Pair Of Jackson County Popes For 73-Year-Old Hunter

Mike Bolton | February 3, 2023

Charles Mathis, 73, with his largest of two bucks that made the Pope & Young Record Book last season.


If you are a fan of old cowboy and Indian movies, you’ve probably noticed that there were no fat Indians. There is a reason for that. The Indians hunted with bows and arrows.

To take any kind of white-tailed deer with a bow is an accomplishment, but to take two Pope and Young bucks in one season at age 73 is, well, super special.

Charles Mathis, of Nicholson in Jackson County, has been hunting deer most of his life. He decided several years ago to give bowhunting a try. It took several years, but he finally took his first buck—a small one— in 2021.

Now retired, but still owning an electric supply and plumbing company, Charles bought a 640-acre farm. He lives there, but he says he bought it primarily for hunting.

His dream was to take a buck that scored at least 125, the minimum to make the Pope & Young record book.

“I put some trail cameras out in July, and I got three deer on them that I thought may make Pope & Young,” he said.

 “Once the season began, the big one came in on me, but he was too far away to get a shot. About the middle of October, he came back in, and there was another smaller buck behind him. The bigger buck stayed out, but the smaller buck, which I also figured to be Pope & Young, came within 25 yards. I made a good shot. He didn’t run far. That buck was scored by Pope & Young, and it scored 128 7/8.”

Getting a shot at the wary big buck kept Charles in the box stand into November. He saw the buck twice, but it always seemed to know something wasn’t right and wouldn’t come close enough to present a shot, Charles said. 

“There are three groups of deer on the property, and they all seem to stay together,” he said. “I was hunting on the east end of the property about mid-November, and I saw a group of deer on a hilltop. The bucks were chasing a doe.”

The buck ended up 40 yards from Charles’ stand, and he was able to make a great shot on him.

“Pope & Young scored him, and he scored 131 1/8.”

With two Pope & Young bucks in one season under his belt, Charles was asked if his off-season will be dedicated to finding a way to kill the big one that got away?

“Heck no,” he said. “My next-door-neighbor ending up killing him with a rifle.”


Jackson County Best Bow Bucks Of All-Time

1145 5/8 James (JT) Johnson2016JacksonBowView 
2145 2/8 Zak Germaine2023JacksonBowView 
3141 2/8 Brad Duck2008JacksonBow
4138 3/8 David Ruark2020JacksonBowView 
5138 Austin Cornelius2011JacksonBowView 
6133 1/8 Stan Ogletree1993JacksonBowView 
7132 7/8 Nathan Johnson2012JacksonBow
8131 1/8 Charles Mathis2022JacksonBowView 
9130 Brad Pugh2010JacksonBowView 
10128 7/8 Charles Mathis2022JacksonBow

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