Editor’s Note: Hank Parker is the host of three television shows, “Hank Parker 3D” on the Pursuit Channel, “Hank Parker’s Flesh and Blood” on the Outdoor Channel and the “Hank Parker Outdoor Magazine” fishing show on the Pursuit Channel and NBC Sports Network. Parker won the Bassmaster Classic in 1979 and 1989 and is an avid outdoorsman.
I’ve taken numbers of really-big and cool-looking deer when I’ve been wearing Mossy Oak camouflage. One of my greatest thrills occurred during the 2012 deer season, when I was hunting in Texas. I had spent 8 days hunting a big, tall-racked, 160-inch, 8-point buck. He had 16-inch G2 points. His main beams turned-up, so they almost looked like G4 points. He didn’t show up until the eighth and final day of the hunt. I closed my TV show by saying, “We had some great encounters with some really-nice deer. We were being picky and passed up some really-nice deer that we could have taken. They would’ve made a great TV show and been real trophies, but we wanted to take this 8 point, and the hunt just didn’t pan-out that way.
My cameraman Jason Styler and I loaded-up our gear and headed back to camp. As we were riding back to camp, I looked at Jason and asked, “Do you mind flying back to South Carolina wearing camouflage in the morning?” Jason answered, “No, that won’t bother me.” I said, “I think we can hunt for 45 minutes in the morning, before we have to go to the airport. I’m having a hard time giving up on this big 8-point.” With a little frown, Jason said, “Hank, we’ve hunted this buck for 8 days and haven’t taken him. Why do you think if we hunt an extra 45 minutes, that buck will show up?” I knew he had a logical argument, but I said, “There’s one blind right by the camp we haven’t used the entire time we’ve been hunting this deer. We can get-up in the morning, before daylight, and sit there for 45 minutes after daylight. If the buck doesn’t show-up in that 45 minutes, we’ll get out of the blind, grab our gear, drive to the airport and go home in our Mossy Oak camouflage.” Jason agreed to do it.
The next morning, we were in the blind as we planned. Just as daylight began to brighten-up the area, we saw the big 8-point coming. I came to full draw with my PSE bow and whispered to Jason, “When we have enough camera light, even if it’s marginal, give me a thumbs-up and I’ll take the shot.” We had put-out some new C’Mere Deer. That buck stayed within bow range eating that C’Mere Deer product. Just as the buck began to turn and leave, Jason gave me the thumbs-up. I settled the pin on my PSE bow behind the deer’s front shoulder. I heard my Swhacker broadhead hit the buck, and he didn’t go far before we recovered him. I believe this was one of the greatest hunts I’ve ever had, because we had to work so hard to finally close the deal on this big 8-point buck.