Josh Waters hasn’t killed a nice buck on his birthday, Oct. 1, for several years, “four or five” he admitted. That made his 142-inch birthday present last week all the more sweet.
Waters, 36, from Benton, zapped a big main-frame 8-pointer with his bow on opening day of Mississippi’s archery season. He killed the buck in his home county, Yazoo.
“That deer, we saw him last year a couple of times, had a couple of pics of him,” said Waters, an agent with Hopper Properties. “He showed up one night in mid-August, then we didn’t see him for a while, but I knew he lived somewhere around here.
“Then he showed back up the Sunday and Monday before the season opened. He showed up at about 6 p.m., then the next night 6:10, then 6:15. If the wind was good, and if he kept showing up, he was gonna die. Oct. 1 was my birthday, and I hadn’t killed one on my birthday for four or five years.”
The buck was coming into a food plot of vetch that Waters had planted close to what he thought was the buck’s bedding areas. He set up a pop-up ground blind a little ways back in the woods, off the plot, and he was there the afternoon the season opened.
“I probably got there at 4:15, 4:30, and the deer started coming out at 5,” Waters said. “A buck he’d been with for a couple of days came at 5:45, but he wasn’t with him. I figured something had happened to him.
“Then, he showed up at 6.”
Right on time
Waters said the buck stayed within 25 yards of his blind for quite a while, and he did his best to get a shot.
“I had drawn on him four times before I shot him,” he said. “Every time I’d draw, he’d turn away, maybe quarter away too hard. Finally, he turned just right, and I smoked him.”
Waters’ Mathews’ No Cam bow, shooting a Carbon Express Maxima Red arrow tipped with a Rage Trypan broadhead, was dead on target. The buck stumbled off about 40 yards after the through-and-through shot, and Waters got to watch him crash to the ground.
A quick tape-measure job judged the buck at 140 2/8 inches. The tall, heavy rack was 16 inches wide on the inside, with 25-inch main beams, 9-inch G3s and 8-inch G2s on each beam. The buck had one tiny sticker point on the right beam and weighed 190 pounds.
“From last year, he’d put on a touch more mass, but he didn’t add that much,” Waters said. “You look at him head-on, and you’d think he wasn’t 14 inches wide, but he’s right at 16.”
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