Michael Hightower slipped into the woods for a late afternoon hunt Dec. 14 on the lookout for one particular buck he had been seeing on his trail camera.
But with nothing but squirrels and one raccoon around his piles of corn and rice bran, he sent his wife Laney a text he might want to take back.
“If I get this buck, I won’t hunt any more the rest of the season,” the 35-year-old from Homer typed to his wife.
She replied, “If you kill him, I get to go hunting the rest of the season and you can stay home and watch (our little son) Lane.”
After he ultimately dropped a big 11-point that afternoon, it looks like he might be doing lots of babysitting for the rest of the season.
“I own my own company, Pixley Logging, and once I get my crew lined out, they know I’m going to head out to hunt deer,” Hightower said. “I got everything situated on the job by around 3, so I headed for the deer woods.”
He owns 200 acres in Claiborne Parish, plus hunts some family land nearby that’s available to him. There was one particular area where photos of the buck had been showing up where Hightower planned to hunt that afternoon.
“I had already put a feeder in the area, as well as pouring out some rice bran,” he said. “When I hunt this spot, I don’t hunt from a stand because it is set up perfectly for me to sit on the ground against a big tree where I have a good view of the corn and bran.
“I wear my turkey vest and sit on the cushion attached to it.”
Earlier in the season, Hightower had his eye on another good buck, but it was killed by another hunter. The buck he was hunting on Dec.14 had moved into the area once the other deer had been removed.
“As the afternoon grew late, I had watched some squirrels and one raccoon at my feeder when I began hearing footsteps in the dry leaves approaching the food source. I got my gun — my Browning .308 — ready in case it was a buck. As soon as he stepped out by the feeder at 100 yards, I got pretty excited because I knew it was the one I was after,” Hightower said. “I got my scope on his neck, hit the trigger and he dropped right on the spot.”
The deer was rutted down and only weighed 150 pounds — much lighter than trail camera photos showed earlier in the season.
The buck was a symmetrical main frame 10-point with a split brow tine, giving it 11 official points. The inside spread was 19 inches, main beams were 22 inches and 4-inch bases carried mass throughout the rack.
The 3 ½-year-old deer officially stretched the tape to 150 inches.