Early on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 8, Casey Martin knew he had to catch an afternoon flight to work offshore for his usual two-week hitch.

But images of a big buck from a field camera on his lease late this summer were still haunting the 35-year-old Anacoco hunter.

“It was in mid-August when I saw this buck for the first time in velvet on a couple of pictures taken at night,” Martin said. “But I never saw him again.”

Archery season finally came around and, after a hunt on Oct. 5, Martin checked the cameras again and saw the big buck once more, this time without velvet. Despite his best efforts to take him that weekend, does were all Martin saw.

So with a tough decision to make that Tuesday morning hours before his flight offshore, Martin got some very good advice from his wife Angie.

“You’re going hunting,” she said, knowing he wouldn’t be back for two weeks, a time of heavier hunting pressure near the opening of the Area 3 gun season. By then, his chances at the big buck would be greatly diminished, she knew.

So Martin decided to give it a shot, and reached his stand at about 6:30 that morning. 

“Daylight was breaking, and I was actually on the cell texting Angie,” Martin said. “At about 7:15, I caught a glimpse of an antlered buck walking in a hardwoods thicket. I saw where it was going, so I stood up and came to full draw.

“I remember intentionally not wanting to focus specifically on his headgear because I didn’t want to get too nervous. He finally stepped out of the thicket into an opening at 40 yards, and I let the arrow go at his broadside.”

Martin used a Hoyt Carbon Element bow with a 100-grain Rage broadhead on a Gold Tip arrow. 

The buck dropped immediately, and after waiting about 30 minutes, Martin descended from his stand and walked over to check him out. 

“It was when I got close that I realized just how big he was,” he said. “I got out of there by 8, and eventually had him caped, skinned and quartered at home.

“On my way to the airport, I stopped at Fin Feather N Fur Taxidermy, where Victor Scarinzi told me he would green score it when mounting it.”

Martin’s buck was a 9-pointer that weighed slightly more than 180 pounds, with a 26-inch neck circumference, mass circumferences as high as 5 4/8-inches and a forked G2 on the left main beam. 

Scarinzi’s green score was 134 inches, with official measurements to take place after a 60-day drying period. The minimum score Pope &Young entry score is 125 inches.

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 Monarch binoculars at the end of the contest.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.