Louisiana hunter drops huge 8-pointer in Claiborne County

Unseen since trail-cam photo, big buck scores 144

Josh Smith saw a big 8-point buck just one time before the 144-inch monster walked out in a food plot the afternoon of Jan. 5.

He certainly recognized him, and moments later, he was standing over him.

Smith, a 16-year-old high-school junior from Eunice, La., put out trail cameras shortly after his father bought the Claiborne County land last June.

“We had visited the place two or three times before he decided to buy it, and when he bought it, I brought out some deer cameras and put them around some former food plots, just to see what we had,” Smith said. “I put out a feeder the day after Mississippi made them legal, and we got 11 bucks on camera.

“And I saw him. That was the only time we had him on camera. I don’t think he came to the corn. He came to the food plots.”

Fortunately, Smith was watching a food plot when he climbed into a box blind at 4 p.m. on Jan. 5. It was planted in wheat, turnips, mustard greens and oats — planted with a seed drill that was among the Smiths’ first purchases after the property.

“I went out and shot a big 7-pointer that morning,” he said. “I was thinking about not going back that afternoon, but my dad told me to get in that stand. I got in the box about 4.”

Forty-five minutes later, Smith said the big buck wandered out of the woods calmly, walked into the food plot and started to paw at the ground to make a scrape.

He never finished.

“Never in a million years did I think he’d walk out,” Smith said. “He was nice and calm coming out, beginning to make a pawing, but before he could, I shot him.”

At 110 yards, the buck collapsed on the spot when a bullet from Smith’s .270 WSM blasted through its vitals.

“He didn’t come out to the corn; he came out into the food plot,” he said.

The buck carried a tall, heavy typical 8-point rack with a 16 3/4-inch inside spread. Both G-2s were 11 inches long, and both G-3s were 10 1/2 inches long.

“All we are shooting this year is those two bucks,” Smith said. “We have a 10-point buck around 135 inches that we have pictures of, but we’re not going to take anymore. We’re not going to shoot any does, because my dad thinks they’re already carrying (fawns).”

Dan Kibler
About Dan Kibler 66 Articles
Dan Kibler is managing editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has been writing about the outdoors since 1985.