Having to work and helping a buddy out with a crippled boat created a bit of a dilemma for 22-year-old Parker Bailey of Haynesville. Images he had found on his trail camera a week prior created the problem for him; a gnarly mossy-horned velvet buck had shown up on camera and Bailey was zoned in on hunting the big buck.
Bailey hunts on a 66 acre pine plantation, a tract of land owned by his family in north Claiborne Parish.
“My camera showed the image of the big buck on Monday, Oct. 21, and I was intent on spending as much time as I could on my stand trying to waylay him. However,” said Bailey, “as I was planning to get on my stand that afternoon, I got a call from a buddy whose boat had become disabled on nearby Corney Lake and he needed my help. On the way out to help my friend, my boss called telling me I had to be at work the next morning.”
No doubt it was difficult to keep his mind on his work at producing tubing and casing for Miller Tubular Services Tuesday through Thursday as his thoughts were zeroed in on the velvet buck.
Waiting out the rain
“After getting off work Thursday with plenty of daylight left, I decided to get on my stand. I knew that a big rain event was forecast for Friday so I thought the buck might make a move before the rain. I saw a nice 7-point buck but he was not the one I wanted, so I let him pass,” Bailey said.
As forecast, it was raining when he got in his box stand Friday morning, continuing all day. Hunting that morning and afternoon, Bailey was witness to some action, including two young bucks sparring with each other, but no mossy-horn showed up.
By Saturday morning, Oct. 26, the rain had just about stopped when Bailey was back in his stand to continue his quest.
“I saw some does and the same two little bucks sparring again that morning and after a break, I returned and crawled into my stand about 5:00 that afternoon. Before getting on my stand, I freshened up the food I had on the lane in front of the stand. I had put out a mixture of corn, strawberry and peanut butter flavored rice bran, some Mo-Buck and a new one I’m trying this year, Buck Wild Peach Perfect Attractant” he said.
Bailey’s velvet buck
Five minutes after crawling into his stand that afternoon, some does came out and began feeding on the buffet Bailey had placed on an old road in front of his stand.
“I watched the does for probably half an hour before they moved off into the woods. I looked down the lane and saw a buck but couldn’t tell at first what it was. The deer walked into the woods before I could get my scope on him. However, he came out of the woods and headed for the corn pile and it was only then that I realized it was the velvet buck. My heart started pounding and I had to talk to myself to calm down,” said Bailey.
After feeding on corn, the buck moved to the Peach Perfect pile and finally gave Bailey a broadside shot. When the 35 Whelan fired, the gun reared up and Bailey was unable to see which direction the buck ran.
“I was worried because I had it zeroed in at 50 yards and the buck was standing at 100 yards. I called my dad who headed out to help me look for the deer. While I waited on him, two does stepped out in another lane at about 100 yards and I decided to take one. When I shot, she dropped in her tracks so I knew I had made a good shot on the buck,” he continued.
When his dad arrived, it only took a few minutes to find the buck which had run 30 yards before expiring.
The big buck sported a gnarly mass on his head and weighed an estimated 225 pounds. Taking the deer to Greg Hicks, official scorer for Buck Masters, the tale of the tape showed 17 points with a 15 5/8-inch inside spread, 5 3/8-inch bases with main beams 21 and 24 inches. Hicks scored the buck 160 7/8 inches.