Texas has a handfull of gigantic white-tailed bucks harvested each year. The number of truly impressive bucks taken by bowhunters makes up a small amount of those big deer, but archers do get a few. While most hunters are trying or preparing to get their buck this season, TPWD Game Warden Eric Minter is all smiles. That’s because this past week the Kaufman County warden found himself as the lucky hunter staring down the buck of a lifetime! Yes indeed, Minter put his own tag on a whopper 27-point non-typical buck!
The buck has not been scored, but the multi-tined monster should score well above the 200-inch mark on the non-typical side of the scoring sheet. “I’ve been kind of leery of telling everybody just yet because I don’t know what he scores and I don’t want to guess and it be a lot lower or higher than I expected,” Minter said. “But this is unbelievable.”
By the way, it is possible that the Minter buck could potentially challenge the existing Pope & Young Club state record non-typical in Texas, a 225 7/8 inch buck taken by bowhunter Jeffery L. Duncan on the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge back in 2001. Not bad at all for Minter’s first bow buck.
“I started bowhunting probably six years ago,” Minter said. “My thinking was that bow season would give me another 30 days in the woods to deer hunt. (But) I never dreamed I would do anything like this with my bow. There are pluses and minuses to working and hunting in the same county,” Minter said. “ I can go to my lease at just about any time, but I can also get called out just about anytime. I might have an off-day and think today is perfect and I’m going to hunt, but then I can get in my stand and be there for 30 minutes and hear a shot in a direction where there shouldn’t be a shot and off I’ve got to go (to check things out).”
Despite getting to his modest sized lease a few minutes later than he wanted to this past Monday, Oct. 21, Minter had plenty to anticipate thanks to deer movement he, his lease members, and neighboring property owners had observed over the previous weekend. So he got into his stand before sunrise. Less than a half-hour later, however, things got much more serious as Minter looked up to see a large bodied buck cruising the edge of a thick line of timber leading towards the open oak flat he was overlooking.
“He came back into the opening and came right up (towards my stand) at about 30 yards,” Minter said. “The sun still hadn’t really cleared the tops of the trees yet so it was still kind of dark under the tree canopy. All I could make out was that he had two drop tines and that he was wide. I had some trees marked at 20, 30, and 40 yards and he was the exact distance as my 30 yard tree so I put my 30 yard pin on him, tried not to look at the antlers anymore, and let it go.”
“I had never felt that much emotion deer hunting,” he said of claiming his big-antlered prize. “I never dreamed that I would get a buck of that quality – that’s always something that happens for the other guys.”