Edmond motorist claims first trophy buck of the season
Deer season just opened and the first trophy buck already has been killed, but by an Edmond motorist.
Archery deer season opened Sunday, but earlier this week a buck that would have made any hunter's trophy room was found in an east Edmond neighborhood.
The 28-point buck, which was struck by a motorist who left the scene, was found early Monday morning and recovered by the City of Edmond, which turned it over to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
George Moore, a Boone & Crockett scorer in Edmond, put the tape measure to the antlers out of curiosity, and the buck had a green score of 236 3/8, meaning its antlers measured more than 236 inches.
It would have easily qualified as a Boone & Crockett buck had it been killed by a hunter, although such bucks can't be officially scored for the Boone & Crockett record book until after a 60-day drying period.
The Wildlife Department plans to use the antlers in an educational display that the agency takes to schools, outdoor shows and other events.
There will be many more road kills in Oklahoma over the next couple of months. Statistics show that the chances of a driver hitting a deer in Oklahoma more than double in October and then almost double again in November.
This is due to the deer mating season, or rut, which will begin soon and put deer on the move. Bucks start chasing does in October, and the peak of the rut occurs in November.
Last year, State Farm Insurance reported that the odds a driver would hit a deer in Oklahoma were 1 in 195. The agency is now compiling its annual report on deer-vehicle collisions for each state based on last year's accidents, said Jim Camoriano, spokesman for State Farm.
Motorists should pay attention for deer on the road for the next couple of months, especially around dusk and dawn.
"This time of year, especially in the next couple of weeks, they are going to be moving a lot more," said Nathan Erdman, assistant chief of law enforcement for the Wildlife Department. "There are going to be a lot more on the road. It's a good idea to slow down and pay attention to not just what's in your headlights on the highway, but also what's in the ditches."
Motorists who strike a deer can keep the animal for its antlers or meat if they contact a local game warden, who will give them a non-legal kill form that allows them to possess the deer, Erdman said.
"If they just take the deer home and we go by a house and see one hanging in the garage, it's illegal possession of a deer," he said.
Erdman urges motorists to call the game warden as soon as possible after a deer-vehicle collision.
"We would rather them contact us while they are getting ready to load it up," he said. "If we are close, we can come by and look at it right then."
Terry Mayberry, owner of Terry's Taxidermy and Game Processing in Oklahoma City, said in most cases there is very little meat that can be salvaged from a road kill deer. It's usually not worth the cost of skinning and processing, he said.
"Most of the time, there is so much damage done in them you get a lot of waste," he said.