September 5: Chris Ogle

As told by Sergeant Major Glen Simpson

SITUATION: 6 September 2008, North Central Kentucky, NNW winds at 8 M.P.H, 75 degrees

MISSION: Seek-out and harvest the Kentucky double main beam 12 pointer called “Elmer”. Without being detected and without mission failure!

EXECUTION: With my hunting partner and best friend Command Sergeant Major Ken Barteau deployed to Iraq the thought of the up coming hunting season was the furthest thing from my mind. After speaking with Ken it was decided that I should try to salvage what I could of Team Army’s season and find an interim partner in his absence. The only question was who? Who do I know that is as sick and ate-up with bowhunting big mature whitetails as I am? Oh but of course, Chris Ogle, a good friend and the Fort Knox Federal Conservation Officer, quickly hit the top of the list. After speaking with Chris and informing him about Ken’s deployment, he accepted the responsibility and the stage was now set for the 2008 season. The only thing to do now was to locate the star of the show…Those Big Mature Bucks.

This is where the story of the buck called “Elmer” begins. A good friend of Chris’s, Ballard Rogers had located a nice buck on his farm in North Central Kentucky. The buck was a frequent visitor around his trail cameras and was very easy to identify by the distinguishable double main beam on his right side. While in conversation with Ballard, Chris was given the green light to try and harvest this buck…What a friend…Who do you know that is an avid whitetail freak and will let you come and harvest a big mature buck on their property, especially one with the unique characteristics and as patterned as this buck? Friends like this are few!

Chris and I spent the next few weeks putting in Reconyx cameras and discussing with Ballard about the strategy to harvest this animal on the opening weekend of Kentucky’s bow season. After checking the Reconyx camera after only a few days we were very surprised to get over 3,000 pictures of several bucks with 700 day time pictures of the High Value Target (HVT), “Elmer”. This story is living proof that time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted as the Reconyx camera told the story and practically laid out the time in which to hunt this buck. Now all that was needed was to cut in the stand facing the direction of travel and pray for a good early September north wind.

It looked as if our prayers had been answered as the tropical system that had ushered in the bad weather in the south would be pushing the winds out of the north for our opening weekend. Could we have hit the Kentucky lottery any better? From the surveillance that the RC60 Reconyx had provided it was clear that it would be an afternoon hunt for sure. Chris and I decided that getting in the tree in the early afternoon would provide us enough time to get ahead of any deer that may try to spoil our chance at Elmer. So with bow and camera in hand we arrived and were in the stand by 1330 (1:30 P.M.) and sat perched for what was probably going to be our one and only chance at arrowing this mature non-typical.

At 1700, (5:00 P.M), the afternoon winds were right on course with the first glimpse of deer movement. Was it him? Glaring through Nikon binos and under his breath Chris announced “its four does”. Quickly recognizing that these does may be the advance recon ahead of the main force, (Elmer), Chris grabbed his PSE X-Force in anticipation. The four deer moved steady toward our lofty ambush when the trail doe suddenly stopped in her tracks and put her nose to the wind. Feeling the back eddy of wind on our neck we knew the reason for her abrupt halt. Fortunately, cocooned in Scent Blocker the deer never spooked and without alarm moved slowly back in the direction they came. Did we blow it? Was Elmer in trail? Should we back out? As we contemplated our demise, the winds that had shifted to the bad had now switched back out of the north and held steady.

At 1830 (6:30 P.M.) the next deer movement was several does and fawns that slowly browsed their way to within 15 yard of our position. Again, knowing that the Reconyx had shown doe movement in concert with the arrival of Elmer, Chris once again grabbed for his PSE X-Force which proved to be the right tactical move!

While the unwary does and fawns browsed below, Chris made the announcement that we both were waiting for “There he is”. Like a ghost, the monarch buck appeared seemingly out of thin air just 45 yards away and closing ever so slowly. I quickly got on him with the camera as the buck came within my view. The buck worked into within 16 yards and stood broadside just as pretty as if you had a master artist paint the perfect picture. As I panned the camera back to both hunter and deer I gave Chris the green light for launch only to be denied as an out of view doe was watching Chris’s every move. After a few tense moments, Chris slowly drew back the arrow launching devastator. I panned down to the buck as I heard the words “are you on him” and with the quick reply of “go ahead” the Rage tipped carbon force arrow was released at near lightning speed striking the monarch with precision behind the front shoulder. The buck took the arrow with full force as it passed through and stuck in the ground on the other side. The big buck ran off collapsing 50 yards and just out of camera view.

Mission complete! Until next time… Waiting for follow-on orders and helicopter extraction.

P.S. Let’s all keep our Soldiers and their families in our hearts and prayers and especially our fellow Drury Outdoors Team member and my best friend, Command Sergeant Major Ken Barteau. God Speed!