by Trisha Jorrey
I was introduced to hunting and firearms by my husband. At first, I would go to the lease and sit in the blind with him but I wouldn’t shoot. I was just his lookout gal and student. Eventually I decided I wanted to hunt and he gave me my first rifle, a .308. I have never stopped hunting since!
I shot my first deer from an open tripod stand, in 30-degree weather. As much as I treasure that experience, I felt a need to know if I was hunting because I enjoyed it for myself or because I enjoyed being with my husband, supporting his love for hunting.
I signed up for a Women’s NRA hunt and tagged out in two days, shooting a rifle I’ve never used, off shooting sticks which I’d never done, taking one of my longest shot (as of then) and dropping all five where they stood! I knew then, I WAS doing this for me! I’ve since stalked and shot many does, Axis deer and hunted other wild game including dove and ducks, but it’s the “Romeo” hunt that I probably cherish the most.
It was a stunning November weekend in 2013 during the rutt season in Oklahoma at the beautiful Brewster Ranch in Marietta Oklahoma. Bill and Susie Brewster welcomed lady huntress from all over the United States for an 8pt Whitetail trophy buck and doe hunt. When I arrived at the ranch, the familiar face of Donny, a well-respected guide to many of my women huntresses and ranch owner, greeted me.
Being the first to arrive, Donny and guides, Davy and Jimmy, proceeded to tell me about a beautiful buck they’ve seen on the Brewster ranch. They named him Romeo because he strutted around like the Casanova of the ranch, regardless of other older bucks with bigger racks. They said, “Trisha, you’ll never see a prettier 8pt”, and I believed them because I saw it in their eyes and their beaming faces as they described him. I knew I had to see Romeo for myself.
Early Friday Donny and I headed to the blind to see if we can spot Romeo. While in the blind countless bucks were passing right in front of us, from each cardinal direction. Donny would say, “Trisha, you can take that one, or that one…”, and I would always answer, “No, I’m holding out for this Romeo you told me about.” You see, after hearing about Romeo my fascination to see and take him was now my only desire. We did not see Romeo on Friday, and I was okay with that for I was embracing the challenge with 3 hunts to go.
Saturday all the three huntresses were up early and ready for the morning hunt. It’s always a treasure to do the women hunts because you get to meet extraordinary women from all over that share the hunting passion. Since it’s early and still dark, Donny and I started our hunt in a blind. Again the bucks start moving about. And again, Donny started pointing out several gorgeous trophies I could take. I said, “Donny, are any of them Romeo?” He replied, “No”. Then my only answer to him was, “Then I don’t want them. I am holding out for Romeo.”
As of daylight Romeo had not made his presence. We started our journey to spot and stalk for him. While on the spot and stalk I was able to take my two does. Then I could solely concentrate on getting Romeo. We walked for hours and while we were walking I had one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Being that it was rutt season, bucks and does were running all around us, snorting at us to make their presence known. I was like, “Okay, where is the film crew and cameras?” I mean it was something I had only seen on the hunting shows my husband and I watch. Some of the bucks didn’t even care that we were there. They just wanted the doe.
It was mid-day and we were still in the woods. Donny spotted Romeo about 175 yards away. Looking through binoculars I saw him peaking over a ravine. All I could see was is head and gorgeous rack!
My heart just started beating like crazy. He had the longest and most symmetrical tines I had ever seen with my own eyes in a hunting environment. Donny and the guys were right about him and I knew Romeo was the trophy I wanted.
We continued to track him. There were two small opportunities to take him, but they didn’t pan out. Hiking our way back to the cabin, I just kept seeing the vision of my first look at this beautiful buck, my Romeo.
Once we returned to the ranch house I was excited to learn that the two other huntresses shot their trophy bucks. I was very happy for them. Now they just needed to get their two doe as Saturday night would be their last hunt because they both had to head back to the airport Sunday morning.
Saturday afternoon, Donny and I head back in another part of the ranch for another chance at Romeo. Romeo was playing hard to get and I was still refusing Donny’s offer to take other 8 pointers. Sundown came and we called it a night and headed back to the ranch house. It was a wonderful evening as the Brewster’s joined us for dinner. We all told the stories of our hunt so far and learning more about the Brewster’s.
Early Sunday morning, I was up, excited and ready to meet my Romeo. I proceeded to the kitchen to grab some coffee and was greeting not only by Donny, but Davy and Jimmy too. I asked what they were doing up. I had thought since their huntresses had completed their hunt and sleeping in I figured they would sleep in too. Their response to me was so unexpected. They told me they respected my determination to hunt Romeo and wanted to out to help spot for him. I was overcome with excitement.
We hunted all day and as my last hunt was coming to an end, I began to think, “Maybe Romeo isn’t mine.” Maybe he’s meant for another huntress, but then Donny yells, “Get your rifle ready.” I go for my binoculars and in a manner I have never experienced…meaning I have never been yelled at so quietly, he says “Don’t get your binoculars, get your rifle!!!” HE pointed to our left.
Low and behold, boldly but majestically, making his way up the hill was my Romeo! He was strutting so confidently just as they described! I only had to wait a few minutes for him to turn for me to take the shot, and down he went. Donny raised his arm in the air as if he just finished a race; I dropped to my knees and yes, cried, you know, the “Buck Fever” thing and then the most gracious thing happened. Donny pulled my chin up and said, “I m so proud of you! You held out for what you wanted.” That meant so much to hear that from someone like Donny. So, now you know why I so cherish that special experience the most….so far!