Flowood bowhunter arrows huge, 150-inch Hinds County buck
Chip Henderson, lead pastor of Pinelake Church, was scrolling through trail-camera photos this past August when one caused his heart to skip a beat. With his head and wheels spinning, he sat, staring at a photo of one of the most eye-popping and beautiful bucks he had ever seen.
Further examination revealed additional photos of the huge, main-frame 10-pointer, and surprisingly, most were taken during daylight hours.
Leading up to the Oct. 1 bow season opening, Henderson, who is from Flowood, accumulated a pile of additional photos of the Hinds County buck. He began to refer to the giant buck as “Mack” — short for “Mack-Daddy” — and as a serious and dedicated bowhunter, he realized that a wily, old buck of this caliber casually traipsing around during daylight hours would probably give him one good opportunity. If the buck realized it was being hunted, it would likely become nocturnal, and Henderson knew he needed to close the deal the first time in, if possible.
That worked out perfectly, when, on Oct. 7, Henderson arrowed the huge buck, which carried a rack with a gross Boone & Crockett Club score of 153 inches, including a 19-inch inside spread, 22-inch main beams and tines as long as 12 inches.
Henderson’s only access to Mack’s likely bedding cover was from the south, so he had to wait for a northerly wind. Summer hung around through the beginning of archery season, but the first cold front of the season finally arrived, and he realized he’d have his coveted north wind on Monday, Oct. 7.
Back in August, Henderson had carefully blazed a machete trail though the brushy understory of a mature pine stand to the ridge where Mack had been photographed so often. It flanked a thick bottom he thought was Mack’s bedding area. Henderson picked out what he thought was a perfectly located pine and put up an Ole Man lock-on stand at the top of a 16-foot stick-ladder. The setup was made even better by a honey locust tree right in front for concealment.
Henderson slept restlessly the night before, and Oct. 7 dawned with the forecast north wind, but he had morning appointments and a 1 p.m. dental appointment, so he planned an afternoon hunt. Afterwards, with hunting clothes and gear already in his truck, he got to the gate of his hunting grounds at 2:45, quickly donned his gear, sprayed down with scent killer, and began the 600-yard walk to his stand.
As he got closer to the ridge, he slowed down and started to ease along as carefully and quietly as possible. But nearing the stand, he stepped on a stick that made a loud “pop”, and his heart sank as he watched a startled deer melt away into the brush. Had he just blown his chance?
After climbing into his stand and getting situated, a doe walked out, being a good sign that the loud stick cracking had not ruined things. At about 3:30, he caught a glimpse of movement, and he could see antlers, but the deer stopped and disappeared. After 15 nerve-wracking minutes, he saw the buck move again at 50 yards, and Henderson realized it was Mack, headed straight toward him.
The buck tested the wind and kept coming, slowly and cautiously. When it got to 30 yards, the buck stopped with his head behind a tree, and Henderson picked up his bow and shifted his body slightly to the right to get the best shot angle. At 20 yards, Mack turned broadside and stepped out into an open shooting lane and stopped. Henderson went to full draw with his Matthews bow, put his 20-yard sight pin behind the buck’s front shoulder, and squeezed his release at 3:45 p.m.
Zzzzzzzzzztt!! Whack! as the Rage mechanical broad head struck home.
Henderson watched as the glowing Lumenoc danced away through the brush like a fire fly. After waiting a full hour, he took up the blood trail, and after about 100 yards, he found Mack piled up.