Vacation time well spent for 155-inch-plus deer
The number 13 might be considered unlucky by some, but it’s probably one of Trip Taylor’s favorites right now.
The 29-year-old deer hunter from Greenwood had been seeing photos of a monster 13-pointer on trail cameras on the 300 acres he hunts in DeSoto Parish — and decided to use up vacation time in an attempt to down the buck.
His plan finally came together on Wednesday, Oct. 24.
“My dad and a friend and I have access to a 300-acre tract of land near Longstreet in DeSoto Parish. We just acquired access to the land last year; the property is primarily a pine plantation. We didn’t really know what the deer herd looked like on the property, although we had seen enough to get our interest level up,” Taylor said. “However, it wasn’t until this past August just before the season opened that we found this big buck on our cameras.
“He was showing up at night but also at various times during the day. This is why I decided to take my vacation during a week I felt like I might see him.”
Taylor hunts from a box stand overlooking three shooting lanes with food plots, each lane being about 150 yards long.
On Day 1 of his vacation, he sat on his stand from daylight to dark and although he saw some deer, the one he had his eyes on never showed up. Day 2, 3 and 4 were virtual repeats of the first day, and Taylor was becoming a bit discouraged, wondering if his vacation would end without seeing the buck.
“I had gotten down to Day 5, my last day of vacation before having to go back to work. I hunted that morning with no sightings,” he said. “By mid-afternoon on the fifth day, it started to rain and was stormy, and I felt the game was over. However, I hung with the stand and was determined to ride it out until dark.”
With less than half an hour to go, Taylor watched a small 3-point buck step out of the thicket some 175 yards away and begin feeding on a patch of buck forage oats he had planted on his food plots.
“Right behind the 3-point, the big boy finally stepped out. As it continued to rain and darkness was approaching, I was frustrated because the smaller buck obscured any chance for a shot at the big buck. Finally with no more than 20 minutes of daylight left, he stepped from behind the little one,” he said. “I put the crosshairs of my 35 Whelan on his shoulder, squeezed the trigger and thankfully, the buck dropped right there so we didn’t have to follow a blood trail in the dark and rain.”
The buck was a brute, not only weighing 220 pounds, but with a rack that was genuinely impressive. A mainframe 10-point, the buck had three additional sticker points, with an inside spread of 17 inches and heavy mass throughout.
The buck was aged at 4 ½ years and greenscored between 155 and 160 inches.