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The number of Oklahoma trophy bucks keeps climbing

Bryan Bayless' buck taken during deer gun season in Ellis County will be the No. 4 all-time typical buck taken in Oklahoma. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Bryan Bayless' buck taken during deer gun season in Ellis County will be the No. 4 all-time typical buck taken in Oklahoma. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Oklahoma's historic deer season keeps getting more impressive.

Now there is news of another outstanding whitetailed buck, this one taken in far western Oklahoma in Ellis County near Arnett.

Bryan Bayless of Weatherford killed a buck on the second weekend of gun season that was officially scored Thursday and became the all-time No. 4 typical buck taken in the state.

The antler measurements on Bayless' buck grossed 220 4/8th inches and netted 185 1/8th inches after deductions.

Bayless' buck joins a slew of outstanding trophies taken this past season by Oklahoma hunters, including one killed in Logan County by Steven Everett of Edmond, which will be No. 2 all-time among non-typical racks with a net score of 245 7/8ths.

Typical racks are bucks with antlers that have symmetry on each side. Non-typical racks are generally defined as antlers with abnormal points.

George Moore, of Arcadia, an official Boone & Crockett measurer who scored Bayless' buck, said the number of Oklahoma bucks taken this past season that will qualify for Boone & Crockett or Pope & Young is unprecedented.

Moore said the number of Boone & Crockett bucks he personally has scored this season in Oklahoma is three times more than any other year.

“It's been unreal,” Moore said. “I have scored 32 deer from Oklahoma that have grossed over 200 inches, two of those being road kills, 30 harvested deer over 200, which a majority are non-typicals. But of that, there are three or four of them that are typicals.”

Bayless' buck is one of them. He took the buck off of land he owns near Arnett, where he grew up. The first time anyone knew about the buck was last summer, when he started appearing on the trail camera photos of Bayless' neighbor 4 ½ miles away.

“I never had one picture of that deer,” Bayless said.

When October and archery deer season rolled around, the buck had disappeared from the neighbor's place.

“Rumors started circulating he was over around my place,” Bayless said. “A lot of the neighbors around me had pictures of him at night on their cameras. Nobody had any day pictures.”

Bayless had milo on his land and it was thick with shinnery oak and cedar trees.

“We had a good feeling he was probably hanging out in there,” Bayless said.

On Nov. 25, Bayless was sitting with his brother in the stand when the buck appeared with two does.

“All of the neighbors were after him,” Bayless said. “All of us were after him. I just happened to be fortunate to get to be the one to take him.”

Bayless, 42, said he and his family have deer hunted on their land around Arnett for decades. No one has ever taken a buck like this one before.

“We've taken some good deer. We have taken some deer we consider trophy bucks but nothing in the ballpark of this one,” Bayless said. “In that part of the country, it's pretty open, so not a lot of the deer get to stay on the hoof long enough to get that big.

“It's a dream buck. I have been hunting since I was a kid, me and my brothers, and you dream about what the possibilities might be of the kind of deer you might shoot. That's the deer I would dream up.”

The big buck news in Oklahoma might not be over yet.

"There are a lot of people that still haven't got bucks scored," Moore said. "I am still scoring. I have got three to score next week."

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›