Panther Swamp NWR gives up trophy buck

Hunter kills 170-class deer after during bow-hunting trip to

Michael O. Giles
January 25, 2013 at 8:30 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Panther Swamp NWR gives up trophy buck
Saucier's Josh Saucier and a few of his friends decided to make a trip to
Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge near Yazoo City in hopes of
harvesting a good buck shortly after New Year's Day.
Now, "shooting a good buck" may be an understatement, as the hunting buddies
really don't shoot at many deer at all. They're very selective in what they
harvest because they have to travel deep into the heart of the forest on
foot to get back to where the big bruisers live.

"We really don't shoot many deer because we walk about a mile or two to get
back to where we're hunting, so we don't shoot average deer when hunting at
Panther," Saucier said.

But shortly after arriving at the national wildlife refuge and beginning his
hunt, a buck in the 140- to 150-class ranged tried to slip by him. However,
the buck made a near-fatal mistake of walking by within bow range of
Saucier.

Saucier liked what he saw and decided to harvest this buck, or at the very
least give it a try.

"I drew back on the buck and my bow just exploded," Saucier said.

The bow just came apart, and the deer disappeared. Feeling dejected, the
avid hunter thought his hunt was over.

Fortunately, one of his hunting buddies had a spare bow and offered it to
Saucier to use it so he didn't have to go home.

"I had a pretty good hunting location and a tree picked out way back in the
swamp, so I didn't do any scouting, I just decided to go back in there and
spend the day in that tree," Saucier said of an acorn flat filled with
palmettos.

He decided to hump it back more than a mile to the area, despite his lack of
scouting.

"I'm usually the first one in there as you can't kill them if you aren't
hunting so I decided to spend the whole day in this one tree in an area I
hadn't hunted since last year," Saucier said.

It was the third day of the hunt, and Saucier settled in for a long day of
watching and looking for the big one.

"I'd hunted the stand last year and saw several good bucks, but they never
got into range for a shot," he said. "I saw three deer all day long, and it
was getting late and I hadn't shot yet."

That changed as the day began fading.

"Around 5:10 (p.m.) I spotted a good deer at 80 yards closing fast on my
position, and he came all the way to within 12 to 13 yards and I drew back
and let an arrow fly," Saucier said.

The shot wasn't the one the hunter hoped for.

"I missed, and he ran right under my stand out to about 45 yards and
stopped, and I let another (arrow) fly," Saucier said.

This time, he heard the gratifying sound of the broadhead making impact with
the deer, which ran a scant 40 yards before collapsing in a heap.

The buck's massive rack sported 10 points, long tines and a wide spread. It
green scored 170 1/8 inches Boone & Crocket, with a net score of 165 2/8
inches. The buck dressed out at 150 pounds.

Saucier has only been bow hunting a few years, but after he killed his first
bow buck he was hooked.

"I grew up near the coast and we don't have big deer down there, but once I
killed my first buck with a bow I was hooked," he said. "All I do now is bow
hunt, and it doesn't matter what season it is that's what I prefer to do.

Click here to read about other big bucks killed this season.

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