By Mike Giles
The Meridian Star
An unexpected phone call from Quitman taxidermist, Jay Belcher, yielded one of the most significant deer hunting stories that I’ve ever been privy to. Belcher related the unusual circumstances of the story and put me in touch with the successful young hunter.
If not for a tragic fall by his dad, Jerry, Holloman might never have seen this buck let alone harvested it.
Our story begins the day before the buck kill.
Joseph Holloman and his father, Jerry Holloman, were hunting together near Yazoo City when events took a turn for the worse. “I set up a stick ladder stand in a good location before we started our hunt,” said Joseph Holloman. “And that morning dad went to the stand.”
Jerry Holloman neared the top of his elevated stand and took one last step up when something went terribly wrong and his foot slipped and the unthinkable happened. Holloman slipped off the stick ladder and plummeted to the ground, slamming the earth so hard that it broke bones and sent him into excruciating pain. Thankfully a cell phone helped with the recovery.
Unable to get in touch with his son, Holloman called Chuck Perry, the lodge owner at Perry Farms where they were staying, and told him his predicament and Perry quickly made the call and help was on the way.
After getting a voice mail message Holloman went to his dad as quickly as he could and found him in stable but poor condition. Jerry Holloman had fallen at six a. m. and it was now seven a. m. and things weren’t looking good.
As soon as they got Mr. Holloman out of the woods he was rushed to a Jackson hospital and admitted for treatment.
“I just didn’t have it in me to hunt anymore on this draw hunt after what happened to Dad,” said Joseph. “I told Dad that I didn’t feel like hunting anymore and he wasn’t too pleased,” said Holloman. Jerry had other ideas.
“Son there isn’t a thing in the world you can do for me,” said Jerry. “Go back down there and kill a deer for me.” Joseph just didn’t have it in his heart to hunt anymore so he planned to meet the other hunters and pack up and go home, right after getting his dad’s stand from the woods. Arriving back at the lodge Holloman told the other hunters of his plans.
“I’m going to go back to Dad’s stand and hunt until eight and then bring his stand out and go home,” said Holloman. The next morning Holloman was in the stand before light and ready to get the hunt over with.
The next morning things heated up very quickly.
“At seven I caught movement in front of me in the thick cover,” Holloman said. “I could see something on his head but I couldn’t see his dark colored horns. When he hit an opening I grunted and he stopped behind something and I couldn’t shoot,” Holloman continued. “The buck took off and I grunted again when he came to another opening and he hit the second opening I shot and smoke went everywhere and the deer disappeared.”
“I heard a crash off to my right, and since I couldn’t find any blood I walked in that direction and found him lying there. I went out there thinking I’d shot a 130 class deer and I walked up on a 180,” said the astonished hunter. “It happened so fast and I saw he was a shooter and I never looked at the horns again.”
The massive buck sported 10 points and had a 20 and three quarter inch inside spread, 25.5 inch main beams and gross scored 180 Boone and Crockett. “I’m still in shock; it’s the biggest deer I’ve ever killed, especially on public land,” said Holloman. “Daddy’s tickled to death and just wanted to hold them,” he said. “I’ve got four on the wall but none even approaching the massive size of this one.”
While the events that led to the harvest of this trophy buck were very unfortunate and traumatic, the end result was a triumphant ending to a near tragic circumstance. Though it will be a slow healing process for Jerry Holloman, the story ended on a positive note with the harvest of the buck of a lifetime for his son!
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at email@example.com