U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- When Cheri Hildebrandt from Rochelle, Louisiana, got a brand-new .270 rifle for a wedding present and a Christmas present of a holiday deer hunt to Giles Island, she never thought that a wedding present and Christmas gift would create an outdoor memory of a lifetime.
Giles Island is an island in the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi, that’s managed for deer and turkeys. Cheri’s new husband Brad had hunted at Giles Island 15-times before and had told her about the great hunts there. He had seen numerous bucks too small to harvest, and the big bucks he spotted either never came to within range or never stepped out to feed where he could get a legal shot with his rifle, Cheri kept hearing Brad’s stories about big deer, great food and wonderful hunting experiences at Giles Island.
Brad and Cheri planned to arrive December 26, 2015. In the middle of the day, they met their guide, Barry Blostin, and then went to a stand. The Mississippi River had come up and pushed out near the green field they would be hunting that afternoon. The temperature was in the 90s, which often occurred in December in Mississippi. The guide was there to ensure that the Hildebrandts harvested only a trophy buck or a cull buck, and the guide would decide the buck’s designation. He was also responsible for grunting and rattling if necessary to cause a deer to stop, if the Hildebrandts saw a buck they could take. On the way to the stand, the threesome spooked a young doe on the green field feeding. After what it seemed to be a long time, deer started filtering into the field – does at first and then young bucks. About 4:00 pm, Blostin whispered, “I think I see that nice buck I spotted a couple of weeks ago, and he’s moving to us.”
Cheri picked up binoculars and later said, “As soon as I saw that buck, I was unable to breathe.” The buck was coming from about 500 yards away, Cheri had her .270 resting on the side of the shooting house, and as the buck got closer, she prepared to take a shoot. “However, once the buck was 100 yards away, a younger buck stepped in front of him, and I couldn’t shoot,” Cheri remembers. Blostin told Cheri quietly, “When the big buck stops, take the shot.”
Brad Hildebrandt’s position in the shooting house was such that he couldn’t see the deer Cheri was about to shoot. He crawled on his hands and knees to get behind Blostin and Cheri and ended up behind Cheri where he could watch her take the shot at the trophy buck. “The buck was broadside to me, and when he turned his head to look, I put my sight behind his front shoulder and squeezed the trigger,” Cheri reports.
The buck kicked, ran about 50 yards and fell over dead in the food plot. Quickly bolting the rifle, Cheri prepared to take a follow-up shot. “I thought to myself, ‘This isn’t really happening,” Cheri said “I’m just dreaming. That buck will jump up and run off, or I’m going to wake up, and this dream will be over.”
The threesome sat in the shooting house until dark before climbing down and walking out across the green field to the buck. Once Cheri got close to the buck, she was speechless. “My buck was huge, and my hand barely could fit around the base of the buck’s antlers,” Cheri emphasizes. “We made a few pictures in the field, and the buck was loaded in to the truck. I knew I’d just killed the biggest buck I’d ever seen and probably the biggest buck I ever would see.”
When the hunters got the huge buck back to the lodge and hung him up in the skinning shed, all the people there, including Brad and Cheri Hildebrandt and Barry Blostin, would go by the cooler, open the door and look at the buck – just to make sure he was still as big as they thought. Cheri’s buck was the biggest buck deer taken on that hunt and the second biggest buck and the biggest typical buck ever taken on the Giles Island. The 5-1/2 year old buck weighed 225 pounds. Giles Island is having a replica made of Cheri’s buck and his antlers. As Cheri Hildebrandt mentions, “I totally understand that this was a buck of lifetime, the hunt of a lifetime and a wedding present my (.270) and a Christmas present (the hunt at Giles Island) that I’ll never forget, and neither will my husband.”
- BTR Score – Buckmasters’ Composite Score – Number of Inches: 185-3/8
- Official Buckmasters’ Score: 162-3/8 (doesn’t include inside spread of main beams)
This is an excerpt from John E. Phillips newest book “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks”. Click here http://johninthewild.com/books/#deer to get more info about this deer hunting book and other deer hunting books by John E. Phillips.