posted on January 30, 2012 08:33
By Mike Handley
Soon after Terry Poland and his 12-year-old son, Joshua, scaled the double ladder stand in Corcordia Parish, La., the kid began thinking out loud.
"Daddy, any bucks I kill from now on (he'd taken seven or eight deer in the four years leading up to then), I want a skull mount. I think those look cool," he said.
"Sure, son," Terry agreed.
Before the sun set, Joshua forgot all about the coolness of skull mounts.
The Polands were hunting the same club where, as a guest, Joshua shot his first doe when he was 8 years old. Terry had joined the club in 2011, mainly because it's only an hour's drive from their home near Delhi. Plus, they attend church with a longtime member.
That was their first time to hunt together this season, and they hadn't been in the stand long when a buck knifed through the palmettos on the other side of a cypress brake they were watching. After staring at it for a long time, Terry finally decided it was at least an 8-pointer, which is the club's minimum, and told Joshua he could shoot it.
Finding it in the palmettos afterward took awhile, but when they did, they were amazed. What both guys had figured for a barely legal 8-pointer had morphed into a 200-plus-incher.
"We had no idea ... none ... that the buck was this big," Terry said. "I thought it was an 8- or 10-pointer, probably 140 or 145 inches."
The Polands might have been new faces in the club, but the deer was no stranger to some of its members. Two hunters had trail cam photos of the strange buck; one even had video footage. Another hunter had passed up the deer earlier because he just couldn't verify that it was an 8-pointer until it was too late.
Joshua is a sixth-grader at Family Community Christian School near Winnsboro, La.
Dates to Remember
March 16-18: If you're interested in becoming a Buckmasters scorer, the next measuring class will be held during Circle M Auctions' 11th Annual Whitetail Classic Sport Show and Antler Auction in Dubuque, Iowa's Grand River Center. You'll have to pre-register for the class. This rare opportunity aside, the show attracts truckloads of antlers and serious collectors. For information about the class and to download the pre-registration forms, click HERE.