Darrin Dawes’s back yard in Arnaudville, Louisiana, is 2 miles long and 60 yards wide. Deer cross through those 25 acres all the time, but he almost never sees high-caliber bucks.
In December 2016, however, a trail camera photographed a 150-incher, which is like finding a 10-pound bass in your bathtub. Darrin pegged the deer as a 4 ½-year-old, mainframe 9-pointer with split brow tines.
By the end of the season, he’d heard nothing about a big deer being shot in the vicinity, and that gave him hope for 2017.
Darrin has two stands at opposite sides of his property, and he throws out corn from one end to the other. The big buck began appearing on his camera after Thanksgiving.
“I think the buck was staying on my land at night, because it had sanctuary and food there, and it could escape the (neighbors’ ATV) noise and hunting pressure,” he told John Phillips, who is writing the story for Rack magazine.
Much of Darrin’s property floods in the winter.
One Friday afternoon after a cold front had dumped between 3 and 4 inches of rain, Darrin left work early and went to the elevated stand at the edge of a power line right-of-way.
While scanning his surroundings, he spotted a strange looking tree with white branches and reached for his binoculars.
“It wasn’t a tree; it was a rather huge buck not 30 yards away, staring at me. It was so close that it probably saw me walk up to my stand,” he said.
When the buck ran off a smaller one, Darrin opened the blind’s window and poked out his gun. He fired just as the deer entered a shooting lane.
He actually tripped over the dead whitetail while traversing a briar patch en route to it. He couldn’t believe the size of its rack, which was later scored at 192 3/8 inches.
— Read Recent Blog! Worthy of a Four-year Wait: Hunter: Greg Widiker | The buck’s antlers tallied 204 2/8 inches on the BTR scale.