Over the years, Farmerville’s Mike Clark has had numerous discussions with his sons about shooting big, mature bucks — and being disciplined enough to pass on younger deer so they have time to develop.
So on Sunday around dusk — when he got a call from his son Drew, letting him know he had just shot a buck — the elder Clark was wondering exactly how big the deer might be.
Turns out he had nothing to worry about because his 14-year-old had downed an impressive Union Parish 8-point that wound up green-scoring a whopping 142 ⅜ inches B&C.
“He was like, ‘Dad, I shot him and he he went down. I think it’s a good one but I’m not sure,’” Mike said, relaying his son’s phone call one minute after he shot the buck at about 100 yards. “So I went out there pretty quickly and saw. He said, ‘You mad I shot this one?’ I said, ‘No, that’s what I want you to shoot — the big ones. I don’t want you to shoot no little ones.’”
The big typical buck, which tipped the scales at 213 pounds and was aged at about 5 ½ years, had a symmetrical rack featuring an inside spread of 15 ½ inches with circumferences at the bases exceeding 5 inches.
Walking up to the deer with his son — a freshman at Downsville Community Charter School — was something special.
“Boy, he was pumped. He was high-fiving,” Mike said. “I said, ‘Look, this is what happens when you don’t shoot the little ones.’ I told him he might go his lifetime and not kill one this big again.”
Drew had set up in a ground blind along a tree line overlooking an overgrown pasture around 5 p.m., his dad said. He had bowhunted in the area earlier this month without any luck, but had his 7mm-.08 with him Sunday because it was a youth hunter weekend in Area 2.
“He said two does were out there and it was getting dark and he was getting aggravated — then he saw something — the white underneath the neck. He put the scope up and saw horns,” Clark said. “So he shot, and was mad and frustrated because he thought he missed him. The deer never moved — he just sat there for five or six seconds.
“So Drew went to put another shell in there and the deer just fell over. I guess it was just in a daze and realized it was about to go down.”
Mike said they had been seeing the deer on trail cams for about a month, and suspect it might be the same deer they got pictures of starting back in 2013.
“The deer always want to come out in that pasture. I have an automatic feeder, and I put some rice bran out there, also,” Mike said. “And I have two ponds out there, too, so they just come out there and make their way through.”
Mike said he shot a big 9-point three years ago near the same area that scored 139 ⅞, his personal best Louisiana buck.
“Drew was really pumped when they scored his deer and it scored more than the one I killed,” he said with a chuckle. “But I was happy for him.”
The big buck is at the taxidermist now, getting ready for a new spot in the Clarks' house.
“He said, ‘Can I put him in my room?’ I said, ‘You can put him wherever you want to, man,’” Mike said. “That’s a hoss.”