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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Phillip Carter

By Mike Handley

Whenever two hunters share a stand, deer are twice as likely to see or smell danger, right?

You can count Phillip Carter and Roger Hill among the non-believers. The brothers-in-law weren't in the same stand, but they were sharing a tree when a state-record whitetail foolishly wandered too close.

And, no, the deer wasn't blind or in need of a decongestant.

These guys spent most of the 2012 season hunting a giant buck on a new piece of ground they were test-driving. But when they learned a neighbor shot it, they reluctantly refocused their attention on their shared 80-acre homestead.

Seeing two trail camera photographs of an even bigger buck in their back yard made them forget about the mount that could've been.

A week after gawking at those pictures, Phillip and Roger went out together on Dec. 30. They were aloft by 3:30.

Not quite a couple of hours later, Phillip hissed, "There he is!"

When the magnificent buck was at 50 yards, Phillip wanted to launch an arrow. But Roger convinced him to wait.

Sure enough, the 20-pointer came to within 25 yards, and that's when Phillip put a hole in it.

With an official score of 192 6/8 inches, the Benton County buck is a new Arkansas record (the composite tally is 208 4/8). Even more incredible than the score is the whitetail's age. Two different biologists say it was only 3 1/2 years old.

Rusty Johnson, the BTR's regional director for Arkansas and the man who taped the antlers, shares all the details in a story that'll appear in RACK magazine this fall.

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