First, though, let me point out that Buck Tales consists of 60,000 acres of non-contiguous land spread over four counties, about 2 ½ hours northwest of Oklahoma City's Will Rogers Airport. Both whitetail and mule deer inhabit the area. The terrain is probably not what you would expect to see in Oklahoma. There are deep canyons here cut into high mesas, and the beginning of the high desert, interspersed with some agriculture. The Cimarron River runs through the land. Mule deer inhabit the canyons, while the whitetails stick to the river bottoms, providing concentrated hotspots in what would otherwise be vast tracts of hunting land. Connelly's deer management program speaks for itself. In 1998 he took 36 whitetail bucks, 16 of which scored 150 B & C or better. In addition, his three mule deer hunters all took bucks that scored over 160. And it is worth repeating: His top two whitetail deer last year grossed 213 and 203. The better of the two bucks unofficially netted 181 5/8 and had a 24 3/4-inch spread. It should be noted that the current Oklahoma state record whitetail is 185 5/8.
Connelly's mule deer are whoppers too. He only allows three hunters to take mulies at Buck Tales, and he personally guides each one. He insists that a buck be at least 5 ½ years old and have a minimum 24-inch spread and five points before it can be shot. In 1998, a Buck Tales hunter took Oklahoma's eighth largest-ever mule deer, and in 1997, one took the sixth largest-ever........(continued)