High, tight rack grosses 173 4/8 inches
After his wife passed up a big 160-inch buck on Dec. 5, Michael Guillory had a better chance two days later when the deer presented itself broadside to him at 23 yards — and made the most of his opportunity when his arrow found the mark.
“This is a buck I’ve been after for several years,” said Guillory, 51, who lives near Clinton. “In fact, I have had trail cam photos of him for the past three years. As I had to work Wednesday, I suggested to my wife that she go throw out some corn and bran and hunt my stand if she wanted. She has bowhunted for the past eight years and has taken a couple of deer with her bow.”
Guillory’s wife did as he suggested and that afternoon, the buck walked out on her but she never felt comfortable taking a shot. Since he was off work Thursday and Friday last week, it was his turn to try for the buck with the high, tight rack.
“We hunt on a friend’s land in East Feliciana Parish, and have had a few trail cam photos of the deer off and on for the past three years. In 2016, I had photos of him in September but no more until in January,” he said. “Last year, I had to take my lock-on stand out of the area where I had been hunting because a timber thinning operation was going on. The thing that concerned me is that this is also the area where the buck had been hanging out.”
Setting his stand up in a new area, Guillory was encouraged when he found the buck’s image on trail cameras, with two of the photos revealing the big deer was moving during daylight hours.
“One thing that was intriguing to me was the rack ,and it had changed little over the three years I have had photos of him,” he said. “The rack was rather narrow but extremely tall, with long tines and tips of the main beams actually crossing.”
Guillory was able to hunt Thursday morning but didn’t see anything. Early on Friday morning, he tossed out some loose corn and rice bran and settled into his stand.
“Right at daylight I had a spike walk out, and half an hour later another spike appeared. Along about 7:45, I could hear another deer walking down a little drain in the pines,” Guillory said. “I couldn’t see him at first but when he moved a bit closer and got to about 45 to 50 yards, I could see his rack and knew it was him.”
He was able to watch the buck rub its rack on a bush, and what was interesting was that because of the main beams touching, Guillory said the buck turned its head sideways to rub with the outside of its antlers.
“After watching him work on the bush for maybe five minutes, he started to move and finally came in to about 30 yards and started eating the loose corn I had put out. Although I’m comfortable with my bow at that range, the buck was easing closer as it fed on the corn so I held off,” he continued. “He made it to a pile of rice bran I had out and turned broadside at 23 yards and I drew my PSE bow and released the arrow with a Striker broadhead. He ran about 40 yards and I watched him pile up.”
The 11-point weighed only 165 pounds, but was estimated to be 6 ½ years old. Guillory and a friend put a tape on the rack and measured the inside spread at a mere 14 inches. However, the main beams were long and one G-2 was split. Circumference at the widest point near the bases was 6 2/8 inches. His taxidermist measured the rack at 173 4/8 inches gross, and 159 4/8 inches net.