Chris Evans is moving to a new house near Jackson, leaving behind a 40-acre tract of family land near Port Hudson where he’s done a lot of deer hunting over the years.
But on Wednesday evening, he got a great going away present from the property: An elusive mainframe 12-point he’d been seeing on his trail cams since 2013 that he dialed in from long distance with a great 420-yard shot.
“And the 420 isn’t me ‘guess-timating,’” Evans said. “That’s hitting it with a rangefinder. I saw him with my bow Sunday from a long, long ways off, so I found this app where you can measure your distance and I shot it with my laser.
“He was a true 420 yards.”
Evans didn’t have a picture of the buck yet this season, but was bowhunting Sunday afternoon when he recognized the big deer way off in the distance cutting across a far corner of the pasture he was in.
After doing some homework on the exact distance, Evans returned to his stand about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon armed with his bolt-action Remington Model 700 .308.
“I was keeping my eye on that spot because if they cross too fast I’ll miss them,” he said. “So just like on Sunday, the two does came out, and 10 minutes later, he did the same thing again.
“He came out of the woods into the field and just kind of lingered around for a while, like almost saying, ‘Here’s your chance.’”
With the deer broadside at about 350 yards, Evans turned sideways in his stand, and steadying his elbows on his knees, fired — and missed cleanly.
“But he didn’t know where the shot came from, so he just kind of turned and was walking away,” he said. “At first, I didn’t even think about putting another bullet in to try for a second shot, but I was like, ‘What the hell? I’ll go ahead and try it.’
“He was facing away from me so I knew if my left and right was good, I had a chance if I got decent on my elevation. So I pulled the trigger — and he dropped.”
Evans said he put the crosshairs about even with the top of the buck’s head from that distance, and his 150-grain bullet hit dead center in the deer’s backbone.
“I sat there and watched in the scope for a while to see if he was moving or anything and I never saw him move a muscle, so I went on back to my house and got my buddy and rode back there with his Polaris,” he said.
But the old buck, estimated to be 7 to 8 years old and weighing-in at 230 pounds, wasn’t done just yet.
“When we got there, the deer actually started lifting his head, and neither one of us had brought a gun because I thought he was graveyard dead,” Evans said with a chuckle. “So we had to go back to the house and get a gun and finish him off.”
After years of trail cam pics, finally getting his hands on the buck was pretty special. Hunters from as far away as 5 miles have gotten pictures of the deer over the years, so shooting it on 40 acres of family land made it even more sweet.
“I was pretty much in disbelief,” he said. “I just got back from bowhunting in Kansas and Illinois, and we didn’t get it done up there, so to come home and kill a deer like that in my backyard - wow.”
The thickness of the buck’s rack is what he’ll cherish most, Evans said.
“His circumferences are really what’s most impressive about him. His eight circumference measurements total up right to 42 inches,” he said. “I’m putting him on the wall because of all that mass. He doesn’t have good tine length, he doesn’t have good main beam length, but his mass is just ….
“I’ve been around a lot of big deer, and I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like it.”
Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the random drawing for Nikon optics at the end of the contest.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.