April 30, 2021
Four years ago, images of a good buck began appearing on Brennan Morris' cameras. In 2017, Brennan, and the other hunters in his group, estimated the buck to be 3 1/2 years old. The buck was a 6-pointer that looked like he had potential to be special for the following season.
“Something happened that caused us to hold off on trying for him in 2018,” Brennan notes. “The buck had broken off both main beams and had only one long brow tine. The buck's distinct, short tail let us know it was the one from a year ago, and we weren’t going to target him with such a messed up rack.
“As the 2019 season approached, we excitedly thought the buck would be a definite shooter that year. It was not to be, however, because he showed up as a 6-pointer again, and this time with only a cow horn spike antler on one side!” Brennan continues.
When the 2020 deer season finally arrived, Brennan and his friends were anxious to see what the odd whitetail would become. Covert cameras continued in operation, while feed and minerals were in place.
“One Sunday night, I was lying in bed when my phone pinged,” Brennan remembers. “I clicked on it, and there was an image of this unbelievable buck. The camera showed the buck was near the 20-foot ladder stand that belonged to another member of our group. I called and told him it looks like a state record deer is around his stand, and he thought I was kidding.”
On Thursday morning, November 5, Brennan decided to hold off on his plowing duties for a while. Instead, he decided to spend a couple of hours on the stand before going to work.
“I had been running a tractor all week, and since nobody else was planning to hunt that morning, I decided to give it a try,” Brennan recounts. “I like to bowhunt, but I hadn’t been able to practice. So I borrowed a friend’s crossbow. It was a good one, a Raven, but I was not familiar with it.”
When I got on the stand before daylight, I realized I had forgotten to cock the crossbow before getting in the stand,” laughs Brennan. “I had to do that, and it was pretty noisy. Then when I tried to put a bolt in it, it bumped a limb, and I dropped it. It clanged on steps all the way to the ground. That left me with only one bolt, but I doubted I’d need it after making all that noise.”
As he sat on stand, Brennan heard a deer walking in the palmettos behind him. Then, the deer suddenly stopped. Brennan assumed the deer had winded him, and he cautiously looked down in the direction of the sound.
When Brenan glanced down, he spotted the monster buck standing behind some brush only 20 yards away. The hunter pivoted around in order to have a shot as soon as the buck stepped out of the thicket.
“When the buck stepped out, I got the scope on him and got ready to shoot,” says Brennan. “I hit the trigger, and it clicked! I had forgotten to press the safety. I couldn’t believe the buck was still standing there giving me another chance, but I hit the trigger again. This time, the bow fired. I felt like I had made a good shot. He ran about 75 yards, and then I heard him crash.
“I called my brother and then a friend, and I was so totally shook up that I had to hang up on the friend because I was about to get sick!” Brennan exclaims. “And then I did.”
After the mandatory 60-day drying period had elapsed, Brennan’s buck was officially scored for the Boone & Crockett record book. The buck’s incredible non-typical rack sports 42 scorable points, which tally to an astounding net score of 275 5/8. The rack contains an incredible 133 3/8 inches of abnormal antler.
Before Brennan’s buck was taken, the Louisiana state record non-typical whitetail taken by crossbow scored 186 1/8. Also significant is that the state’s all-time non-typical record for bucks taken by any method is 281 6/8. That record buck was downed by rifle hunter James McMurray in 1994. Pending an official panel measurement by Boone & Crocket, this would make the Morris buck not only the state’s leader by crossbow, but also the second biggest all-time non-typical.
Stay tuned for more details about this southern, non-typical buck in the July issue of North American Whitetail magazine. There you’ll find a more in-depth recount of the hunt, complete scoring information and more photos of the buck. Subscribe now!