By Lewis "Bubba" Bloxom Jr.
Photo Courtesy of: Lewis "Bubba" Bloxom Jr.
While on my way to work in mid-May of 2005, I saw a buck with strange antlers run out of a scope of woods across a field. I'd never seen anything like it. The still-blossoming rack had main beams growing out sideways, about 8 inches long, and they were 5 or 6 inches thick.
The first week of August, I decided to put out some corn and a trail camera in hopes of photographing that buck - to see just how big it had grown. I also wanted to know if a big 10-pointer that a friend of mine had seen the previous year was still in the same area.
After developing two rolls of film, however, all I had to show for my trouble were photos of a 3-pointer and some raccoons. That prompted me to move the setup to another spot about a quarter-mile from where I originally saw the thick-beamed buck.
I left my camera out for about two weeks before taking the film to be developed. When I went to pick up the pictures, the man who developed them said he had never seen one with "that much stuff" on its head. I tore into the envelope. My heart raced, and I couldn't speak. Sure enough, the buck was there, and it had packed on a lot more antler.
"Bubba" Bloxom of Frierson, La., became a huge fan of trail cameras in 2005. He retrieved dozens of photographs of this palmated stud before he shot it on Nov. 21 - almost a week after he got the first daytime picture of it. Photo Courtesy of: Lewis "Bubba" Bloxom Jr.
I never thought I'd see anything like that around here.
I kept putting film in my camera. Every four or five days, I was getting 24 pictures, half of them containing shots of the big guy with the palmated rack.
I was so excited that I bought a digital camera so I could download the pictures straight onto my computer. I was getting between 70 and 90 pictures a week of not only this dude, but also of several other nice bucks, including a whopper of a 9-pointer and a 14-pointer. Every picture of the big buck was taken at night between August and Nov. 2.
The first daytime picture of him was snapped about 11 a.m. on Nov. 14; the second was on Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. It was time.
I hunted for three days and saw nothing. On the fourth, a front was supposed to blow in about 11 a.m. I saw two little does about 7:00. Two hours later, the wind started blowing hard, and the temperature began plummeting. The front arrived much sooner than expected.
Around 10:30, a nice 6- and a small 8-pointer passed through, followed a few minutes later by the big 9-pointer. It was hard not to shoot that buck, but I was gunning for one much bigger.
The 9-pointer picked up the trail of the does I saw earlier. They'd gone to my right, downwind, and winded me.
Waiting for the buck to catch my scent, I dropped my head. When I looked up again, I was staring at the palmated giant. It was standing where the 9-pointer had originally appeared, and it was looking right at me.
We stared at each other for about 30 seconds, though it seemed much longer.
When the buck turned its head and an ear went back, I knew that it was about to leave in a hurry. It might've been 175 yards away, but it knew trouble was afoot.
As if I were throwing a sucker punch, I came up fast, put the crosshairs on it and fired.
After the buck ran off, I sat down and hoped for the best. A couple of minutes later, I rose, walked over and found blood. Fifty yards away was the reward for my not shooting the 9-pointer that most sane hunters would've drilled instantly.
Hunter: Lewis "Bubba" Bloxom Jr.
Official Score: 205 3/8"
Composite Score: 226 3/8"
-- Reprinted from the September 2007 issue of Buckmasters RACK Magazine