On the opening day of Oklahoma’s bow season, Ethan Kile finally tagged a massive buck that he’d chased all through the 2022 season without success. He killed the 30-point buck on Oct. 1 while bowhunting a small, 40-acre parcel of private land in Gavin County.
“Friends and I unofficially scored the buck via the Buckmasters system at 229 7/8 gross inches, with 30 antler points you could hang a ring on,” Kile tells Outdoor Life.
He adds that his taxidermist will get the deer officially scored after the mandatory 60-day drying period ends. And if the official score comes anywhere close to that 230-inch mark, Kile’s buck will likely be among the top 10 archery bucks ever taken in Oklahoma.
Kile first spotted the giant non-typical during the summer of 2022 while he was mowing fields on the private, 40-acre parcel that his uncle owns. After noticing some more deer sign that September, he set up some cellular trail cams and started getting pictures of the buck at night.
“He was about 30 inches smaller in 2022 than he was in 2023,” he explains. “But I sure would have taken him last year if I’d had a chance.”
Kile would see the buck in the flesh two times over the course of the season—once while hunting from a ground blind with his daughter, and again while hunting solo in November. But the deer never got close enough for a shot opportunity, and it disappeared after that.
The buck returned to the same general area on the property this July, and Kile started getting trail cam photos of it at night. By the time bow season rolled around, Kile figured he’d get to the blind late in the afternoon and hope for an opportunity that evening. He got his chance around 7 p.m.
“I had a small buck close when the big deer showed in the woods near the opening I was hunting,” Kile says. “He watched the little buck for 10 minutes before walking closer, and I got a broadside shot of him at 28 yards.”
His arrow sailed a bit high, though, and he says the buck “jumped the string.”
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“My broadhead hit him in the neck, but fortunately it severed a main artery, and he only went 250 yards before dropping,” Kile says.
Kiile's father came out to help track the buck in the 90-degree heat. They gave it an hour and then found the buck’s blood trail in the tall grass.
“The grass was so think I was just 10 yards from it before seeing the deer,” Kile recalls.
They loaded the trophy buck in their pickup after field dressing it. The deer weighed around 160 pounds dressed, and they estimated its age around six years old.
Kile says he’s gotten out hunting four more times since tagging the massive buck earlier this month. But he still hasn’t drawn his bow again.
“I’ve had some deer [in] close that I could have taken, and I even had a 140-inch buck in bow range. He was only three years old, though, and there’s plenty of time for him to grow bigger in the coming years,” Kile says. “But I don’t know if he’ll ever reach the size of the buck I got on opening day this year.”