Barksdale AFB bowhunter takes 140-inch 14-point

Trophy deer is hunter’s first buck with a bow.

To paraphrase a famous quote: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”

In Mitch Seitz’s case, the “something” was a 14-point buck that came within feet of his tree stand Saturday (Oct. 27) during a Barksdale Air Force Base hunt.

Seitz, a 23-year old aircraft hydraulic mechanic, was in his tree stand at about 6 p.m. that day when from behind him, he heard quite a ruckus.

“It went ‘crash, crash, crash,’” he said, “and it was really loud. I thought it would be a pig coming through. It sounded too loud to be a deer.”

The noise came just behind him, but it was in a dense thicket and Seitz couldn’t get a good glimpse of the animal. He would, however, see a tine every few seconds poking from the brush, and he got a decent look at the buck when it came within 5 yards of his stand.

Quickly, however, the deer spooked and darted across an open space before finding refuge in another stand of brush in front of his stand.

“I felt my heart in my stomach,” Seitz said. “I thought I had lost him in the trees.”

But seconds later, the deer turned and started walking into his shooting lane. Seitz pulled the string back on his Hoyt Powerhawk bow and held it for more than a minute waiting for the buck to give the ideal shot.

Finally, through what he estimated to be an 8-inch window, Seitz let the arrow fly and struck the deer in its vitals. The deer ran about 75 yards, and Seitz followed it with his ears, listening until the crashing ended.

“I almost fell out of the stand my legs were so wobbly,” Seitz said. “I called my dad, and we talked for a minute and that calmed me down.

“When I got to the spot where I shot the deer, there was a lot of blood, so I felt confident I could find him. It was an easy blood trail to follow.”

And then he found the buck.

“When I got to him, I was so excited, I almost went back to my truck to get my knife,” he said. “I wasn’t going to see how big the rack was. But I thought twice — and when I pulled it up and saw the 14 points, it was a great feeling.”

Seitz doesn’t have a measurement on the buck’s antlers, but he and friends estimated the buck will score out at approximately 140 inches.

The rack measured 15 inches inside and 5 ¼ inches around the base. However, the thickest spot on the rack measured 8 ½ inches.

It weighed 182 pounds after gutting, and, according to calculations made at Barksdale, it weighed 228 pounds before gutting.

Seitz, who lives in Haughton, said he enjoys hunting at Barksdale.

“You have to be active, reserve or retired military to hunt there,” he said. “It’s a great experience. The natural resources guys do a great job. It’s like hunting on public land, because it can be crowded. But it’s a big piece of property — about 18,000 to 20,000 acres.”

The 14-point buck was the biggest deer Seitz has killed, and it was the first buck he’s downed with a bow. He also caught some great footage of the animal standing next to his trail camera only seconds before he made the kill.

“That was the icing on the cake,” he said.

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