Colby Latham of West Point had something better than game cameras to help him find and locate a trophy buck in Clay County — his grandfather’s keen eye.
“PawPaw had been seeing a couple of rack bucks around his house, which is just east of West Point,” said Latham, a forestry/wildlife assistant for Mossy Oak. “He had seen these two bucks several times pulling into his driveway later in the afternoon, eating under a persimmon tree.
“He called me up and said, ‘Colby, you ought to come out here and hunt these bucks. One of them is a nice one.’ Well I knew PawPaw knew good bucks when he sees one so I decided to go out there and look.”
Within a few days, Latham had his best buck ever, a 146-inch main-frame 10-point with two kickers. It grossed scored 146 green.
“The first day I spent out there was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and I went down into the woods on the other side of this pasture PawPaw has,” Latham said. “I didn’t see anything all afternoon, and when it got dark I climbed out of the stand and started walking back to my grandparents house.
“What it is is about a 100-acre farm with a couple of lakes and a couple of pastures, and it has a green wheat field that we had planted earlier this year for dove hunting. It’s good and green.”
On his walk back to the house, Latham spotted two deer-like forms in the field near the same persimmon tree where his grandfather had been seeing the bucks.
“I pulled up my rifle and looked through the scope and I had just enough light to see that they were both rack bucks, and that one of them was a big boy,” he said. “It was way too dark to shoot — way past legal hours — so I just walked around them and went home.”
In his mind, however, Latham began working on a plan.
“I kind of knew where they had to be coming from to get to that tree without me seeing them that first day, so on Sunday after Thanksgiving, the last day of the gun season, I went to a ladder stand my uncle had built on an oak tree in the pasture,” Latham said. “It gave me a good view off the tree line they had to be walking, and I knew where I needed to be looking.”
From his perch 15 feet up in the stand, Latham didn’t have to wait long to find out his plan was perfect.
“There’s a pine thicket on our neighbor’s land that butts up against our pasture, and I figured that’s where he was bedding,” he said. “I saw him walk out of those pines into the edge of our field, right where I thought he would. He had that other buck, an 8-point walking with him.
“I knew immediately it was him, so there was no waiting.”
Using the rail his uncle built as a gun rest, Latham took aim, and at 120 yards put the big buck down with one clean shot from the .308.
“Best buck I’ve ever taken,” he said. “I owe it all to PawPaw.”
The buck had 22-inch main beams, an 18 ½-inch inside spread and 4 ¾-inch bases. It held its mass through to the final measurement of over 3 ½ inches.
The two extra points included a small kicker off the left G2 and a small point that sat between the right G2 and G3.
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