High Schooler Tags Enormous East-Texas Buck That Should Set a New State Record

The 14-year old freshman shot the buck while hunting with her dad in the middle of a rainstorm
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high schooler east texas youth record buck
The giant non-typical had 29 scorable points. Courtesy Rickey Brewer

For three years, Rickey Brewer had hunted a true giant on the 15,000-acre Red River Army Depot near Texarkana in East Texas. He had the big non-typical in bow range last October, but never got a clear shot opportunity. So, this year, he put his daughter in position to kill the 31-point buck. With a green score of around 240 inches, it stands to set a new state record for the highest-scoring whitetail ever killed by a youth hunter.

“I’ve been watching that buck on trail cameras for years,” says Rickey, who works on the base and has hunted there since he was young. “That day with my daughter, the weather was terrible—drizzling rain, chilly. But I knew the buck was there. So, we went to the stand about 2 p.m. It was thundering.”

The weather on the afternoon of Oct. 29 didn’t bother Brewer’s 14-year-old daughter, Reili, who climbed into the ladder stand while her dad sat on the ground. The spot was in a hardwood bottom with plenty of oak trees dropping acorns, and Rickey blind grunted and rattled to try and draw the enormous buck into gun range.

high schooler east texas youth record buck
Reili Brewer with the giant, 31-point whitetail. Courtesy Rickey Brewer

“We rattled in four different bucks that day [Oct. 29], and Reili passed them all, holding out for the giant buck,” Rickey tells Outdoor Life. “She wasn’t going to shoot anything else.”

He was willing to wait on the buck partly because he knew they were in a relatively unpressured zone. It was still Texas’ youth season, and the Red River Army Depot has limited public access. (The only people allowed to hunt the army base are military personnel, veterans, base employees, policemen, teachers, and service officials.)

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Rickey also knew the buck was still in the area. He’d gotten trail cam photos of the buck during daytime in the few days leading up to their hunt, and the hardwood bottom offered plenty of forage and cover. All he had to do, apparently, was walk away. At 6:20 that evening, he decided to return to his truck to warm up since Reili was wearing his rain gear.

“I hadn’t been gone five minutes when I heard her shoot,” Rickey says. “Immediately she called me and was screaming and hollering, ‘Daddy, I shot the big one!’”

Rickey took off running 400 yards back to the stand as fast as he could.

“It was pouring rain, and I was soaking wet and cold when Dad left for his truck,” says Reili, a high school freshman. “A few minutes later I looked up and there was the buck, walking down a trail eating acorns. When he stepped behind a tree, I raised my rifle, put the crosshairs on his shoulder, and squeezed he trigger.”

high schooler east texas youth record buck
The buck stands to set a new youth record in the state. Courtesy Rickey Brewer

Reili made the shot from 40 yards, using a bolt-action Savage rifle chambered in .350 Legend. The buck only made it a few feet before dropping.

After field dressing the buck, they called the base’s hunt coordinator, who helped haul the buck out of the muddy woods with his truck. The buck weighed 160 pounds dressed and they aged it around 5.5 years old.

It’s massive, non-typical rack has 31 points—29 of which are scorable—and Rickey says his taxidermist gave it a green score of 238 1/8 inches. If those numbers hold through the 60-day drying period, it’ll shatter the current Texas youth record, which sits at 209 inches.