When Steven Everett purchased 130 acres in Logan County, Oklahoma, in 2015, the previous landowner told him the property held some big bucks.
Deer season had already started, but it didn’t take long for the new owner to validate the seller’s claim.
“We got a picture of a deer I named Goliath, which was the first name I thought of after seeing him,” he said. “I’d never seen a deer that wide.”
The 37-year-old seller of spinal implants missed the deer by inches on the last day of the 2015 bow season.
Goliath was equally leery of sunlight during the 2016 season. Steven retrieved photos of him, carrying an even bigger rack, but hunter and hunted never crossed paths.
Steven thought he was going to get a shot at Goliath early during the 2017 rut, but wild hogs spooked the buck and its doe before they could get closer than 70 yards.
“I said, ‘Oh, god, no. Please no. I about cried,” he said, adding that he shot one of the pigs to let off a little steam.
Steven really wanted to shoot Goliath with his bow, but each outing softened his resolve. He took his 7mm Mag into a Redneck Blind on Nov. 18, when the big deer ran out of lives.
Just after 5:00, a doe ran out of the woods with Goliath on her heels. Steven squeezed the trigger 15 seconds later, as the buck passed within 45 yards.
“I’m glad I had the wherewithal to chamber another round,” he said. “I was able to take a second shot as Goliath was leaving. I heard a crash shortly thereafter.”
His father, Johnny, was hunting nearby. When he heard his son shoot twice, he practically ran to join him. The elder Everett knew how much the deer meant to his son. He’d passed up a slam-dunk, 25-yard shot at it.
The old buck was later green-scored at 255 inches. The nearly 27-inch-wide whitetail had been haunting the dreams of every deer hunter within a couple of miles of the Everett place. Trail camera photographs and anecdotes poured in from strangers as soon as the news spread.
One hunter even begged Steven to let him drive over and touch the antlers of the deer he’d hunted so passionately.
“When he held the rack, it was like he was touching something as mystical as a unicorn,” Steven said.
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