Jones’ big 11-pointer green-scores 164 ⅞
For Zach Jones, a 17-year-old junior at Sterlington High School, downing big bucks has almost become second nature.
When he was just 11 years old, he used a rifle to lay a 170-inch buck on the ground. The following year using his crossbow, a 140-inch buck bit the dust.
And last weekend, the 17-year-old used a compound bow to arrow a big 165-inch 11-pointer on Ashbrook Island, a 6,000-acre chunk of real estate adjacent to the Mississippi River in Washington County, Mississippi.
“Everybody at the camp had their eyes out for this particular buck. I’ve had him on our trail cameras for the past three years and last year, I actually had a chance at him when we guessed he was probably in the 160-inch range,” said Jones, who lives north of Monroe. “We decided to let him have another year of growth before taking him.”
On Saturday, Nov.10, Jones climbed into a box stand overlooking a 300-yard long food plot planted with winter wheat. As he sat in the stand, he was looking at a thicket on to his left and a small stand of open woods to the right. Along the edge of the open woods was a grove of persimmon trees that storms had recently hit hard, and deer were targeting the fallen persimmons.
“Under the persimmon trees was a large scrape, half the size of the hood on my pickup truck,” he said. “It was an area I was particularly interested in because deer were checking the scrape and feeding on the persimmons.”
At around 3:15 that afternoon, he had sat only a few minutes before about 10 does came out from the woods and started working on the fruit.
“Then a small buck walked out almost under my stand and headed for the scrape. As I watched him, I caught movement in the thicket and a big buck came out and headed for the persimmon grove,” Jones said. “As he walked up, the little buck left to avoid getting whipped, and the buck seemed to have his eye on one particular doe.”
When the big buck stepped out, Jones knew it was the one he was targeting. It was the first time he’d seen the deer this season; all other sightings were via trail camera images.
“After I had killed the big 170-inch buck seven years ago, we knew this one was not quite as large as that one so we gave him the nickname of ‘Junior’. As I was getting my bow up to the window to prepare for a shot, I got a text from my dad asking if I was in my stand yet. I told him I was and was about to shoot Junior. I shoot a Hoyt bow and a Rage broadhead, and as the buck was slightly quartered away from me at 30 yards, I released the arrow,” Jones said. “He kicked and then took off. I was able to watch him fall in the open woods traveling about 50 yards after the shot. I texted my dad and told him the deer was down.”
It was the heaviest buck he’d ever shot, tipping the scales at 250 pounds. The giant rack featured 11 points, with an inside spread at 19 ⅞ inches, and main beams over 24 inches long, with 12-inch G2s.
The buck green-scored a whopping 164 ⅞ at Simmons Sporting Goods, where it currently sits in first place in the men’s archery category.