Guner Womack is your model college guy. He goes to class, hits the books, and climbs into trees. But he started doing more hunting and less studying when a giant typical whitetail showed back up in 2019.
But while they had this deer on camera for three years, they’d never really had an opportunity at this buck. Womack hoped that’d change this season. “We’ve owned this land for six or seven years and have taken a lot of mature deer off of it,” Womack said. “We knew if we took care of it and really worked hard to keep the deer healthy that it wouldn’t disappoint.”
And disappoint it hasn’t. “We’ve had this particular buck on camera for three years now.” Womack said. “He’s grown exponentially in size every year. We estimate he grew around 50 inches from last year.”
While deer make huge strides from year-to-year, this was indeed a spectacular increase for a 4½-year-old buck. But while his hopes of killing this deer were high, record-class whitetails aren’t his driving force for enjoying the outdoors.
“I’ve hunted my whole life,” Womack said. “It’s more than just a hobby. It’s really just what we do. This is where I go to relieve stress and get away from everything. It’s so much more than just a trophy. It’s about the memories you make along the way.”
And while he didn’t know it beforehand, October 22, 2019, arrived and with it an incredible memory he’d never forget. Uninspired by warm, 70-degree temperatures and bad weather conditions, he headed afield, nonetheless. He couldn’t wait to get in the stand and just enjoy the hunt.
The family farm lays out perfectly for hunting. “The terrain at our farm is actually pretty neat,” Womack said. “A lake sits right in the middle of the property and acts as a divider. We have three food plots across the property. I just happened to choose one of them the day of this hunt.”
He eventually climbed into the tree, and thanks to quality entry and exit routes, managed to get all the way there without bumping any deer. He unpacked his gear and settled in for the evening sit.
The farm lays out beautifully, making for fun sits in the stand even when deer aren’t moving well. A lush, green food plot was to his left. And to the right was a stand of timber and thick cover. Beyond that was drop-off that led down to the lake in the middle of the property. He hoped a good buck would leave the bedding area and enter the food plot to feed during daylight.
It didn’t take long for deer to begin moving. Three young bucks came out and milled around the food plot. Four does entered a short time later and did the same. Then a big-bodied deer stepped out. But it wasn’t the deer he hoped for. Instead, it was an older 8-pointer that Womack elected to pass on.
Then, the giant typical stepped out of the timber a mere 40 yards away. Womack’s adrenaline immediately tacked out as he awaited his opportunity. Much to his disappointment, the deer turned and went back into cover. Several painstaking seconds passed as he prayed the deer would come back. They were answered.
“He ended up running back out at 25 yards,” Womack said. “The buck held up there for several minutes before I could get a shot, though.”
Those minutes felt like ages as he patiently waited for an ethical shot opportunity. Finally, the buck turned broadside. The young bowhunter slowly drew his bow, split his first and second pins on the vitals, and let the 25-yard shot rip. The buck ran a short distance before tipping over.
And that’s when the adrenaline shakes kicked into warp drive. Several of his buddies — who were hunting just a couple miles away — came to help Womack retrieve the buck. They all stood by the monarch and admired the true Oklahoma giant. It’s one of the most impressive typicals ever arrowed.
“I received a lot of love and support from everyone,” Womack said. “They were all super happy for me. The deer itself is an amazing animal.”
While initial internet buzz thought this clean, typical 8x8 whitetail might challenge the Hanson buck, it won’t. With a green net score of 192 6/8 inches, there is a slight change it could challenge the current Boone & Crockett Oklahoma typical state record. Jason Boyett tagged an incredible 192 5/8-inch buck in Pushmataha County in 2007. Odds are low that the Womack buck will hold up and beat that after the 60-day drying period, though. But you never know until you know. And it’s almost certain to become the new archery state record typical over the 185 6/8-inch Luman buck from 1997. But Womack doesn’t care about all that.
“I could care less about records,” Womack said. “It’s about much more than that. It’s really cool because we watched this deer grow up. To actually take him was super cool and to see that it all paid off was amazing.”