March 05, 2020
By Lynn Burkhead
In the world of college football, the annual grudge match between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State produces some of the year’s best gridiron action in the long-running Bedlam football series.
Over the storied rivalry’s long history, the OU Sooners have often had the upper hand, including several nail-biting finishes going their way in recent times.
But when it comes to the state’s growing reputation as a world-class deer hunting Mecca, the latest big-buck news coming out of Oklahoma goes squarely in the direction of the OSU Cowboys.
As you might recall, Guner Womack, a 19-year-old Oklahoma State University turf management student from Morrison, Okla., took an enormous archery whitetail on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019.
After becoming a viral Internet sensation as photos of Womack’s great buck began circulating on Facebook, Instagram and in hunting forums across the country, months of speculation came to an end in late February as the buck was officially scored at the annual Backwoods Hunting & Fishing Expo in Oklahoma City.
When all of the numbers were added up, an 1/8 of an inch in Womack’s favor made all of the difference in the world as officials with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation declared the Pawnee County buck as the state’s new archery king.
With a 60-day gross score of 201 5/8 inches and a 60-day net score of 188 5/8 inches, the Womack buck now officially ranks among the Sooner State’s best by the slimmest of margins.
With Womack planning on entering his enormous buck in the state’s Cy Curtis program, the Pope and Young Club’s bowhunting records, and the Boone and Crockett Club’s record keeping system, the young college student’s wall is about to be filled with certificates and accolades giving a nod toward one of Oklahoma’s all-time best whitetails.
Starting with the ODWC Cy Curtis program, the Womack buck is now the archery state record there, topping a crossbow kill from Rogers County in 2011. Before that, the previous Cy Curtis benchmark archery buck was tagged by Claremore, Okla. hunter Wade Ward, a whitetail that ended up with a final score of 188 4/8 inches.
Womack’s buck will also rise to the top of the Pope and Young Club’s record book. Since P&Y only recognizes bucks taken with vertical or traditional bows, Womack’s buck will apparently become the new P&Y state record, topping the 185 6/8-inch mark set in Nov. 1997 by Larry Luman from Bryan County.
And in the Boone and Crockett Club’s record keeping system, which accepts bucks picked up or taken with any type of legal hunting weapon, the Womack buck will rise toward the top of that hallowed list, too. In the B&C book, only Jason Boyett’s 192 5/8-inch state record rifle kill from Pushmataha County in 2007 and Troy Bryant’s recent 190 6/8-inch rifle kill from Harper County in 2019 will apparently rank higher.
So, what does all this number’s talk end up meaning? Simply, really. Womack's whitetail is the Sooner State’s all-time best taken with archery tackle. And with any type of weapon, the Womack buck sits in the rarefied air of being a top-five Oklahoma buck, too. Not bad for an OSU Cowboy whose 2019 buck was actually the first ever archery buck of his deer-hunting career!
Now that the bedlam of waiting to the end of the mandatory 60-day drying period and having the buck officially scored is in the past, the humble college student can relax a little bit.
But he’ll always remember the crazy weeks between becoming an Internet sensation and rising to the top of the Sooner State’s bowhunting list — especially the family, friends, and kind onlookers who helped make the journey an enjoyable one.
“The process was pretty cool and having everyone there who has supported me the last couple months was amazing,” said Womack of the scoring session that made everything official. “There were a ton of people gathered around the table — News 9 (TV) and the Tulsa World (newspaper) was there. It took about 30 minutes to do the whole scoring (thing).”
What does it feel like to be the state’s archery buck record holder?
“Getting a platform like this and possibly even gaining an even larger one is pretty exciting,” said Womack. “Everything happens for a reason and for me to get to experience something like this was a huge blessing and something I’ll never forget.
“As for the record, it’s kind of a surreal feeling,” he added. “Having it become official and seeing all the people I impacted in a positive way was what I enjoyed the most about getting the actual record. I’m hoping this whole thing gives our hunting group another push and can open up even more doors for us. Personally, it’s just super cool to be a part of history in this way and (to) always being able to tell my story my way about this amazing deer."
An amazing deer that won an Oklahoma record book race in nothing short of a photo finish.