A man named Guner is quite the archer.
Guner Womack that is.
Womack, a Morrison High graduate, has become the big star of the hunting year with a buck he killed with a compound bow last month.
On a night he initially wasn’t going to hunt, with only one broadhead arrow and his first year hunting with a compound bow, Womack bagged one of the best trophies this state has ever seen.
Oct. 22, Womack was weedeating at his job at the Oklahoma State University Cross Country Course. A freshman at OSU, he was pretty much beat and didn’t know if he was going to go hunting that night.
But, his friends Taler Smith and Tanner Neely convinced him to get in the stand. Womack had to hurry as he was already running late, not getting into his stand until 5:30 p.m., extremely late in the day for what he went out there to do.
A little over an hour later, Womack saw a buck that he and his dad, Steve, had been keeping an eye on for three years.
“We have had him for three years so we knew he was out there,” Womack said. “We had him this year on camera. That was one of the food spots that he really liked to hang around at. We had set up different stands for him at the rut and we were hoping that if we didn’t kill him before the rut, we would hunt trails and hunt him hard for the rut.”
When Womack, 18, saw the buck come out to the feed lot, he knew it was a big moment, but he had to wait for the right time. With his bow sighted for 40 yards, he had to wait until the buck was close.
Not only was the distance an issue, but also his lack of ammunition. Womack had only one arrow fit to bring down a buck. He had lost the other the night before after he shot a hog with it that tucked tail and ran off afterward.
Womack nearly lost the buck for a moment, but once it appeared again, he took his shot.
“He was moseying around the food lot and ended up running back inside the woods and I thought I lost him,” Womack said. “He came sprinting back out at this younger buck and he held up at about 25 yards where I could get my bow on him and I put on a really good shot because he died in the middle of the field.”
Womack had hit him through both lungs and the bottom of the heart and just to make sure the buck didn’t miraculously get back up, Womack bided his time in his stand for about 20 minutes to ensure the kill.
“I ended up calling my two buddies who were hunting about a mile or two away on their properties and they were stoked. My first buddy, Taler Smith, thought I had killed my big 8-point because the phone cut off. I said 8 by 8 but he only heard 8. He was coming to help me and my other buddy, Tanner Neely, heard me and was like, ‘Oh yeah!’ He was yelling and then he gunned it down the dirt road in his 4-wheeler.”
When Smith and Neely arrived, Smith came to find out it definitely wasn’t the 8-point as Womack had bagged a whitetail buck with typical 8X8 antlers. He called his mom, Brandi, first to try to get his dad on the phone.
When Steve called back and heard the news, he was ecstatic.
“Then my dad called and I told him I dropped him, he said, ‘You dropped who?’ And I told him I got that big 8 by 8.’ He was going crazy,” Womack said.
Until Smith and Neely brought up that it could be a record, Womack had no idea. A hunter since he was 4, Womack will hunt with whatever he can: muzzleloader, rifle or bow, and in whatever season he could.
For the kid who once quarterbacked the Wildcat football team to a state semifinal appearance, he was about to get a whole new branch of fame for the deer he got in Pawnee County.
“Whenever I posted it that night, I didn’t expect to get attention from it other than friends and family,” Womack said. “When I woke up and 300-500 new Facebook friends, I knew it was a bigger deal.”
The buck, which Womack will eventually get mounted, has to wait for a grace period of 60 days to be officially scored. The 8X8 score will be one of the best the state has ever seen and one of the top national scores of the season. The score will most certainly break the archery record.
“A lot of people are very supportive,” Womack said. “Right now, if the score stands, he will be the new archery record and when the panel comes and scores him, he will have a chance to be the overall state record for gun and bow. It is a waiting game right now.”
Womack has done multiple interviews across the country with TV stations, newspapers and magazines. He has talked to Field & Stream along with Boone and Crockett among other big sporting publications.
For Womack, he loves the positives it has brought to hunting as a whole. Becoming an outdoor star overnight isn’t bad for a kid from Morrison in his first season using a compound bow.
“I just really like that hunting got this kind of positive attention because it doesn’t always get this positive outlook on it,” Womack said. “I am happy that hunting got put in this light and it is cool for me to be a part of something bigger than myself. That is the coolest part about it.”