Rack Report: The Story of El Horno


Rack Report: The Story of El Horno

Posted 2014-04-14T01:00:00Z  by  Mike Lambeth

Mike Moffat's OK buck.

Rack Report Details
Buck:204-Inch Non-Typical
Time of Year:November 2013
Place:Canadian County, OK
Weapon: DPMS .308 rifle   

Back in the 2012 season, Michael Moffat shot a buck the likes of which most hunters will never see. That buck sported bodacious mass and heavy palmation, and scored just shy of 180. Moffat knew he'd set the bar high enough that he might never break it. But then he checked his game cameras last summer. They showed that a buck he'd passed on in the previous season now carried at least 30 more inches of freaky rack. As far as Moffat was concerned, that buck had achieved shooter status." He nicknamed him El Horno.

When Moffat emailed me, he titled the subject line El Horno. At first I thought I had received spam from a Latin porn star. I soon found out, though, that El Horno doesn't mean in Spanish what it sounds like in English; instead, it means stove or oven (although, I advise being careful about Googling it). And it was the name chosen for this gagger buck with a gnarly rack. I thought the name was fitting, Moffat said with a sheepish grin.

Moffat's family grows wheat and corn in Canadian County, located just west of Oklahoma County. Moffat became so dedicated to hunting big bucks that he even concocted his own deer feed, which he feeds year 'round. He calls his secret formula Mike's Deer Diesel, and claims his bucks are growing some incredible headgear.

When Moffat discovered El Horno, he knew the big buck wasn't staying on his property full-time. Nonetheless, he knew the buck frequented the area, thanks to the number of does living there. So Moffat set up a popup blind on the edge of a crop field, hoping to get a crack at El Horno.

On Thanksgiving morning, Moffat went to his blind for a morning hunt before his family gathered for dinner. The rut had been dismal, but Moffat had a good feeling. While sitting in a chilly 30 degrees in the anemic, gray light of dawn, Moffat noticed a doe feeding at a corn pile doctored up with his special feed. The doe fed for 45 minutes before looking up and then walking toward a brushy area. Moffat leaned forward to look down the field. El Horno stood 80 yards away!

I couldn't believe my eyes, Moffat said. I had spent several days hunting that buck, and now he was standing a short distance away!

He grabbed his rifle and placed his scope's red dot on the giant buck's shoulder. When the rifle roared, the buck kicked his hind legs and then ran down the edge of the field away from Moffat's blind. Knowing that he had hit the buck, but fearing the monster would get away, Moffat fired again, this time anchoring the bruiser.

Now a bundle of nerves, Moffat called his brother, his dad and his girlfriend (yes, in that order) to tell of his good fortune. Soon, they all appeared to witness the magnificence of this harvest.

Later, at dinner, Michael had much to be thankful for. El Horno touted 16 points and scored 204.

Have a big buck story you want to share? Email us at [email protected].

Watch all the latest video episodes

Latest Products