Thursday, May 21, 2015

Newest State-Record Pronghorn Recognized

David Baumann of Midwest City with his Cy Curtis Awards Program state-record pronghorn. The buck scored 74 2/8 points. (Photo by Don P. Brown/ODWC)
A pronghorn taken in 2010 with an Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation controlled hunt permit has become the newest state record in the Cy Curtis Awards Program.
David Baumann of Midwest City now holds the state record with his buck that scored 74 2/8. Baumann's record comes just a few weeks after the Cy Curtis program honored the first state-record pronghorn -- a Texas County buck that scored 72, harvested in 2009 by Glenn Knutson of Loco.
Baumann took his pronghorn at Rita Blanca Wildlife Management Area in the southwestern corner of Cimarron County near Felt. It was Baumann's first hunt for
pronghorn, and he was quick to praise local game warden Rusty Menefee for the assistance he gave to someone who didn't know much about pronghorn hunting.

"We've got wonderful public hunting opportunities out there," Baumann said. "If you get out and do your homework, you can find some pretty good hunting."
Baumann began his hunt by scouting the area beforehand. He had arranged to hunt on private land. After having no luck on opening morning, he decided to try Rita Blanca WMA. "There was more antelope at that time on Rita Blanca public land out there."
That afternoon, he spotted a pronghorn buck on public land. "He was a nice one, and I'd seen some smaller ones," Baumann recalled. "I knew he had really good horns," he said, having learned what to look for by watching hunting shows on television.
The terrain was flat, and Baumann said he belly-crawled and used a small bush for cover. He decided to take a 400-yard shot, but he missed low.
Figuring the buck would return to the same area the next day, Baumann planned to set up in a shallow ravine. "I happened to time it just perfect, as the pronghorns were going from private to public land," he said. When the choice buck showed up, Baumann was able to connect on a 200-yard shot.
"I walked up and noticed the ivory-tipped horns, and I knew I had a good one," he said. The buck weighed 108 pounds.
After getting his mount back, Baumann took it to a local outdoors expo, where it was scored by Ron Smith, Southwest Region senior biologist for the Wildlife Department. Smith told Baumann that if the Department were to ever begin recognizing pronghorn records, he ought to enter his buck.
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.
Baumann said 2010 was only the third year he had entered his name in the drawing for a pronghorn controlled hunt permit. He has not hunted pronghorn since.
Ever since he was 18 years old, Baumann had entered his name in the drawing for an elk hunt in the Department's controlled hunts program. On his 55th birthday last year, he was finally selected for a once-in-a-lifetime bull elk permit at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, and he went on to have a successful hunt this past winter.