Elm Grove hunter kills 223-inch buck while prepping son’s stand

‘Sorry, son, I’ve got to shoot this buck,’ LouisianaSportsman.com user thinks when buck steps out.

Kevin Johnson was trying to do the right thing the afternoon of Nov. 10 when he walked into the woods on the little 30-acre tract of land he hunts in Elm Grove.

“I was taking care of my son,” Johnson said. “I was going to check things out and put some acorns out on his stand.”

Instead, he had to call his 11-year-old son Jeremy with the news that he had killed a 23-point monster buck that has been tentatively scored at 223 inches Boone & Crockett.

Neither Johnson had seen the beastly buck, despite having trail cams set out on the property.

Kevin Johnson, who goes by “kjohnson624” on the LouisianaSportsman.com forum and entered photos of the deer in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest, actually wasn’t even sitting in his son’s stand when the buck stepped out.

“I was putting out acorns where there wasn’t none,” Johnson said. “We had a tree in the yard that produced millions of acorns, and we were putting them out like some people put out corn.”

He carried his rifle just in case he saw something, and was standing with the bag of acorns in his hands when a buck stepped out about 125 yards down the shooting lane set up for young Jeremy.

“I set everything down and watched him for a few minutes,” Kevin Johnson said.

The fact is that he didn’t realize how big the buck was.

“He looked like a nice buck,” Johnson explained. “I knew he was nice, but I didn’t know he was that nice.

“I thought he might be a little bit bigger than what I’ve got on the wall already.”

Hanging on his wall are two 18-inch 8-points.

Even after scoping the deer, Johnson was clueless as to the magnitude of what stood down range.

“I looked at his horns twice with the scope,” Johnson said. “He was facing me; I could tell (the antlers) were tall.”

He decided he couldn’t let the deer walk.

“I said, ‘Damn! I might have me another wall hanger,’” Johnson said. “I said, ‘Sorry, son, I’ve got to shoot this deer.’”

He lined up the crosshairs on the deer’s neck, and squeezed the trigger. The buck dropped right there.

Johnson headed to check out the buck, but wasn’t prepared for what he had killed.

“About 30 yards from him I seen how tall them horns were, and I said, ‘Oh, my lord!’” he said. “When I picked up the horns and started counting, I was like, ‘Oh God!’”

The buck sported 23 points on a frame that featured five typical points on the left beam and a jumble of points on the opposite side. The end of the right beam sort of sprouts out in a palmated mess of at least 8 points.

Split beams and stickers round out this incredible buck’s rack.

It has been green scored at 223 inches by Simmons Sporting Goods as part of its Big Buck Contest.

The first thing Johnson did after getting over the initial shock of the kill was call his son, who was at football practice.

“I asked him, ‘Are you going to be mad at me?’ He said, ‘No, Dad,’” Johnson said. “I told him, ‘I got a big buck here.’”

The younger Johnson wasn’t quite prepared for what he saw that evening after practice.

“It just blew him away,” Kevin Johnson said.

But Jeremy Johnson took the kill in stride.

“He said, ‘Dad, if you hadn’t shot it we might not have killed this deer,’” the elder Johnson said.

Kevin Johnson said he was thrilled with the kill, but admitted luck played a big part.

“This is where we always hunt,” he said. “He just appeared; I was in the right place at the right time.”

See more bucks killed this season – and add photos of your own – in the Nikon Big Buck Contest, which is free for all registered users of LouisianaSportsman.com.

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About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.