Swayze Bozeman arrows 160-class buck

Thirteen-year-old Swayze Bozeman killed this huge buck, which has tentatively scored at 161 inches Pope & Young, while bow hunting in Madison County on Oct. 29.

Cousin Trey Bozeman also kills big buck on same day.

Cousins Swayze and Trey Bozeman of Flora share a lot in common, more than just the blood that flows through their veins. They both have fathers who love the outdoors and are extremely dedicated to their families. The dads love to hunt and fish, and at Bozeman Farms in Madison County, they share those passions with their sons.

And, oh yeah, let’s not forget another thing the two boys have in common: They have both taken bucks with drop tines.

Trey Bozeman, 15, got his during the 2010-11 season with a rifle.

Swayze Bozeman, 13, got his Oct. 29 with a bow – a buck that grosses 161 inches.

“You know, in all the years our family has hunted the farm, and that goes back decades, there’s only been three drop-tine bucks taken, and the other was many years ago by my uncle,” said Harvey Bozeman, Swayze’s dad, who was sitting in a tree 150 yards away with a partial view of the area his son was hunting when he arrowed the 18-point monster.

One side of the rack is loaded with mass, while the other is adorned by the treasured point that falls down off the left main beam.

“Fun day,” said Harvey Bozeman. “Very exciting.”

Making it even, Trey Bozeman was also in a tree stand on another part of the farm and had taken a very respectable 8 point.

The two young Bozemans share their tactics in the November issue of Mississippi Sportsman, which can be downloaded right to your computer or mobile device.

October 29 was a day that started with a lot of confidence for the father and son.

“Swayze was in a stand where we had seen two really nice bucks, a big 8 and a big 9,” Harvey Bozeman said. “We knew that there was plenty of big buck activity in the area. A week earlier, in the same spot, both the 8 and the 9 had walked up on Swayze, but he never got a shot. It was my fault, because as I tried to film the youngster taking the shot, I moved a little too much to get the angle and spooked the deer.”

They went back to the stand on Oct. 29 hoping the 8 and 9 would be back.

They had no idea that two bigger and better bucks were in the area, and that they would be attending the party.

Swayze Bozeman said he saw the biggest one about 200 yards away.

“At first, I thought it was the big shooter 9 I had seen before, but looking through the binoculars I saw a drop tine,” he said. “I texted Dad, and then looked at him again and saw how big he really was.

“Then I started praying he would come to me.”

After making sure Swayze was in his stand, Harvey Bozeman had made his way back to his perch. When he got there, his cell phone started vibrating immediately with the text about the drop tine.

“I knew it had to be a different deer because the 9 we saw didn’t have a drop tine,” Harvey Bozeman said. “So I started texting back, but he wasn’t answering. I kept texting, and he wasn’t answering so I knew something was about to happen.”

From his tree about 150 yards away, his view of his son’s area was limited. He could see deer moving, but he couldn’t see the big buck in question – and he had no idea what his son was seeing.

Young Swayze Bozeman was seeing plenty.

“The big buck was with four other bucks and a doe – and the doe was about on top of me – when I looked up and a 10-point I hadn’t seen appeared about 20 yards away,” Swayze Bozeman said. “I was thinking about shooting him, but I kept thinking about that big buck with the drop tine and decided to wait.”

And pray.

The big buck came and provided a 25-yard broadside shot, which the youngster made perfectly.

“All of a sudden, I saw a bunch of deer running and I knew something was up,” Harvey Bozeman said. “Then my phone buzzed, and it wasn’t a text.

“It was Swayze calling and he said, ‘Dad, I just shot a monster.’”

Meanwhile, across the farm, in another tree, at almost exactly the same time (6:30 p.m.), Trey Bozeman was looking at antlers through the limbs.

A sophomore safety, Trey was still enjoying a season-ending victory the night before that kept Tri-County Academy’s football team unbeaten. He had spent most of the day doing chores with his dad, D.R. Bozeman, including getting hay bales ready for a hayride for his sister Emma’s Halloween party.

“We had gone for breakfast to talk football, too,” D.R. Bozeman said. “It was 3:30 (p.m.) before I got him home and he could get his no-scent shower.”

At 4 p.m., D.R. Bozeman let Trey Bozeman out at the stand.

“I couldn’t stay, but told him Harvey and Trey would be coming to get him at dark,” the elder Bozeman said.

An hour later, Trey Swayze started watching a deer parade.

“I had a few does come out about 150 yards to my right, but they fed across the field and never got any closer,” he said. “About 45 minutes later, another group of does came out 75 yards to my left, and they never stopped feeding right on through.

“Then a nice buck with four points on one side and a big brow tine and a thick main beam on the other came out on the same trail.”

Trey Bozeman never got a better look because, like the does before him, the buck kept feeding across the field.

“Then I heard something coming through the oaks toward me,” he said. “It was a calf looking for its mom, not a buck. Then I heard something else and it was a buck. I saw antlers. I could see his rack every now and then as he moved through the trees.”

The buck stayed partially hidden until it stepped into the clearing for a shot. By then, Trey Bozeman was at full draw and concentrating on the aim point.

The deer wouldn’t stop in a spot with a clear shot.

“I was at full draw for over a minute, but it seemed like a lot longer,” Trey Bozeman said. “Then I made the shot, and I heard the thud and I knew I had hit him good.”

Nothing to do then but wait until his uncle and his cousin came to pick him up.

“We picked him up and we decided to let the two bucks lay for a while, and then went and got my dog Clifford, and he found both bucks pretty quick,” Harvey Bozeman said. “Then we took a few pictures and we celebrated.”

Swayze Bozeman’s big buck had amazing stats, including the drop tine and thick mass on the opposite beam. It had 16 scorable points and a total circumference measurement just short of 47 inches. It gross measured 161 inches.

Trey’s buck was a nice 8, but not as good as he first thought.

His dad, D.R., said Trey was a little down because “of the ground shrinkage, but it was a fine buck, one I wish I could have taken with a bow when I was 15. It’s a nice buck.”

It was a nice addition to a great day of hunting at Bozeman Farms.

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