March 19, 2015
By Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
Glenn Knutson Jr. of Loco is seen with the pronghorn he harvested on a controlled hunt in Texas County in September 2009. In January, Knutson became the first Cy Curtis Award winner for a qualifying pronghorn. (Photo courtesy of Glenn Knutson Jr.)
Glenn Knutson Jr. seems to know a thing or two about beating the odds. After only a couple of years putting his name in the drawing for a Texas County pronghorn antelope controlled hunt, he was surprised to learn his name was selected for a hunt in 2009.
Little did he know that hunt eventually would secure him a spot in Oklahoma's big-game history book.
Knutson, of Loco, Okla., had hunted pronghorns before out of state. But the controlled hunts in Texas County all take place on private lands, so Knutson said he had to do some legwork ahead of the September season to secure permission on a place to hunt.
The evening before his hunt, Knutson's scouting paid off: He spotted a large buck. He knew this was the pronghorn he wanted to pursue. The next morning, Knutson had the large buck spotted within an hour of going afield. "He was less than a mile from where I'd seen him the evening before."
Knutson said it took him quite a while to stalk his quarry in the open terrain of Texas County. His first shot missed the buck. So he continued to stalk, and he was able to beat the odds by getting a second shot. "When I actually got another shot, he was about 340 yards," Knutson said. This time, the bullet from his 30.06 rifle found its mark.
Knutson had bagged an impressive pronghorn buck in Oklahoma. He mounted the trophy and hung it on the wall in his hunting room. In the years since, the mount has served to rekindle the memories of a great controlled hunt experience. (Learn more about the Wildlife Department's controlled hunts program here. Applications will be accepted April 1 to May 15, 2015.)
Fast-forward to 2015. A friend of Knutson's had harvested a trophy whitetail, and the animal's score qualified it for a Cy Curtis Award. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation 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 trophy elk, pronghorns and black bears.
(Graphic courtesy of OWDC)
As Knutson was checking out his friend's whitetail listing in the Cy Curtis database online at wildlifedepartment.com, he noticed that pronghorns also had become eligible for an award. Knutson figured that his 2009 Texas County pronghorn would probably meet the minimum score of 70 and qualify for a Cy Curtis Award.
On Jan. 7, 2015, Knutson took his pronghorn mount to Marietta to meet official scorer David Banta, wildlife technician at Hickory Creek and Love Valley wildlife management areas. When the measuring was all done, Knutson's buck scored 72 even. Upon signing the official scoring forms, Knutson's pronghorn became the first of its kind to earn a Cy Curtis Award.
"Having the first one is special," Knutson said. "I know there will be a lot of antelope that are bigger, but it's a big honor to me to have the first one in Cy Curtis."
At the same time, Knutson asked Banta to score the rack from a moose he bagged last year during a once-in-a-lifetime drawn hunt in Idaho. "Yeah, I've had some luck in drawing tags," Knutson said. And as fate would have it, Knutson ended up with a Boone and Crockett-qualified moose the same day.What are the odds?