February 06, 2023
By Cameron Coble
In the world of trophy whitetails, a 6-point buck isn’t usually the topic of discussion when referencing big bucks. However, one 6-point taken this past fall by Southern Illinois resident Eric Cox is an exception.
During late October of 2021, Eric was bowhunting when he had the giant 6-point at 50 yards, but it was too far and there was too much debris for him to confidently take an ethical shot. A full year went by without a trace of the giant six.
The day before the 2022 Illinois first gun season began, Eric’s wife saw the buck on her way home from work. “The rut was in full swing in our area,” Eric states. “And we knew he was still around and in the area.”
On opening day, which was Nov. 18, 2022, Eric was in his ladder stand waiting for daylight to break. The morning was slow for Eric, because all he saw was a few spike bucks and does. As the morning progressed, Eric caught sight of a lone doe working toward him.
“It all happened fast,” says Eric. “I looked behind the doe and here he emerged from the brushy thicket dogging her. At 40 yards I knew it was big deer, so I raised my Remington 1100 12 gauge with open sights and shot. The buck buckled at the shot, and he went around 45 yards before piling up.”
Eric knew the buck was down, so he climbed out of his stand to go look at the buck.
“As I got closer to the buck, and I saw him better, I then knew it was the big 6-point and there was definitely no ground shrinkage. I knew it was a big deer, but I wasn’t sure of any kind of record.”
After the mandatory 60-day drying period was over, official Boone and Crockett scorer Mike Lamb taped the Cox buck at an impressive 160 6/8 gross, and 158 0/8 net typical. The main beams measure 27 2/8 and 28 6/8, and the giant has an inside spread of 25 0/8 inches. With this entry score, the Cox buck edges out the Burt Eichstadt 6-point taken in 2006 from Wisconsin, which nets 155 4/8.
The Cox buck’s 158 0/8-inch net score is an official B&C entry score. Although B&C doesn’t have categories dedicated to deer with a specific number of points, if they accept the Cox buck’s entry score, it will be the largest-known 6-point taken by a hunter.