William Dearman admits it seemed way too easy.
Sitting in a climbing stand 15 feet up in a sycamore tree the afternoon of Nov. 27, Dearman heard a buck grunt three times out in a cutover in front of him. He pulled out his grunt call, grunted back, and in a snap, a 150-inch buck was standing broadside at 20 yards.
Almost as quickly, it was on the ground, a .308 bullet cleanly through both lungs.
Of course, it wasn’t nearly that easy for Dearman, 33, of Flowood. Having had the buck in trail-camera photos since January, this was the first time he’d seen him, and only the third time he’d hunting this particular area of an 80-acre lease.
“We had this buck on camera since January, and I had been trying to set up to kill him,” said Dearman, who works for Center Point Energy. “He pretty much stayed on camera throughout the year, about once a month.
“Then, I went to check a creek crossing and stuck a camera up there, and I started getting him about every other day, so I put a climber up and hunted it three times, and I killed him the third time.”
Dearman’s Old Man climber was about a third of a mile from his original stand, with a cutover and a big willow thicket — on the bed of a dry lake — close by. He climbed up in the stand about 1 p.m. and at 3, he heard the buck out in the cutover.
“I thought, ‘Golly, listen to that,’” he said.
Grunt call does the trick
Using a Primos Buck Roar, Dearman grunted back at the buck three times and was astonished when the buck broke out the thicket running, apparently looking for his competition. Accompanying him were an 8-pointer and a 4-pointer.
“He just busted out of that thicket, ready to fight,” he said. “I was grunting at him with my mouth, trying to get him to stop. I didn’t think he was gonna stop. He finally stopped broadside about 20 yards away.”
Dearman had his Ruger American rifle in .308 on his shoulder when the buck stopped, and he didn’t waste any time squeezing the trigger. Shot through both lungs, it stumbled off about 40 yards before falling for good.
The buck carried a main-frame 5×5 rack with three sticker points. It was 18 ½ inches wide, had 10-inch back tines, main beams measuring 21 and 23 inches, and scored 152 inches green gross.
The buck is Dearman’s biggest ever and his first of the season. “I didn’t shoot one earlier in the season,” he said. “I was waiting on this one.”