Rickey Brewer has been chasing his “white whale” throughout the 15,000 acres of the Red River Army Depot, nestled outside of Texarkana in East Texas for the last three years. It was no ordinary pursuit. Brewer was chasing a magnificent non-typical whitetail.
Last October, Brewer found himself within bow range of the mighty buck but crushingly was denied a clear shot.
This year, he decided it was his daughter’s turn. What followed was a thrilling hunt that may soon etch both their names into the Texas hunting record books.
A Whitetail Worth the Wait
Brewer has been watching the buck on trail cameras for years. He’s a seasoned hunter who’s worked on the base for years. The day they bagged the buck, the weather was drizzling rain, and cold. But Brewer knew the buck was there. So he and his daughter went to the stand in the early afternoon in the middle of a thunderstorm.
But the gloomy weather didn’t faze Rickey’s 14-year-old daughter, Reili. She bravely climbed the ladder stand while her father remained on the ground. Their chosen spot was dropping acorns, making it an absolute whitetail magnet. Rickey tried to lure the monstrous buck with blind grunts and rattles.
An Unyielding Resolve
Part of the reason they were able to be so patient was they both knew they were in a relatively unpressured hunting zone. While Texas’ youth season was still in full swing, access to the Red River Army Depot was restricted. The depot was only open to hunting for military personnel, veterans, base employees, law enforcement officers, teachers, and service officials.
Brewer was also confident in their chosen location because the buck had been captured on trail cameras during daylight hours in the days leading up to their hunt. The hardwood bottom they had chosen to post up in was rich in forage and cover, providing the perfect conditions.
All that was left was for the buck to show his antlers.
The Moment of Truth
The clock ticked away. Finally, at 6:20 PM, Rickey retreated to his truck to warm up while Reili kept vigil outside in his rain gear. Neither of them knew that destiny was about to unfold in a matter of minutes. In fact, Rickey hadn’t been in his truck for five minutes when he heard the shot. She called him from outside, shouting “Daddy, I shot the big one!'”
He raced back to the stand in the pouring rain. But the sheer excitement in Reili’s voice made it all worth it.
Using impeccable aim, Reili fired her bolt-action Savage rifle chambered for .350 Legend, striking the buck from a distance of 40 yards. The buck dropped within a few feet.
Celebrating an Enormous Achievement
The pair field-dressed the buck, then reached out to the base’s hunt coordinator, who arrived in his truck to help retrieve the magnificent animal from the muddy woods. At the end of the day, this colossal whitetail tipped the scales at 160 pounds fully dressed.
The awe-inspiring non-typical rack boasted 31 points, 29 of which were scorable. The Brewers’ taxidermist awarded the buck a preliminary green score of 238 1/8 inches. If these numbers are able to withstand the 60-day drying period, Texas record books will have a new champion – absolutely shattering the current Texas youth record of 209 inches.
The Brewers’ incredible hunting adventure is more than just a beautiful story for their family to share for generations to come. It’s also going to be one for the record books.