GILES: Andrew Hart kills buck of a lifetime

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Former Collinsville resident Andrew Hart harvested this 10-point buck that scored 172 7/8 near Belzoni this season. The 225-pound buck had a rocking-chair rack with an 18.25-inch inside spread.

Andrew Hart and his hunting friends located a trophy buck in December of 2019 near Belzoni. Hart had an opportunity to shoot the buck late on Dec. 28, but he’d just returned from a Texas hunting trip where he harvested several deer.

As a result, he was tired and passed on the buck he’d have normally have shot. Hart estimated that the buck would score 150. Some of his hunting partners thought he was pulling their leg or crazy for passing if he wasn’t. Unfortunately for his hunting partners, the river flooded and stayed up through the rest of the season, and the season came to an early end as a result.

“After the water went back down, we went back in and got the camera, and there were several pictures of the buck coming by with water up to his chest,” Hart said. “We followed him on camera last summer and fall. He was running with another 150-inch buck during the early fall, and my son Cory spotted the smaller buck on opening day of the season. After he watched the smaller buck about 20 minutes, Cory shot him, thinking the hit-list buck wasn’t going to show. That buck scored 154 inches and was a great bow buck.

“We planted about 30 acres of corn, 20 acres of beans and left for the deer, and they were really working on it,” Hart said. “So it was no surprise when Cory killed the 154-inch buck on opening day of bow season last fall.”

By now they estimated that the older buck was in the 170s, and they were all hunting hard for a glimpse of him, and they weren’t disappointed. The buck was working one core area, and several of the hunters saw him pass through one of the lanes near a stand, but they could never get a good shot, as he was moving too fast.

One afternoon another hunter saw the buck come through the lane too fast for her to get a shot, but they were confident somebody was going to get a crack at him because he was coming through there too frequently.

“Cory got in the stand the next day and hunted from 5:30 until 9 a.m., and the deer crossed a lane and went into a thicket between the lanes but never came out the other side,” Hart said. “At 1:30 another hunter came back and got in that stand, and Cory got down and went to another stand.”

When Hart arrived that afternoon, he went to the north side of the property to give the others some space.

“I got on my stand and had some does come out and feed in the field,” Hart said. “About 4:30 a big deer came into the lane about 120 yards to my left and started walking towards the other deer coming in my direction, and I looked at him and then put the binoculars down and shouldered my gun and put the crosshairs right behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger just as he turned to go into the woods.”

“Pow-whap!” The buck jumped at the shot and disappeared out of the lane. Hart left the deer alone and went back to camp for a little while and then came back with the others to look for the buck.

“The buck only went about 40 yards after I shot him, but I just wanted to be sure that he was mortally wounded before going in after him,” Hart said. “He had 10 scoreable points.”

As it turned out he’d made a killing shot on a trophy buck that green scored 172 7/8. Though there had been no guarantee that he’d ever see the deer again when he passed on him last year, by doing that the buck grew into quite a trophy and achieved the rare status of exceeding 170 B&C points for a Mississippi kill.

Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email

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