When Ventress, Louisiana native Phil Major got trail camera pictures of a freakishly enormous buck over the summer, he had a good idea the animal was bedding on or near his small tract property in Pointe Coupee Parish. But there’s only one problem with having such small acreage: deer like to leave it, and this buck was no exception. He was a sensation in the local community, and at the top of all the landowner’s hit lists.
Phil held the trump card, however. Every spring for the past several seasons, the hunter would bushhog his fields and then let them re-grow, allowing ample food and bedding cover for whitetails to hide on his property year round. “He was all over the place,” said Major. “I knew numerous people with trail cam pics of him.” With the rut getting into full-swing, killing this buck was at the top of Phil’s wish list, and on Christmas Eve morning, Santa delivered!
Major was hunting a box stand on the back corner of is 45 acre parcel of property on the morning of December 24, 2013 with his 6-year-old son, Parker. Cut lanes traversed the grown-up fields he lets regrow each spring, and Phil and Parker sat hoping to intercept deer coming from the local sweet pecan orchards back to bed near their stand.
Around 8:00AM, little Parker woke up to stretch his legs. Not long thereafter, noise on the neighboring property send the Phil into full alert. “A four-wheeler nearby started up, and I immediately got ready. I was expecting deer to come from the sound out of the woods and work their way into the grass field, but that’s not what happened at all,” said Phil.
As the ATV’s sound faded off into the distance, Phil caught movement in the grass field out in front of him. Surprisingly, a doe was making her way out of the grass and towards the woods where the four-wheeler had just left. Having not taken a deer all season, Phil told little Parker to look on as he prepared to shoot the doe, when all of the sudden, antlers caught his attention. Without batting an eye, Phil knew exactly what buck he was looking at. “He was running that doe, and I didn’t really have time to get nervous,” recounted Phil. “He was moving fast and I had to shoot quick.”
The first shot from Major’s .300 WSM failed to slow the buck down in his pursuit of the doe. “He took off like he wasn’t touched,” said Phil. A quick followup shot failed to alter the buck’s course as he entered the woods out of sight, still running the doe.
After a fifteen minute wait, Phil couldn’t take it anymore, and asked Parker to guard the stand while he went to investigate. “I found a little bit of blood at the site of the first shot, and then went back to get Parker to be there for the blood trailing,” noted Phil. When the pair returned, the eager father noticed a tree covered in blood in the distance. A couple of steps later, and they both glimpsed the white belly shining.
The enormously palmated rack was holding the buck’s head up as he laid forty yards into the woods. As they approached the giant, little Parker’s excitement could not be contained. “Booyahhh!!!” he yelled, as Phil counted the points, ecstatic he was able to share in such a glorious moment with his young son.
The giant buck was later rough scored at 194” inches, but admittedly, the extreme mass and palmation made getting accurate measurements very difficult. “He could easily gross over 200 B&C inches once a professional scorer gets his hands on him,” admitted Phil. The nontypical’s antlers enveloped 21 inches of width (outside spread), with an inside spread resting comfortably at 18 inches. “He has somewhere between 18 and 21 points, depending on how you look at him,” laughed Phil. “There’s antler everywhere.”
Christmas came early in Point Coupee Parish for Phil Major, but above all the hoopla around him killing a buck that’s become a thing of legend throughout the Ventress community, Phil is most thankful for sharing in the moment with his young son Parker, who just started making hunts with his father this year. “I bring him every chance I get,” acknowledged Phil. “Just thinking about how his eyes lit up when we walked up on that buck is a moment I’ll cherish forever. He’s still running around fist-pumping the air and yelling ‘Booyahh’,” laughed the proud father.
From us here at Bayou Bucks, MERRY CHRISTMAS Phil!!!! And to all of our friends and readers: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!