Bolton’s 11-pointer green-scores north of 162 inches
Chet Bolton belongs to a hunting club in Sabine Parish where members are committed to strict management of deer on the 3,800-acre property. Some of the members have developed a type of supplemental feed, MT Trophy Blends, that is working quite well on the piney woods deer, with the average score of bucks captured on trail cameras improving from 110 to 120 inches since using the feed blend.
“All the other members of our club had either had to go back to work or were hunting elsewhere, so I had taken a week of vacation and was hunting alone the morning of Nov. 14,” said Bolton, 44, of Rayville.
He climbed into his tripod stand before dawn and as daylight arrived, he began glassing the year-and-a-half-old cut over, one so rough club members refer to it as the “Gar Hole.” A creek runs through the property and Bolton was checking it out as well, hoping he might get a chance at the No. 1 buck on the club’s hit list.
“Using trail cameras, we compile a list of the bucks we see on the club and rank them as to their size and potential score. One of our members got the No. 2 deer this season, a 148-inch buck; (but) I was looking for No. 1,” he said. “This buck has been all over the club chasing does. One day he’s on one side, the next day the other. In fact, the afternoon before I got him, he showed up on camera three-quarters of a mile away.”
As he was glassing the area, he heard a limb crack to his left. When he turned to look, the big buck was standing there with a doe 75 yards away. The doe was between them, and Bolton had to wait for it to take a step before targeting the buck.
“The first thing I did was to really study the buck because we have a younger buck with lots of potential we’re passing this year, and it looks a lot like this one,” he said. “When I realized it was not that young buck, I eased around and by then, the buck was quartering toward me.
“I shoot a .35 Whelen, and put the crosshairs on his neck and squeezed off a shot,” Bolton said. “The buck rocked and then took off headed for the Gar Hole: the worse thicket we have on our place.”
A couple of years ago while walking to his stand, Bolton suffered a major heart attack and he knew if the buck made it to that thicket, he’d have trouble finding and then dragging the buck out by himself. So he quickly inserted another bullet into his rifle, and dropped the buck 50 yards shy of the thick stuff.
A main frame 10 point with a kicker, Bolton’s buck weighed 182 pounds and sported a 19-inch inside spread. Main beams were 26 inches each, G2s were in the 10- to 11-inch range, and bases measured 5 inches. The big buck green-scored 162 5/8 inches of bone.