York’s big deer green scores 163 inches
To say the least, it was a nerve-wracking 48 hours for Landon York last week.
The 23-year-old Mandeville bowhunter encountered a big 10-point four times in two days on property his uncle owns in East Carroll Parish — but he was finally able to seal the deal on Friday, Oct. 5.
“On the afternoon of Oct. 3, I had gone hunting planning to do my part in taking a doe with my bow,” York said. “Before climbing a tree with my Mathews Triax, I had taken the card from a camera located 10 steps from my tree and was looking at the images with a card reader.
“All of a sudden, I came across a couple of photos of the biggest buck I had ever seen and realized I was sitting overlooking where he had been hours before.”
The evening wore on as York studied images of the big buck, and around 5:30 he looked up to see two does step out. Then without warning, the monster he was just looking at on the card reader stepped out and stopped behind a tree only 15 yards away.
“I was literally gasping for breath at what I was looking at,” he said.
The buck stood for a minute or two and then turned and casually walked back into the woods.
“I knew what my mission was going to be for the next few days,” he said.
The following morning York was back in his tree, and although he didn’t see the buck, he heard it vigorously rubbing and got a photograph of the massive rub about 200 yards from his stand. He hunted again that afternoon without sighting the animal.
“I was back in the woods the next morning, Oct. 5. Because one of the does I had seen two days earlier was super suspicious, I decided to climb a different tree and anchored my Summit Viper climbing stand 30 feet high. Late that afternoon, two small bucks walked into the clearing and the big buck followed them,” York said, noting he couldn’t quite get a clear shot on the buck that time. “The trio was contentedly browsing on briars that grew chest high and licking a mineral block I had placed next to my stand. But they eventually fed and walked off the way they had come in.”
That afternoon, York decided to go for broke and selected a tall sycamore to climb. After trimming limbs, he scooted up to nose-bleed height — some 50 feet above ground to avoid detection.
“After having to walk back to my 4-wheeler to retrieve my Thermacell I had forgotten and then climbing 50 feet, I was soaking wet with perspiration. I finally settled in and by then it was getting pretty late. Just before dark, the two smaller bucks walked out and I felt the one I was after would be following,” York said. “He did, and stopped at 21 yards. I released my arrow and the buck tore out. I felt I had hit him a bit too far back, but could see blood on his side as he ran.”
The area York hunts is located adjacent to the Mississippi River, and floods when the river is high.
“Some of the woods are underwater right now, and when the deer took off after I shot, I was afraid he’d get in the water and recovery would be tough if not impossible. I didn’t want to push him so I went back to the camp and around 10:30, my dad and uncle joined me to begin the search,” he said. “After going nearly a half mile and just before hitting the water, we found my buck.”
The big deer tipped the scales at 200 pounds, and sported a wide 20 ½-inch rack with eight symmetrical points and two kickers. While all features of the rack were impressive, the bases were an astounding 7 ¼ inches each, and the big buck — estimated at 5 ½ years old — rough-scored 163 ⅜ inches of bone.
Click here to read other big-buck stories from the 2018-19 season.