Three-year pursuit ends with Jackson Parish trophy
Big things sometimes come in small packages, and the big 11-point buck arrowed by Eric Williams on Oct. 26 is certainly proof of that.
The 43-year-old from Quitman hunts a tiny 5-acre tract owned by his mom in Jackson Parish, and the deer he’s been hunting for three years there finally stepped into the sights of his crossbow.
“My wife and I both hunt; she hunts in a box stand across the road on 10 acres behind my grandmother’s home, while I hunt a ground blind on 5 acres of hardwoods my mom owns,” Williams said.
Williams and his wife had traveled to Winn Parish earlier that day when his uncle, knowing his interest in hunting hogs, called and asked if he could come and assess the hog situation on his property.
“We got up Friday morning and drove to Sikes to check on my uncle’s pig problem. When we had evaluated the situation there, my wife and I first thought about staying there and hunting a Winn Parish site that afternoon. At the last minute, I mentioned to her that something was telling me to head home and hunt our Jackson Parish stands. So we drove home, got our gear and were on our stands around 5:30 that afternoon,” Williams said.
One particular buck that had Williams’ attention was a big deer he had nicknamed “Spider” because when he started hunting the deer three seasons ago, the rack was a tall tangle that resembled a spider’s web.
“The second year I hunted him, trail cameras revealed he had grown to a 14-point with split brow tines,” Williams said. “This year, the deer was an 11-point with one split brow tine, and the rack was heavier and a lot wider.”
As he settled into his ground blind, all he saw for the first half hour were squirrels. Then something moved in the hardwoods, and a big rack appeared only 15 yards away.
“When I got a look at him, I knew it was Spider. My crossbow was resting on a shooting stick for stability and I watched the buck stop behind some bushes, and he froze there for what seemed like an eternity,” Williams said. “He finally stepped out and put his nose in a pile of strawberry rice bran I had there.”
Putting the sights behind the deer’s shoulder, Williams released a bolt but watched the buck instinctively duck at the sound — and he saw he had hit the buck higher than he wanted. The deer fell but then got up and took off through the woods, headed toward a creek that ran through the property.
“After walking to where the deer was standing when I shot, I found blood and hair,” he said. “I sent my wife a text and told her I had just shot Spider. I told her to go ahead and finish her hunt and we’d give him time to expire.”
Realizing that if the deer had made it across the creek he would need a blood-trailing dog, he contacted a friend with a dog – but it wasn’t needed.
They found the buck near the edge of the creek and it was still alive, although his shot had apparently hit near the spine, immobilizing its back legs. Williams had forgotten to bring his crossbow on the search, so he had to wait until nature took its course with the deer.
“When we walked up to him, I realized he actually looked much bigger than the images I had seen of him on my camera,” he said.
The buck had 11 points, with an inside spread of 19 ¼ inches and bases over 5 inches each. The buck was eventually scored at 148 5/8 inches of bone, and was aged at 6 ½ years with a weight estimated at 210 pounds.
After downing the buck he had been hunting for the past three seasons, Williams had a plan for the rest of the season.
“Now that I got the buck I was after,” Williams said, “I think I’ll just hog hunt the rest of the year.”