Deer of the Day: Eric Barrett's 183-Inch Indiana Buck

eric_barrett_fHunter: Eric Barrett


Location: Brookville, Indiana

Gear: BowTech; Gold Tip arrows; G5 Montec; Scent-Lok clothing

Score: 183 inches


What's the deer hunter's greatest tool? Perseverance.


That was certainly the case for Eric Barrett during a 2011 bow hunt in Franklin County, Indiana.

It was the October archery season, and much like in every deer circle there were reports of giant bucks coming from all over. One in particular came from a joining farm that Barrett hunted. The landowner had several trail cam photos, and even a video of the buck in velvet. Rumors of the buck's 30-inch spread fermented in Barrett's mind.

His intrigue couldn't be extinguished, as is the case for many avid whitetail hunters. Intrigue bordered obsession as Barrett burned through gallon after gallon of gas and hour after hour in hopes of just catching a glimpse of the buck. But it was to no avail. Barrett had nothing on the giant.

His frustration soon turned to jubilation as he received texts from the landowner and his son saying the buck was either at a pond near his house or across the field, close to Barrett's stands.

He waited for the mercury to dip as a storm front was slated to move into the area on Oct. 26, causing temperatures to drop through the afternoon hours enough to get the deer moving.

Rushing home from work that afternoon, Barrett headed straight to his stand about 40 yards from a picked cornfield. A few does traipsed through on their way to feed. It wasn't long before the wind and action picked up. A grunt from the nearby hill caught Barrett's attention as the giant he'd been hearing all about was pursuing a doe.

Following the same trail as the doe, the giant stopped in a spot that gave Barrett a clear 25-yard broadside shot. He drew back on his BowTech bow and settled the pin on his Copper John sight behind the buck's shoulder and released the Gold Tip arrow with a G5 Montec broadhead.

Everything looked great at the shot as the buck kicked and took off through the trees. After gathering his thoughts, Barrett climbed down from his stand and found his arrow. It was a clean pass through but there were signs of the buck being gut shot on the arrow. With light quickly fading and not wanting to push his luck, Barrett exited the field to return the following day and pick up the blood trail. A sleepless night followed as a flood of emotions understandably went through him.

The following morning he picked up the trail with his brother. There wasn't much blood to track as the previous night's rain washed away most of it. However, it was only a 60-yard walk before they came upon the buck.

It turned out that the rumors about this deer were pretty much dead-on. The inside spread measured 27 1/2 inches, with 12 scorable points. At 183 inches, this was by far the largest buck Barrett had ever killed.

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