four doe tags to fill and all could be done with which ever weapon was open for use at any time. He did manage to harvest one more doe, throughout the season with his bow spending most of his him in the woods with my little female 16 year old cousin; his youngest child “Angel Pulchny” with a video camera in hand. She passed many opportunities’ at young bucks that most young hunters would take in a heart- beat as well as one mature buck due to having seen a larger deer days prior. She alone missed a great buck and a few does. But she still had a wonderful season in the woods with her father.
As a side note my uncle Ronnie is a very avid outdoorsman and realizing his season of buck hunting was over in two short hunts he always comments to make sure you are ready to hang a tag on the animal that you are looking at. The remainder of the season drug by for him and he all ways had to question his ethics when he took to the woods intending to kill a doe, just what if “the buck of a life time appeared!?” what would YOU do? Also unfortunately after official scoring his non-typical didn't meet the 125’ mark, after deductions from side to side differences. I could write a book solely on his experiences in the woods if that gives you an Idea on how passionate of a hunter he truly is.