Yeah... That's what I said too when I got the text and first laid eyes on the brute taken by LABH Contributor Harmon Carson, of Northwest LA. He sent me trail cam photos of this buck he calls "Jacob" back in the summer months. I'll be honest, I thought to myself, "That buck didn't get big by being stupid." I was probably right. But I underestimated the prowess, and persistence of the "Bayou Bowhunter". This man is relentless. Just back from a grueling Colorado mule deer hunt where he scored on a gorgeous velvet buck, he comes home and continues the onslaught of his local hog herd, and then brings home the #1 buck on his hit list. After showing me a video and asking about a questionable hit he decided to let the buck lay overnight. A restless miserable night brought forth an even more grueling day that would require over 5 hours of tracking with 2 different dogs; only to find the buck still alive. Harmon had to dispatch the deer with one final arm lifting, God praising shot that put Jacob to rest and began the journey that comes along with shooting a truly MASSIVE Pope & Young Buck in a state that is not necessarily known for bucks of this caliber.
Harmon hunts with a 54# Hoyt Buffalo Recurve and full length Black Eagle Deep Impact arrows tipped with Simmons Tiger Shark Broadheads. He exclusively uses HCB Strings, out of Monroe, LA.
The Carson buck unofficially scores 173 7/8"gross. The bases were both 5 2/8" inches circumferences. It boasted an inside spread of 17 4/8" and main beams measuring 25" and 24 4/8". Maybe most impressive was the right G3 measuring 13 4/8".
"This was my second chance at this particular buck. I actually shot him last year! It was pretty dark and my arrow deflected off of a limb and ended up sticking him in the back right leg last December. I trailed him for 2 days thinking I had gut shot him. I was disgusted at the thought of wounding an animal, or even worse killing one and not being able to find it. Much to my relief, 3 days later, I got a picture of him checking a scrape. I successfully relocated him in March of this year; watching him shed his velvet on September 4. He disappeared after that and reappeared last Friday", recalled Carson.
"I set up hunting over acorns on the edge of a swamp. I sat near where a couple of trails come together that he had consistently used during the summer months. I had only been in the stand 30 minutes or so when the action started. A little 5 point walked out of the thicket directly towards me. I recognized him immediately as one of the bucks I had pictures of with "Jacob." I heard a long deep grunt as I began messing with my camera trying to clean off disk space. I looked up and there he was. Head down, stomping with authority towards the over-cup acorns. I was focused on Jacob at this point and completely forgot about the 5 point. Sure enough, the little guy busted me. After a few minutes of the head bob routine from the young buck he calmed down and commenced eating. Jacob worked his way into 26 yards. He stepped behind a cypress tree allowing me to draw. When he eventually came out from the tree I only had a small window before he walked behind more brush. I rushed the shot. I hit further back than I wanted. Once I got down and found obvious liver blood I backed out. I came back 3 hours later to begin the search. After 100 yards of trailing we stumbled upon a bed full of blood. I knew then I had to back out for the night and come back with a dog. It took 2 dogs infact. Finally rhe bark I'd been praying for. I started running." The rest is history!
Harmon asked to leave you with one last word:
"Details make the masterpiece. When you pay attention to the details, the masterpiece will paint itself! When you're gun hunting, details don't matter as much. That's why I'm a Traditional Bowhunter."
After deductions from the unofficial gross score this buck will be firmly placed high within the all-time LA Archery Record book.
- Justin Lanclos LABH
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