For the first time since Buckmasters began awarding its annual Golden Laurel Citation, a Texas specimen will claim deer hunting's highest honor.
Tarif Alkhatib's 2021 Grayson County whitetail will be the 32nd recipient of the GLC, first awarded to the world-record Tony Fulton Buck in 1996. The award is given to our Deer of the Year, based on the margin by which an animal rose to the top of state or national rankings.
Measuring less than a half-inch shy of 200 inches, Tarif's 7x7 is the Lone Star State's new typical compound bow record. It eclipsed Robert Nichols' former No. 1 taken a quarter-century ago in Kleberg County by nearly 15 inches.
Tarif had nicknamed this buck Shredder in 2020. The highway patrolman from Pottsboro had already tagged out when he saw the deer, so naming it and hoping it would survive were his only options.
He had a couple of close encounters with the whitetail the following November, once from only 10 yards, but the only real opportunity to fling an arrow was beyond the hunter's comfort range. Grayson is one of four Texas counties where deer may be hunted only with a bow.
The stars aligned on Dec. 8, however, when an unusual east wind was blowing. While Tarif was watching a young buck, he heard another one emit a loud snort-wheeze. Moments later, his Most Wanted charged onto the scene to challenge the juvenile.
When Shredder reappeared after successfully driving away the perceived interloper, he made the mistake of wandering past the gobsmacked hunter at 18 yards.
Tarif's deer will be on display during the Aug. 19-21 Buckmasters Expo in Montgomery, Alabama. The full story of his hunt will appear in Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine this fall.
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