Photos: Oklahoma Hunter Tags a Potential Record Nontypical

In October, 2015, Jim Stacy harvested a 200-plus-inch buck of a lifetime—and what may be among the 25 largest nontypicals in the Oklahoma record books.

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Jim Stacy’s determination to shoot only mature whitetails paid off in a big way when the 62-year-old retiree passed on “a really nice 8-pointer” in late October. His patience was rewarded seconds later when out stepped a gnarly, 200-inch buck that will likely be among the top 25 nontypicals in the Oklahoma record books, and the biggest ever taken in Osage County.Field & Stream
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Hunting his lease south of Fairfax on October 28, Stacy watched a deer pick its way down a hill toward his creek-bottom ladder stand during the last few minutes of shooting light. “I knew right away he was bigger than the small bucks I’d been seeing,” he says. The 8-pointer stopped 25 yards away and gave the Broken Arrow-based retiree time to look it over, but he guessed that it was a 3 ½-year-old that still had some growing to do. “I said, ‘You’re the one I’m gonna let go,’” Stacy says. “About that time, he turned and looked behind him and kind of bristled up.” Stacy was on his fourth day of hunting during the muzzleloader season, having missed opening day to attend a ball game with his wife. After deciding to pass on the 8-point, his thoughts had turned to camp and supper. But, upon seeing the deer bristle then move away, Stacy turned to see what might be intimidating the buck—right where the 8-pointer had been stood another big whitetail.Field & Stream
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“It was one of those mystical evenings where the wind dies; there’s no squirrels, no birds, just silence,” Stacy says. “I had told myself, ‘If a buck comes in, you’re not gonna hear him, so you better get ready now.’ And sure enough, I never heard the big buck. He was just standing there, right where the 8-pointer had been.” Light was fading by the minute, and the buck had its head down, making it difficult to see its rack. But Stacy knew that if the 8-pointer was giving ground, the newcomer must be big. He raised his muzzleloader and looked through the scope. “About that time, he raised his head and I saw he had horns everywhere, a lot bigger than the 8-pointer. I eased up and took the shot.”Field & Stream
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The blast dropped the deer on its back, and it slid 10 yards down the hill toward Stacy’s stand before jumping up and running off with the 8-pointer. The two bucks soon split up, and Stacy couldn’t be sure which direction the big one had gone. The blood trail was thin, but Stacy was determined to keep searching. The previous fall, he’d shot a 150-inch 8-pointer, backed out overnight, and then lost the meat to coyotes. He didn’t want that to happen again. Eventually, Stacy located the buck near the creek, and got his first look at the massive rack. “I was totally amazed,” he says. “To shine a flashlight on him in the dark and see what he’s really got. These animals are wild; no one has ever touched them. These horns are so unique, and I was the first person to put my hands on him and appreciate what they were.”Field & Stream
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After looking over the buck, Stacy contacted Larry Green, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation game warden for the area. “He said, ‘I’ve killed a deer in the neighborhood of 200 inches, but I’m not really a good scorer, and I’d like to get a second opinion,’” Green says. A warden for 25 years and an official Boone & Crockett scorer, Green drove the 40 miles to check out Stacy’s kill. Any skepticism he might have had vanished immediately upon seeing the buck: “At first glance you could tell the deer was really exceptional,” Green says. “The G-2s were 14 inches, and the G-3s were 13 inches. It had about 6 inches of mass at the bases. The most unique thing was that the inside spread was only around 15 inches. So all that mass is tied up in a big tight bundle.”Field & Stream
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Green gave the rack a quick rough score and came up with an estimate well above what Stacy had initially guessed. Stacy confirms that subsequent measurements—which he doesn’t yet want to detail—show that the 23-point rack should net more than 200 inches. He’s confident that it will be the largest nontypical ever taken in Osage County, and he’s been advised that the buck will probably place in the top 25 in the ODWC’s Cy Curtis Awards Program. The program’s database lists 56 nontypicals with net scores 200 inches or greater, and the top 25 all score above 214 net inches. The state record nontypical is a 248-6/8-inch 18-pointer taken by Michael Crossland, in 2004.Field & Stream
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In his line of work, Green sees plenty of controversies, especially when big deer are involved. “There was no controversy here,” he says, though. “[Stacy] was hunting an acorn bottom, didn’t have a corn feeder, and it was a completely fair chase in every aspect. It was refreshing to see a guy out hunting fair and square and kill a giant deer—truly a deer of a lifetime.”Field & Stream
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“I don’t go out expecting to see a deer like that when I hunt,” Green says. “But I always think about it.” Indeed, few of us go out expecting that a 200-inch buck will walk 25 yards from our stand—but we think about it. And every once in awhile, someone like Jim Stacy comes along and proves that it can happen. “In the past, I would have shot the 8-pointer, and I would have never seen the big buck,” says Stacy, who has been able to devote more time to his hunting since retiring from Caterpillar a year and a half ago. “You learn as you get older and wiser. I’ve always wondered what I could do if I really had the time to put in hunting full time and not just on weekends. I think I’ve answered my question.”Field & Stream