Chandler Henderson stands with his mounted state-record mule deer at the 2015 Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo in Oklahoma City. (Photo courtesy ODWC)
While bow hunting elk in Cimarron County, Chandler Henderson took advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and bagged a record-breaking buck. With a final score of 191 7/8 inches, he now holds the all-time Cy Curtis record for a typical mule deer taken in Oklahoma.
Henderson's wife, Brooke, spotted the big buck first. Henderson drew back his bow and let an arrow fly. Henderson knew he had just harvested a large mule deer, but a state-record mule deer was "out of the question," he said.
After a week, Henderson's curiosity got the best of him. He decided to green-score the antlers on the Boone and Crockett website to estimate what the deer would score. Realizing he might have a state-record mule deer, Henderson contacted official scorer, Weston Storer who is a biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation at Beaver River, Optima and Rita Blanca wildlife management areas. After a 60-day drying period required for all trophies, the mule deer was officially scored. It is required that all potential state-record trophies be scored by three certified Boone and Crockett scorers. The final score of 191 7/8 surpassed the previous Cy Curtis record by more than 11 inches. Henderson along with another hunter are the only two sportsmen who have taken a record Cy Curtis mule deer with archery equipment, in the typical and nontypical categories.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation established the Cy Curtis Awards Program in 1972 to recognize trophy game and hunters in Oklahoma. The program originally recognized only trophy white-tailed deer and mule deer. But in 2014, the Cy Curtis Awards Program was expanded to include trophy elk, pronghorns and black bears.
Oklahoma's Top Five Typical Mule Deer:
1. Chandler Henderson 191 7/8 Bow 11/4/2014
2. Curtis McBrien 180 1/8 Gun 11/19/2001
3. Kirie Willimon 178 6/8 Primitive 10/27/1992
4. Robert Crow 178 4/8 Gun 11/25/1985
5. Jeremy Brobst 171 4/8 Gun 11/18/2000