A new Oklahoma-record pronghorn has been certified by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Cy Curtis Awards Program.
The new record holder is Todd W. Bradley of Kismet, Kan. His buck pronghorn taken in Cimarron County in 2006 scored 85 points.
Bradley, 51, was raised in Muskogee and attended Oklahoma State University. He has lived in southwestern Kansas since 1990, and has hunted in Oklahoma most of his life.After many years of submitting his application in the Wildlife Department’s Controlled Hunts Program, his name was drawn for a pronghorn hunt in 2006.
Bradley said he secured permission to hunt on land owned by distant kin. He scouted the area the day before, and he spotted the buck that he wanted to pursue for his hunt. Arriving before daybreak on Sept. 21, Bradley spotted the buck at morning’s first light. But soon after, a storm came through, and Bradley decided to wait out the weather.
When the storm passed, Bradley estimated his target was about 400 yards away, bedded down with a group of does. He crawled about 200 yards to a yucca plant, where he waited for a shot. After about 45 minutes, the buck stood up, and Bradley took a 200-yard shot. The buck made a tight circle and dropped.
This was Bradley’s first and only pronghorn hunt to date. But he hopes to pursue a doe with archery equipment sometime in the near future.
Another pronghorn was submitted for a Cy Curtis Award just days after Bradley’s, and it became the new state runner-up in the pronghorn category. The buck taken by David D. Seabolt of Sand Springs scored 75 6/8 points. Seabolt’s hunt was Sept. 10, 2011, in Cimarron County.
The Wildlife Department established the Cy Curtis Awards Program in 1972 to recognize trophy game and hunters in Oklahoma. The program originally recognized only trophy white-tailed deer and mule deer. But in 2014, the Cy Curtis Awards Program was expanded to include elk, pronghorns and black bears that exceed the minimum qualifying scores. For details, go to the Cy Curtis page at wildlifedepartment.com.
photo credit – Jon Nelson