If not for the call of the wild, 16-year-old Sydney Jensen of Moore would have never found her first trophy buck.
Sydney's father, Tim Jensen, said their land in Woodward County doesn't produce many 10-point bucks, so they were ecstatic when Sydney was able to shoot a 10-pointer on Thanksgiving morning during the Oklahoma gun season.
“I saw him hunch his back, knew she hit him well, and then watched as he struggled to run up a small sandhill,” Tim said. “He disappeared behind a cedar tree. I just knew he was down right there.”
Except he wasn't. Five minutes later, the Jensens saw the buck walking slowly by the same cedar tree, then he disappeared again.
They waited 30 minutes, then began a search, circling wide to get ahead of the buck, expecting to find a downed deer. They searched for 90 minutes and found nothing.
“No hair. No blood. No dead deer,” Tim said. “Her trophy was gone. Talk about disappointing.”
They decided to go hunting again the next morning. They had been in the stands for about two hours when Tim heard a lone coyote howl from a direction where he thought the buck had run the day before.
“No way we could be that lucky, I thought,” Tim said.
They started walking toward the coyote howl, and several crows began calling loudly from the same direction.
Deep inside a cedar tree thicket more than 500 yards from where the deer had been shot, they found Sydney's buck. Coyotes had taken the hindquarters and most of the backstrap and rib meat, but enough was left that Sydney would be able to get her trophy mounted.
“Most of us don't have much use for coyotes or crows, but I say God bless them,” Tim said.