Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
If 14-year-old Jordan Cepero wasn't the only girl her age out on the first day of rifle season for deer, she was pretty close to the only one.
"I only know one other girl that hunts," said the plucky little Junior Varsity Woodward Middle School cheerleader.
This year, even though the bitter temperatures kept some full grown men in their warm beds, the first day of deer season was a good one for this hunting diva.
Within just a few hours, Cepero had already drawn a bead on and dropped an eight point buck.
But Cepero isn't a glory hound. She credits her step-father, Lee Overton, for taking the time to teach her how to be a safe hunter and how to properly fire her rifle.
"Well, my grandfather used to hunt deer too and now I have my stepfather to help me hunt deer just like my grandfather did," she said.
This wasn't Cepero's first hunt. Her first experience came last season, just days after taking the hunting safety course.
If you ask her guy friends, her luck seemed to start then.
"Last year, I got an 11 point buck," she said. "My girl friends don't really care to hear about it. My guy friend though, he thinks it's cool because he has another friend that is a girl who hunts."
Only three days into the 16 day gun season for deer in Oklahoma, nearly 52,000 deer have been checked in, according to the online Oklahoma Department of Wildlife and Conservation check station.
According to Lt. Mark Reichenberger, game ranger for Woodward County, the season might be slow this year for buck that are two and a half years old since the 2011 drought saw a dismal number of fawns that survived, he said.
"Because the summer was so harsh and the drought was so bad, a lot of fawns sloughed," he said. "So that year would have been the one that produced all of the two and a half year olds this year and so the numbers are down this year."
Those hunters who cannot access the internet or who experience trouble checking in their deer should call their local game warden and he will assist them on checking them in, Reichenberger said.
"It might be a little confusing because this is the first year we are doing online check in," he said.
Reichenberger urged hunters to abide by all of the hunting regulations, but most importantly observe the safety guidelines, he said.
"They need to have on the blaze orange vest and hat," he said.