Archery deer season opened Saturday, but last season a Foyil hunter harvested a buck that will be the new state archery record if accepted into the Cy Curtis record book.
Wade Ward harvested the monster buck on his land in Rogers County with a crossbow on Jan. 11.
The typical 14-point buck grossed 196 6/8 and netted 188 4/8 after deductions. Ward has submitted the buck to Boone & Crockett and to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Cy Curtis program, the state's record keeper for trophy bucks.
If approved, it would be the biggest typical buck ever killed during the archery season in Oklahoma and the third-largest typical ever.
Only John Ehmer's buck that scored 194 0/8 and Jason Boyett's buck that scored 191 4/8 are better. Both bucks were killed in Pushmataha County during the 2007 gun season.
Ward, 57, said he had seen the buck on his trail camera for two years but never laid eyes on it until a very cold Jan. 11.
“It was spitting snow and getting down to 5 degrees,” Ward said. “He came out right before dark.”
Ward noted that if the buck season hadn't been extended to Jan. 15, and if crossbows hadn't been legalized, he never would have killed the buck.
He borrowed his wife's crossbow to use in the ground blind that day because it was so cold.
“It was just easier to sit in that ground blind with a crossbow,” he said. “They are a little easier to shoot. You got a scope on it. They are really accurate.”