Lightning strikes twice for Delta hunter – Jackson Clarion Ledger
When Pittman Edwards harvested a buck gross-scoring more than 192 inches in mid-December, it was something only a small percentage of hunters have ever accomplished. So what were the odds of him harvesting another monster buck a week later? Apparently, pretty good.
The story began in the second week of December when Edwards’ headlights shined on a deer as he drove into camp. It was a huge main-frame 10-point and the following morning Edwards was in a stand near the field.
In the final days of the rut in the Northwest Delta, the buck was looking for the last few receptive does and as luck would have it, that put him in Edwards’ sight. Edwards had his bow at full draw as the deer passed 10 yards away. But the buck had one thing on its mind and wouldn’t stop. Edwards put down his bow, picked up his rifle and closed the deal.
The 10-point main-frame rack had two additional abnormal points. It had a 21 ½-inch spread, almost 28-inch main beams and 40 inches of mass. It grossed 192 ⅞ inches.
About a week later, Edwards found himself in a similar situation on a piece of family property in the Delta.
“I’ve been chasing this deer about three years,” Edwards said. “I had four years of pictures of him. My neighbors who farm to the north of me found sheds from two different years, too.”
After three years and only pictures and shed antlers to show, it didn’t seem likely Edwards would ever get a shot at the deer, but on Dec. 20, he went to a stand anyway.
“I’ve got about a 12-acre food plot planted in oats and rape,” Edwards said. “I always walk in on the bottom of a ditch because the banks are high and nothing can see me. I can just pop out 20 yards from the stand.”
He said trees along the ditch and nearby bayou create a travel lane for deer along the food plot and deer were using it that afternoon to enter the food plot. He wasn’t seeing any big bucks, but does and young bucks munching on rape and oats throughout the afternoon provided entertainment. Just as night came, however, his heart started to beat faster.
“Right before dark I heard him coming in the dry leaves,” Edwards said. “I could see his body. I could tell he was a big-bodied deer, but I couldn’t see his antlers.”
The buck lowered his head as he closed in and that’s when Edwards saw the antlers and realized it was the deer he’d hunted for three years.
“He was at 35 yards coming right to me,” Edwards said. “He crossed the ditch and came to my side.
“I had an opening about four-foot wide. When he got to the opening, I was at full draw.”
Edwards arrowed the deer. The buck ran into the food plot, circled back the way he came and crashed into the bayou. Edwards found pieces of his arrow and a good blood trail, but as he approached the bayou, he heard the deer get up and run about 20 yards.
“I just turned around and left,” Edwards said. “I got out of there.”
Edwards returned that night with tracking dogs and their handlers. They found the dead deer 75 yards from where Edwards jumped him.
The deer gross-scored 173 inches and Edwards said he expects it to net about 166 inches. The 9-point is almost 22 inches wide and has 27-inch main beams. He was aged by a biologist at 6 ½ years old. Edwards said his rack had declined since last year. But even though the buck wasn’t sporting quite the inches he had last year, he helped make a season that Edwards will likely never top.
“I never dreamed it would happen,” Edwards said. “To harvest one good deer in a season is great, but you wouldn’t think in 10 lifetimes you’d do something like this. It’s crazy.”
Contact Brian Broom at 601-961-7225 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow The Clarion-Ledger Outdoors on Facebook and @BrianBroom on Twitter.