Big bucks acquire nicknames for any number of reasons. Poring over trail cam shots and keeping track of several recognizable bucks is a little easier when you have something to call them. Lots of times it’s for unique characteristics of their rack, or maybe a section of the lease where that deer is frequently caught on camera.
In the case of a big Richland Parish buck that Geoffrey Henry started seeing in July, this year’s extra-busy tropical season came into play.
“My wife named him Harvey after the hurricane,” said Henry, 25, of Start. “When it was coming through, we had pictures of him every day.”
Even in velvet, the big-bodied buck’s double split brow tines were obvious, and Henry was looking forward to Oct. 1 and the opening of bow season to see if he and Harvey would eventually cross paths.
The deer showed up regularly on trail cams in late summer with a young buck, and it was obvious from the photos Harvey was the dominant deer in the area. Henry said he solicited advice from area hunters on how best to get a crack at the big buck.
“They said, ‘Take out a grunt call and your rattle bag,’ so I said, ‘Alright, I’ll give it a shot.’ I did that opening day, and I didn’t see anything. I didn’t do it the second day I went, but that third morning around 7:45 I pulled out my grunt call for a couple of minutes, then I waited and did my rattle bag for a couple minutes,” Henry said. “Sure enough, that little buck he was running with caught my eye.
“I was like, ‘Man, that big buck has got to be with him.”
Henry was positioned about 30-feet up in an oak tree in a lock-on stand overlooking a corn pile in the corner of an ag field. The smaller buck had come in from behind him, so he stood up in anticipation of Harvey possibly paying him a visit.
“When I stood up and looked down, that big buck was about 40 or 50 yards, and he just came barreling in there,” he said. “They met up, but I couldn’t get a shot because they were facing me.”
The smaller buck eventually worked its way toward a tree line, and Henry used his range finder to determine it was at 35 yards.
“I just went on ahead and pulled back. I was like, ‘That big buck has to follow him.’ Sure enough, the little buck moved further into the tree line and the big one followed right behind him,” Henry said. “Then I stopped them with a yell, and let him have it.”
Henry was using a Mathews Z7 Extreme bow with a Carbon Express Maxima Hunter 250 arrow and a Rage Trypan mechanical broadhead. He knew right away he had connected on a kill shot.
“Right when it hit him, he just took off,” Henry said. “It was a little forward, but when it hit him, I saw the blood go everywhere.”
Harvey bolted into the field, and collapsed only 40 yards away.
“I called my wife Lexi and I was just so worked up, she was freaking out because she thought I had fell out the tree because I couldn’t breathe,” Henry said with a chuckle. “I was like, ‘No, babe, I killed the big one. I killed Harvey …’ Then she told me to calm down real quick before I fell out the tree.”
The big buck didn’t disappoint: Its rack featured 21 points, a 19 ⅜-inch inside spread, main beams measuring 24 ⅜ and 25 ⅛, and heavy-horned bases with 5-inch-plus circumferences. Henry couldn’t find a scale on Tuesday, but a 14-year game warden in the area estimated the deer weighed close to 300 pounds, and his taxidermist said the buck was about 4 ½ years old.
The deer green-scored 202 ⅜ on the Buckmasters scoring system, and 192 ⅛ Boone and Crockett at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop.
Henry, who works as a security guard for Sapa Extrusions in Delhi, said he’s looking forward to getting Harvey mounted to commemorate an opening week he’ll likely never forget.
“I’m actually remodeling my house, so I’m going to find somewhere to put him,” he said. “Hopefully, somewhere right when you open up the door.”