Rack Report: Steve Purviance's Oklahoma 187-incher

White-Tailed Deer

United States

Rack Report: Steve Purviance's Oklahoma 187-incher

Posted 2012-12-14T11:55:00Z  by  Julie Wilkins

Rack Report Details
Buck:187 5/8 inches
Time of Year:November 2012
Place:Harper County, OK
Weapon: Thompson/Center Encore Muzzleloader  Muzzleloader 

To a deer hunter, western Oklahoma doesn't look like much, at least at first glance. It's rugged, canyon-type terrain full of large gypsum rock and very few trees. You wouldn't think there'd be enough forage or cover to support whitetails. But you'd be mistaken.

Whitetail Properties' Steve Purviance knows this now. He's had access to a ranch in northwest Oklahoma for many years. But until recently, he hadn't given it much thought for deer hunting.

I was looking for a good spot for my dad and me to hunt, so I put out a trail camera and a bag of Big & J BB2 in a small chinaberry grove, the only trees on the ranch, Purviance said.

His expectations of seeing anything worthwhile were pretty low, so Purviance left the trail camera unchecked for several weeks.

The day I finally decided to check the camera will be embedded in my memory forever, he said.

Just as Purviance pulled up to the canyon edge to check the camera, he caught a glimpse of a deer as it ran out of a nearby plum thicket. In disbelief, Purviance quickly grabbed his binoculars and spotted the giant, non-typical silhouette just before it disappeared into another canyon. Suddenly that rugged terrain seemed a little more appealing.

Purviance and his dad, Joe, weren't able to meet up to hunt until several days later. And by that time the rut was in full swing, which left Steve wondering if the buck would even still be in the area. But curiosity prevailed and Steve and Joe both set up by that canyon on a mild, clear afternoon, within view of each other and the canyon edge. No more than 5 minutes after setting up, the buck emerged, unexpectedly, and walked over the top of the canyon and disappeared into another canyon about 3/4 mile away.

Steve and his dad quickly decided to change locations and try to get ahead of the buck.

After a mad dash to the head of the canyon and a belly crawl to the rim, I spotted the buck 150 yards below me, Steve said. Ten seconds later it was over.

Steve had a clear shot of the buck and took it. He hit the buck just behind the shoulder and it immediately dropped.

Besides my excitement and disbelief of what just unfolded, I couldn't help but wish Dad had been the lucky hunter, wishing the buck would have come out his end of the canyon, Steve said. However, the deer gods didn't have it in the plans. At the end of the day, we both enjoyed a hunt together and the older I get, the more I realize that's the most important aspect of hunting. This specific hunt just happened to have a very special ending.

Steve's 187 5/8-inch monster had a double row of tines on both beams with numerous kickers - a non-typical buck from a non-typical terrain.

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