It all started for Zach Jones seven years ago, when the then 12-year-old youngster downed a trophy buck, a feat that found its way onto the pages of our sister magazine, Louisiana Sportsman. Since then, Zach has been featured twice more in the pages of that magazine. Now, at age 19, the youngster has struck again, laying claim to a big 11-point buck he shot with his bow.
Jones, along with his dad, is a member of a top-notch hunting club that lies along the Mississippi River. Bordering Arkansas and Louisiana, Ashbrook Island is physically located in Washington County, Miss. The 6,000 acre piece of prime real estate has produced plenty of trophy bucks over the years with Zach Jones collecting his share. The club has restrictions on the taking of deer, with the minimum criteria for bucks being 8 points, 5 ½ years of age with 140 inches of antler. Mess up and you lose your buck privileges the rest of the current hunting season as well as next season.
Jones gets the green light
Jones, a recent graduate of Sterlington High School, played football and baseball for his school and is currently working with his dad who is involved in oil and gas exploration with Delta Exploration. He plans to enroll in the University of Louisiana Monroe for the spring quarter. In the meantime, he spends as much time as he can on Askbrook.
“I was hunting a buck that ended up getting shot in October,” Jones said. “I was hunting that morning and looked about 80 yards to my left and saw a big wide-framed buck. I keep a camera with me so I videoed the buck and sent it to my dad for his opinion. Dad agreed it was at least a 150-inch buck and told me if I wanted to go after him, I had his okay.”
Sitting on his stand for more than a month, Zach saw the buck nearly every time he hunted but since he was hunting with his bow, he almost never saw the buck closer than 100 yards, too far for a bow.
“I did have him at 28 yards one day but a button willow bush blocked my shot,” Jones said.
The moment of truth
Getting into his stand before daylight the morning of Nov. 7, it didn’t take long for the action to begin.
“Deer had been eating the leaves of cocklebur plants, but once they died off they started working on green briar and there was plenty of that near my stand,” Jones said. “Just as it started getting light enough to make out movement, I looked up and recognized the buck I was after coming out of a button willow thicket and he was traveling alone. I knew it was him because I had lots of pictures of him with his split G2 and drop tine.
“Some trees had fallen between my stand and the willows and I watched the buck hop over some logs and then start hooking his antlers on a bush making a rub. Then he popped out at 58 yards and since I have a pin on my bow set for 60 yards, I considered making a shot.”
However, the buck made a move in Jones’ favor as it turned and started coming straight toward his stand to his right.
“When he got to 30 yards, I got a bead on him and released my arrow,” Jones said. He shoots a Hoyt Defiant bow, Easton FMJ arrows with Rage Hypodermic broadheads.
“The buck jumped the arrow but he wasn’t quite quick enough as it clipped his spine and he dropped right there,” Jones said.
The buck, estimated to be 5 ½ years old, weighed 212 pounds. He sported 11 points with the rack featuring a split G2 with a three inch drop tine. Inside spread was 19 1/8 inches with heavy mass throughout. The rack was measured at 152 inches.
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