Michael Crossland's Oklahoma Record Non-Typical Buck

Michael Crossland's Oklahoma Record Non-Typical Buck

Legal issues can keep a mega-buck from getting the respect he deserves. Even when no law has been broken during or after the hunt for said deer.

Sadly, that describes the situation with the Michael Crossland non-typical, a 248 6/8-inch brute shot in southwestern Oklahoma’s Tillman County on the afternoon of Nov. 23, 2004. Due to legal issues, a deer that went on to hold the overall state record in a trophy-rich state for well over a decade hasn’t received all that much favorable ink.

The hunt began innocently enough, and with little promise it would produce anything of note. An old friend invited Michael to go hunting with him on a ranch where the former still worked and the latter had once worked. While Michael didn’t have direct permission to hunt the property, he hadn’t been told he couldn’t, and he was there at the invitation of a friend who had permission. They were mainly out to relax, as both worked nearly nonstop even during deer season.

That Michael didn’t have individual permission to hunt wouldn’t have been such a big deal had he not fired a shot that day. But fire one he did — into what would be judged the highest-scoring deer in state history. The 24-pointer that came out with a doe (while Michael was waiting for his friend to return with the ATV, so they could check another location before dark) offered him an 80-yard shot, and he made it count.


The celebration that followed was short-lived. The landowner insisted the deer had been improperly harvested, due to the fact Michael didn’t have specific permission to hunt there. The deer was seized by the state. Only after a long legal battle was Michael able to clear his name and get his trophy back.


Likely because the legal process took well over a year and ended up with hard feelings all around, the Crossland buck never was celebrated to the extent a deer of his size should have been. Oklahoma remains a sleeper state for trophy bucks, and this is the biggest hunter kill so far certified from there. For him never to have been that highly acclaimed is an oversight. But at least Michael ended up with his deer and the record to offset his troubles and media neglect.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Stan Potts

Stan Potts' Debut NAW Hunt

North American Whitetail revisits Stan Potts' very first hunt for the TV Show.

How to Control Predators on Deer Hunting Property

How to Control Predators on Deer Hunting Property

In this edition of "Deer Factory," Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss ways to help control predators on deer hunting property.

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

On Target: Tips for Handgun Hunting Accuracy

Dr. James Kroll provides tips for hunting whitetails with a handgun.

Battling Breeding Bucks

Battling Breeding Bucks

Stan Potts heads to his home state of Illinois to hunt whitetails with his bow during the November rut.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional requirements will not only increase your chances of harvesting a good buck, but also your enjoyment of whitetail hunting. Land Management

What Do Deer Eat?

Dr. James C. Kroll

Understanding what deer eat and how they adjust their diets to meet changing nutritional...

Here's a look at some of the new deer rifles from SHOT Show 2020! Guns

Best New Deer Hunting Rifles for 2020

Lynn Burkhead - January 29, 2020

Here's a look at some of the new deer rifles from SHOT Show 2020!

Good location is just part of the equation. Scouting

The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.

We'll explain which supplements whitetails can obtain in the field, and the best ways to provide them with the ones they can't. Off-Season

Which Minerals Do Deer Need?

Dr. James C. Kroll

We'll explain which supplements whitetails can obtain in the field, and the best ways to...

See More Trending Articles

More Overlooked & Underrated

This buck shot in 1967 never received all the attention its massive rack deserved. Overlooked & Underrated

Jack Davidge Saskatchewan Non-Typical Buck

Gordon Whittington

This buck shot in 1967 never received all the attention its massive rack deserved.

This New Jersey trophy was impressively taken with archery tackle in 1996. Overlooked & Underrated

Scott Borden's New Jersey Typical Buck

Gordon Whittington

This New Jersey trophy was impressively taken with archery tackle in 1996.

At over 250 inches, this buck went under the radar for years before more details surfaced about the irregular hunt. Overlooked & Underrated

Brett Johnson's "Montana Mystery Buck"

Gordon Whittington

At over 250 inches, this buck went under the radar for years before more details surfaced...

Learn more about the Number 3 typical buck of all time, taken in Missouri in 1971. Overlooked & Underrated

Larry Gibson's 205-Inch Typical Buck

Gordon Whittington

Learn more about the Number 3 typical buck of all time, taken in Missouri in 1971.

See More Overlooked & Underrated

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now