Smart’s deer green-scores 160 inches-plus
Brent Smart found the CRP land he planted on his 80-acre property in Richland Parish paid maximum dividends on Dec. 6 when a buck he hadn’t seen a photo of in a year stepped out onto his lane. One shot from his Remington 7 Mag dropped the big 11-point in its tracks.
“I live on the 80 acres I bought in 2010, and decided to plant trees under the CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) on the property. The trees are maybe head-high, and the area is really thick. I have only one stand on the property, a box stand I set up on a narrow lane between the young trees,” said Smart, 48, an insurance salesman who lives in Mangham.
The evening before, he had a conversation with his wife about possible plans for the next morning. Smart identified himself as a casual hunter, and noted he’s never taken a buck that scored more than 100 inches.
“I told my wife that since I didn’t have any appointments for early the next morning, I thought I might slip out the back and go sit on my deer stand for a couple of hours,” Smart said. “She agreed that was a good idea, and I called my associate at work to explain I’d be a bit late the next morning, so I got things ready for a morning hunt the next day.”
Early the following morning, Smart walked down a road and onto the property of a neighbor who gives him permission to walk through to get to his stand on the CRP land. The stand overlooks a narrow 200-yard food plot where Smart had planted winter peas and a wildlife mix. At the end of the lane sits a feeder that Smart set on minimum flow to allow him to stay off the area for longer periods of time.
“My lane is only 10 feet or so wide because CRP requirements with trees planted do not allow anything wider because of the distance between the trees,” he said. “I settled into my stand before daylight. Not long after it started to get light, a little 4-point I had seen several times walked out on the lane, fed awhile and walked into the CRP land. Later, two does came out to browse on the plot for awhile, and they too moved off into the thick stuff.”
Last year, Smart found the image of a big buck on his trail camera — a deer he only saw two times last December. A neighbor told him later he had the buck on camera on his land a month or so earlier ,and it abruptly disappeared from his cameras.
“About half an hour after the does left, I looked down my lane and there stood a nice buck. I had no idea just how big he was, just that he was decent enough that I wanted to shoot him. Once I saw he had a nice rack, I concentrated on his body and when he quartered to me, I got him in the scope of my rifle at about 125 yards, hit the trigger and the buck dropped where he stood,” Smart said. “I still had no idea what this deer was ,so I texted my son who was duck hunting and told him I had shot a ‘pretty good’ buck.”
He continued talking to his son as he began walking toward the buck, and the closer he got, the more impressive the rack looked.
“When I walked up to the downed buck, I told my son, ‘Oh my gosh; this thing is a monster!’”
The buck was impressive indeed, tipping the scales at 230 pounds and sporting an 11-point rack with 17 1/8 inches of air between the sides, and main beams of about 23 inches each with 5-inch bases.
At Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop, the buck measured 160 1/8 inches of antler mass.