Derrick Jones had his sights set on a nice 12-point buck last year, but never laid eyes on him except for the game camera pictures that captured the trophy buck.

“I’ve hunted my whole life and killed a lot of deer, but I’d never seen anything like that one around here,” said Jones. 

Evidently the buck wasn’t killed as no one ever mentioned it and it would have been big news in Newton County if somebody had.

Though Jones would’ve liked to have had a shot at the deer it was a distant memory by the time Thanksgiving rolled around this year and nobody had even seen it on game cameras around the small lease. Unbeknownst to Jones and his hunting compadres’, however, the buck was appearing on a neighboring club’s game cameras and their members were all pretty excited. 

The day before Christmas the big bruiser showed up on Jones' property and came back the next three days. Jones' hunting partner had planned to hunt the stand where the buck had been appearing, but got a late start one morning and stopped short of the stand to hunt. Checking the camera a few hours later he found that the buck had been in the patch at 9:08 that morning!

“My best friend had put a climbing stand near where the camera captured the buck and he hunted the stand three trips in a row, but never saw the deer,” Jones said. “Last Saturday, Dec. 28, he had a family Christmas gathering and couldn’t go hunting.”

And that turned out to be the bit of fate that Jones needed.

“Since it was raining I hunted the shoot house right near my buddy’s stand,” he said. “We’ve never had really great land to hunt and a 9-point was the biggest I’d ever shot and I had it skull mounted, so I was really hoping to get a shot at the big buck we had on camera.”

The afternoon was rainy, wet and dreary, and not much happened until late. 

“A doe came out at 4:55 and 10 minutes later "He" came out,” said Jones. 

The excited hunter took aim with his .270 Marlin Bolt Action rifle and squeezed the trigger. As the rifle roared, the bullet struck the buck’s vitals and it never had a chance!

“He went down and it was all over real quick,” Jones said. “I shot him with the Marlin rifle my dad gave me when I was in high school and that made it even more special.”

The massive buck sported 14 symmetrical points to go with a 17 ¾-inch spread and estimates are that the buck will score in the 170 range on the Boone and Crockett scoring system. As it turned out, Jones killed the biggest buck of his life. It was a slightly late Christmas present, but made for a lifetime memory.

*Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.