January 15, 2024
Breaking News Bucks is presented by ARCUS hunting brands. To find out more click here.
“I was not planning to go hunting, but I’m glad I did,” says Caleb Nail. As it would turn out, the hunt he almost didn’t make produced his best buck ever: a true Oklahoma giant!
Caleb spotted the incredible buck late last season in an area he doesn’t hunt much. “It is the back corner of the place, and it takes a pretty good walk to get there. Plus, I have other places to go,” Caleb says.
The big buck hadn’t shown up on his trail camera since that initial encounter, and Caleb was planning to hunt with his brother on another property on Oct. 8, 2023, but that got cancelled. So, he slept in. Caleb had killed a doe the day before, and he really wasn’t feeling the urge to get back out there, until he woke up and saw the weather at 7:00 a.m.
“I figured the deer would still be moving, so I decided to ease into where I thought he might be bedding and look around,” Caleb explains. While moving along a dry creek bed, Caleb heard squirrels and jays sounding off on the opposite bank. “I had jumped a deer walking in and couldn’t tell anything about it,” Caleb says. “So I slipped into the creek and tried to look over on that side.”
It got quiet after a few minutes, and Caleb decided to go get something to eat. Then he heard the noise again. He sat there for about a minute, and then he heard something on the side where he had been. The huge buck was making his way down the other side, and not far from Caleb!
“I knew he was about to spot me, so I drew and shot very quickly,” Caleb recalls. “And I saw the arrow fall out of his opposite side as he ran away. I called my cousin and told him, ‘I put an arrow in him!’ Then I backed out and waited five hours to make the recovery.”
After returning to track the buck, Caleb found the deer, which hadn’t gone very far. Word got out quickly that he had killed a really good deer. Then the story took an interesting turn. “I got a call from a guy who had been hunting the deer, and he wanted to see it and measure it for me,” Caleb says. “And when we met, we both realized we had talked to each other a few days earlier in an outdoor store.”
The man had shown photos of the giant then, and Caleb told him, “I will see you on Facebook and you will be famous if you kill that one!”
The dark rack features a flyer off the right G-2, a uniquely bladed G-3 and two walls of long tines on upswept beams. The Oklahoma giant unofficially green gross scores 199 2/8.
“I am really glad that it worked out the way it did,” Caleb says.