Netting a score of 170 7/8 inches, Cody Goodnight’s buck he took during November’s deer season in Oklahoma will soon become part of the Oklahoma Whitetail Wall of Fame at this weekend’s Backwoods Hunting and Fishing Expo in Oklahoma City.
The Norman Firefighter took the typical buck on the 60 acres piece of land he grew up on and where his parents still reside.
“My first fire was probably more exciting, more of an adrenaline rush,” Goodnight, a nine-year veteran of the Norman Fire Department, told The Oklahoman. “But shooting that buck is a close second.”
The 37 year old is still somewhat new to the sport of hunting, having only taken up interest in the pastime a few years ago, but he admits, he has really started to take it seriously in the past couple of years. He began his quest last year by placing a trail camera on the property in an effort to find out what was available by scattering corn in and around the camera location to retain some data about the local deer.
It was Halloween 2014 when the buck, aptly nicknamed “Tenkiller” for his then, 10-point rack, first appeared on Goodnight’s trail camera.
“Once I saw him on camera I hunted every day I could,” Goodnight said. “Every day I wasn’t at the fire station I was in the woods. Everybody at the fire station knew about this deer. When I left work early, they knew where I was going.”
For the first 21 days of the Oklahoma archery season, there was no sign of Tenkiller on the trail camera and Goodnight began to fear the buck had disappeared, or worse was taken by another hunter.
It wasn’t until October 24th when the massive buck appeared on a trail camera photo again, but the buck had changed since his last sighting. Tenkiller was now sporting an additional two kickers from his brow tines, now making him a 12-point buck.
After a late night responding to emergency calls at the fire station, Goodnight left work a couple of hours early, hoping to get a glimpse of the buck. It was only 20 minutes before the buck emerged out of nowhere, surprising the Seminole County Hunter.
“I don’t know where (Tenkiller) came from but he just appeared beside me at 20 yards. It was like he just dropped out of the sky.”
Before the buck could move into cover behind a tree, Goodnight let an arrow fly from his crossbow that he had just started to use that season and caught Tenkiller in the shoulder. After waiting about an hour in his stand and calling his father and brother for assistance, Goodnight secured Tenkiller about 75 yards from where he let his arrow fly.
The Wall of Fame-calibre buck is now mounted on the wall between two other bucks from past hunts in Goodnight’s Oklahoma home.