Lawton man harvests the biggest non-typical buck ever killed by an Oklahoma bowhunter and second biggest ever
It was a good deer season for many Oklahoma hunters, especially for bowhunter Travis Ocker of Lawton.
Ocker, a sergeant in the U.S. Army and stationed at Fort Sill, killed the trophy buck on the Comanche County base on Nov. 12.
It is the biggest non-typical buck taken by an Oklahoma bowhunter, and the second biggest non-typical ever taken in the state, according to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's Cy Curtis Awards Program.
Ocker's 28-point buck, which was officially measured last week by Boone & Crockett scorer George Moore of Arcadia, scored 245 2/8.
The state record non-typical, generally defined as a set of antlers with unmatched points going in different directions, is 248 6/8. That buck was taken with a rifle by Michael Crossland of Grandfield in 2004 in Tillman County.
Moore said Ocker's buck probably was a state record at some point.
“It had two other tines that were broke off, and I think if those wouldn't have been broke off, it could have very easily been the new state record,” Moore said. “These could have been tines that were four, five or six inches a piece. It could have very easily added another 10 or 12 inches to it.”
Ocker, a native of Hutchinson, Kan., said back in November that he had been fortunate to draw out and get to hunt in the same area of the Army base for five straight days.
“I was hunting on post so you can't really do much scouting or anything like that,” Ocker said. “It's just the luck of the draw that day. You get a ticket and they call your number and you go get your unit.”
Ocker, 39, found a creek where deer had been crossing with scrapes and rubs on nearby trees. The terrain reminded him of his hunting grounds back home in Kansas.
“It's thick. It's whooly. It's nasty. It hides a lot of deer,” Ocker said.
He hung a stand in the nearest tree that provided good shooting lanes and waited.
“The first day I had seen a monster 10-pointer,” Ocker said “I went and found a spot and set up, and boom, within 30 minutes, I see this deer. I see him for four days straight. On the fifth day, he finally comes in where I can take a shot and I blow it.
“That monster 10 is running away. He takes off, and I spin around and I am getting to hang my bow back up and just down in the bottom of the crick, moving away from me up into this bedding area is that giant buck.”
Ocker watched the buck for a couple of minutes before it disappeared from sight.
“I thought it was great just to see him,” Ocker said. “The first time I saw him, I almost fell out of my tree. I was that excited to see a deer like that. You see them in the magazines, but you can't express what it is like when you finally see one of those in real life.”
About 30 minutes later, Ocker got another look.
“He turns around in the bedding area and comes right back down that same crick crossing and walks right underneath me,” he said. “It was pure dumb luck that the buck just happened to come right by and the wind was good for me. Everything just worked out.”
Ocker submitted his paperwork last week to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation for the Cy Curtis Award. His mount will be on display the first week of March at the Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma's deer season ended last Sunday, concluding the state's deer hunting seasons. Moore said it was one of the best in memory for trophy bucks in the state.
“This year, I have scored 12 Boone and Crockett bucks from the state of Oklahoma,” he said. “That's exceptional.”
None were more exceptional than Ocker's buck.
“Absolutely what everybody would dream for in a big non-typical,” Moore said. “Great 5 x 5 frame with drop tines, extra points, good mass, long main beams. It's real, real impressive.”