Luke Wilson of McComb was stunned when he and his brother walked up on the big buck Luke had shot minutes earlier in a big cutover on his deer lease in Pike County.
“This was one buck that didn’t have ground shrinkage, but had ground growth,” he said. “I couldn’t believe what I was looking at.”
Neither can most people who hunt this Southwest Mississippi county, which has produced only one non-typical entry in the Magnolia Records Program, a 174 4/8-inch 10-point in 2011.
Wilson was staring down at a 25-point buck that would be unofficially green scored at 189 2/8 inches Boone & Crockett and 198 5/8 Safari Club.
“My brother and I counted 28 points, what you’d call deer camp points, but the guy who scored it at the taxidermist shop said it was officially 25 points,” Wilson, 22, said. “It was a 5 X 7 main-frame 12, with one one-inch drop tine and several sticker points off the brow tines and other tines.”
Oddly enough, in a county where a 125-point buck is rare, nobody had ever reported seeing this monster.
“I never knew this buck existed, not until my brother and I found him dead, piled up in the top of an old fallen tree in that cutover,” Wilson said. “I had no idea this county could even produce anything like that. We’ve been hunting that lease for about four years and the best we’ve done is a few 100-inch 8 points and maybe 110 or 120.
“The day before I killed it, two of my brothers and I were hunting in the same area and they both killed two smaller bucks, you know, like about 100 inches. I saw a big-bodied deer with extremely wide antlers that day, too, but I thought it was just a 6-point. He was well outside his ears, and one of my brothers saw it, too, and he agreed that it was just a 6-point. We don’t think it could have been this big buck.”
The next day, Luke Wilson was back in the same stand at 3:30.
“I sprayed some Tink’s Doe in Heat Urine, more to check the wind direction that anything else,” he said. “It was light and I couldn’t really tell the direction. After a while, I decided to make a few grunts with my Primos Rut & Roar, which I had set on mature buck. I hit it four times, pointing in each direction once.”
Wilson sat back down in his tripod stand, realizing how he stuck out in the huge cutover.
“Man, that stand doesn’t have any cover at all, not at all, and I was sticking out like a sore thumb,” he said. “I was in the wide open, but it worked out. The cutover has no food sources, other than natural, and it had a small drainage ditch down in this one bottom with one stretch of small pines.
“I had just sat back down, and about 4:10, I heard a limb snap behind me to my right. I couldn’t see behind me so I’m not sure where he came out from but he was walking up out of that drainage ditch. He was about 50 yards and I was going to have to shoot left-handed, which I didn’t want to do.”
Being in the open, Wilson decided to sit still and let the buck continue to walk in the direction he was traveling, hoping it would cross in front and provide a right-handed shot.
“I glanced over and all I could see was antlers,” he said. “I knew he was a shooter, but I didn’t really see all that he had. He was quartering to my right and I let him put another 100 yards between us so I could get turned. He never looked back; he just kept walking. When he reached some thicker, taller grass, he did stop and turned to look back. I took one last look at his antlers, couldn’t believe what I was looking at, and then took aim.
“Even though he was in the tall weeds and stuff, I could see his body and his vitals. I had a good shot at about 150 yards, and I put the crosshairs behind the last rib on my side and took the shot.”
Wilson said the buck kicked, but that he heard the bullet hit the deer.
“He bolted and was jumping over treetops in the clear cut and finally after 80 yards he jumped into one last fallen treetop and stopped,” he said. “I was shooting my younger brother’s gun, a .308 Howa bolt action. I had just built a rifle but hadn’t set the scope. He wasn’t hunting that day so I asked if I could borrow his.”
The excited hunter reached for his cell phone.
“My other younger brother was hunting the same property 200 yards away and I called him,” he said. “I said, ‘did you hear my shot?’ He said, ‘yeah, what did you get?’ I said, ‘I’m not sure but it’s the biggest I’ve ever seen here. He’s got a lot of stickers and stuff.’”
The brother came to join Luke for the search, and the two found the buck dead in that last treetop.
“My brother said, ‘Dude, you just got a B&C buck!’” Wilson said. “We couldn’t believe what we were looking at. I still can’t believe it.
“The whole time I was in the stand waiting for my brother, I was sitting there thinking that I would go and find just another of those 100-inch 8-points and that I’d been seeing things. I really had no idea.”
In addition to the single short drop tine, the deer had two split brow tines one with three splits. The G3 on the right had three stickers and the left G3 had two. There was an additional sticker off the left main beam.
“Both bases were right at 5½ inches, and the main beams were 23 inches,” Wilson said. “The left main beam had palmation, and the last circumferences were as big as the bases. He was 19¼ inches wide.”
Only 22, Wilson knows matching this kill will not be easy, not in Pike County.
“So I guess I’m back to hunting the 100-inch 8-points, but I know I will be more selective and start passing on the promising ones,” he said. “But, I will keep shooting the 125s and 130s because around here, those are what you expect and they are trophies.”
Click here to read about other big bucks killed this season.
And don’t forget about the Mississippi Sportsman Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free and offers great monthly Sportsman Gear prizes.