Chase Evans didn’t have much time to react when he saw a big heavy-horned deer moving across one of his shooting lanes in Jefferson County, Miss. earlier this year.
But that’s understandable — the 16-year-old junior at Caldwell Parish High School was looking out over a total of four lanes on the misty, foggy, humid morning of Jan. 3.
“I have so many lanes to look at, I switch every now and then,” said Evans, of Bosco. “I look at one for two minutes and then look at another so I don’t miss anything.
“When I got to looking at that main lane, I turned around and there he was — he was about to cross over into those thickets. And I thought I wouldn’t have enough time to shoot, so I got my gun up as quick as I could and shot.”
The buck was 180 yards away in the fog, so Evans knew he had to act quickly with his Winchester .300 Short Mag.
“I had like a five second window of opportunity to shoot,” he said. “I was nervous, definitely. I never saw a deer like that on our property. We’ve only seen does and spikes and 4-points.
“I was like, ‘This deer is humongous. I’ve never seen one like that.’ The biggest deer I killed before this was an 8-point that scored like 100.”
Evans fired, and the big buck headed into the thicket. His dad, Dennis, was in a stand about 300 yards away, and joined his son to look for the deer.
“I was kind of questioning myself, like did I kill it or not,” Evans said.
They couldn’t find any blood or evidence of a hit, and thick briar patches made the going tough. But Evans’ dad ultimately found the buck only 30 yards from where it was hit.
“He was excited. He called me over, ‘Chase! Chase, I found him!’ So I ran through the briars — I didn’t care how bad they cut me,” Evans said. “I was ready to see this deer because it was the biggest I’ve ever killed.”
The big buck didn’t disappoint from up close.
The deer had 11 scoreable points, with a 19 ½-inch inside spread and bases that stretched the tape to 5 ⅝ inches. Evans estimated the deer was about 4 years old, it weighed-in at 210 pounds and green-scored a whopping 173 ⅛ inches.
The big deer had never been seen on their 87 acres of family property, but Evans already got a skull mount of the buck to commemorate a very special morning hunt with his father.
“He was proud of me and I was proud of myself,” Evans said. “We’ve been working our butts off the past eight months, putting cameras out and stands up.”
Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the rand drawing for Nikon optics at the end of the contest.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.