posted on November 21, 2011 06:55
By Mike Handley
The latest golden oldie to come to my attention (thanks to fellow antler-holic Greg Hicks) is hanging in Louisiana. It's actually one of several Greg unearthed while asking the right questions in Union Parish, but this one is a state record.
It took only 46 years for John Preaus' whitetail to be recognized as such.
Bill Breed knew long before that. There was no way his friend John's buck was a 150-incher.
When initially measured under Boone and Crockett guidelines, the picket-fence rack grossed 177. Twenty-seven inches of deductions knocked it down to 150, far below the B&C record book's minimum.
Not making the grade wasn't a big deal to John, though shooting it was. Numbers on a scoresheet didn't make his first deer any less impressive.
But Bill never stopped nagging him until, finally, John let him take the old mount to a Quality Deer Management Association seminar in West Monroe in May 2011.
"Bill called and said, 'John, your deer just grossed more than 200 inches as a Typical.' I really couldn't believe it," John said. "The first guy who scored it must've made a wrong calculation, which is why I never bothered pursuing an official score.
"Bill has been telling me for years that there's no way that deer doesn't score better than 150," John added.Of course, numbers beyond point count and weight meant very little to rank-and-file deer hunters back in 1965, the year John shot the buck. He was 16 at the time, and he'd never even seen one until that day (Nov. 27).
He and his brother were part of a dog drive.
"Everybody ran dogs back then. That was the only way we knew how to hunt deer," he said. "Daddy had gotten us in the Cherry Ridge Hunting Club that year. Mr. D.R. Mullins put us -- me and my brother, Joe -- on a stand early that morning, near a pipeline up on the Loutre. I honestly had no idea where I was. Mr. Mullins took us back there and said ‘Stand here,' so we did.
"When the dogs jumped, I sort of looked over to where Joe was standing. He was acting like he'd seen something. He took his gun off his shoulder, went to one knee, and took aim. Something was coming.
"I was probably 150 yards from Joe, so I got ready, too. All of a sudden, I saw this doe and a buck coming at me, together, just sort of loping through the woods," John continued.
"They were running along that pipeline, but when the buck came to a road, it turned and came right toward me. Well, when it leapt over a brush top beside me, I had a scope full of deer, and I shot," he said.
Fourteen of the rack's 15 points are typical, and that single irregular addition is a mere 1 1/8 inches. The official BTR score is 182 4/8, and the composite score (including the inside spread) is 201.
The full story by Greg Hicks includes even more colorful details. It'll appear in a future edition of Rack magazine.