TAILGATE TALKS: JESSI COLE’S OKLAHOMA SLAMMER
“HUNTER: JESSI COLE
WEAPON: SAVAGE IMPULSE PREDATOR IN 6.5 CREEDMOOR
AMMO: NOSLER 95GR BALLISTIC TIP
LOCATION: WESTERN OKLAHOMA, CANADIAN RIVER HILTON
The Thursday before Thanksgiving, a group of us from Mossy Oak drove from West Point, MS 11 hours to western Oklahoma to hunt big whitetails during their rifle season.
The opening day of rifle season, that Saturday, couldn’t have been timed better. The temperature dropped significantly and the rut was ON, no doubt about it.
We were hunting with Canadian River Hilton, an awesome outfitter with some fun characters to hang out with at night and hunt with during the day. And don’t get me started on the food. Let’s just say I was prepped for Thanksgiving after eating with them for 5 days. (Don’t even TRY asking for the homemade honey butter recipe—it’s a family secret!)
Savage Arms provided the guns and Nosler provided the ammo. As soon as we arrived to the ranch, I sighted in the Impulse Predator in 6.5 an inch high at 100 yards and felt confident that I could put the crosshairs right where I wanted it on anything under 200 yards that walked (or ran) in.
The brush was very new to me, and I quickly learned what a sand burr was. I sat down in a bush and stuck my hand in another one, and I swear I’m still finding little needles in my camo.
Anyway, so the first day was extremely productive. We saw 8 bucks, all chasing, and a handful of does. None of the bucks were quite mature enough—there was one that might have been 4.5 years old but honestly another year would have done him a lot of good. It was hard to say for sure. The deer were moving great, and I just knew anything could be running up any moment.
The next day was a complete night and day difference. We saw nothing that morning, save for a buck chasing a long way off that we never got good eyes on. It was perfect conditions, a cold 22-degree morning and a crisp to the air that just felt promising. But for whatever reason, not many deer were on their feet that day.
That afternoon was very slow, and Mighty and I had settled in to heating some Poptarts on the Mr. Buddy heater and chatting about anything and everything. Two coveys of Bobwhites whistled back and forth to each other on either side of us, something we absolutely considered a good sign and good luck. It helped lift the spirits a bit in the wake of a slow day.
Mighty Joe, one of Mossy Oak’s producers, came with me to serve as a guide and cameraman. He’s been to Canadian River Hilton probably 25 times over his hunting and filming career, and he knew the ropes of the land and what kind of deer to expect.
We sat in a Primos Double Bull pop up blind that was situated on top of a little hill, so we had an excellent view for probably miles on any side of us. The landscape was very different from the Mississippi and Tennessee hardwoods I am accustomed to; there was cattle roaming around us, walking up about 10 yards from us completely unconcerned.”
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Photo Credit: Original Author