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.

Recommended for You

Early Season

3 Types of Late-Summer Bucks & How to Hunt Them

Garrett Tucker

Here's how to crack the summer code.


The Best Summer Trail Camera Strategy

Tony J. Peterson

Good location is just part of the equation.


Choose the Right Load for Your Muzzleloader

Gordon Whittington - March 05, 2019

In blackpowder hunting, details always matter. Don't learn the hard way.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Deer Dog: Replicating Realistic Tracks

On this edition of "Deer Dog," Jeremy Moore discusses the role scent plays when it comes to tracking and how to incorporate it into your training.

Creating Warm-Season Food Plots

On this edition of "Deer Factory," Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan discuss tactics for establishing warm-season food plots.

North American Whitetail - South of the Border

Dr. James Kroll and Pat Hogan head south of the border in pursuit of whitetails in old Mexico.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories


The Best Arrows for Deer Hunting

Tony J. Peterson - June 10, 2019

Fill your quiver with the right ammo this season.

United States

Best Spots for Bowhunting Kentucky Trophy Bucks

Gordon Whittington - July 21, 2016

To hear many serious trophy bowhunters tell it, Kentucky must be a figment of someone's...

Trophy Bucks

BREAKING NEWS: Brewster's 320-5/8-Inch Non-Typical Buck Pending World Record Announced

Lynn Burkhead - January 10, 2019

After weeks of speculation, the official 60-day entry score for Luke Brewster's epic Illinois...

See More Stories

More Deer of the Day

Deer of the Day

James Edwards Buck: 211-Inch Ohio Reward

James Edwards - June 28, 2016

Everyone's heard the advice, "Don't put all of your eggs into one basket." In general I'm sure

Deer of the Day

Matt Portscheller Buck: 186-Inch Illinois Tank

Ron Willmore - July 12, 2016

Any serious deer hunter knows timing and location are everything. However, putting the two...

Deer of the Day

Ben Thibodeau's 189-Inch Millvale Monster

Joe Martino - October 25, 2016

You might think the state of Maine is loaded with giant whitetails. In reality, it

See More Deer of the Day

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.