Showtime! Aaron Harrison’s 173-Inch Harris County Bow-Buck
When I first called Aaron Harrison, excited to get a clear grasp on his experience with the massive Harris County buck he named “Showtime,” he picked up on the fourth or fifth ring in a whisper. The man was up in the deer stand, back at it again! We did our introductions, and I asked him if he wanted to reschedule. He promptly dismissed the suggestion, saying, “This is when it happens… when you’re sitting here messing around like this, that’s when it goes down!”
I immediately thought of every dove and duck that had flown into the field right after nature had so conveniently called and gave a good laugh in agreeance. Aaron explained he was just on “doe patrol,” thus reinforcing the importance of sharing with me his story with Showtime.
When I first saw the pictures of Showtime, I was blown away. This old buck, estimated to be 8 years old, was green-scored at almost 173 total inches with 18 scorable points—an absolute brute. The rack sets up as a main-frame 10-point that scores about 160, and then it has eight abnormals that total almost 13 inches.
The first time Aaron became aware of this buck was— coincidentally—the very first day he had stepped foot on the property. Aaron first arrived on the 70-acre tract in Harris County on the opening day of turkey season. He spent that morning trying to locate birds and later decided to put out some feed and a trail camera. Aaron went to sleep that night wondering about the trail camera. Then, at three in the morning, his phone buzzed, his trail cam having captured its first photo… a photo of Showtime. After waking up his wife with an expletive (or three), they both admired the sheer size of the buck, and he was instantly the star of the show. Aaron became immediately obsessed. He was constantly feeding corn and protein, as well as keeping constant tabs on the buck’s whereabouts.
“I worked so hard to keep that buck there because I was so scared he was gonna go somewhere else. I kept feeding him and feeding him and feeding him, and he kept staying and staying and staying…”
The man even went as far as to shovel up old feed after rain and replace it with fresh feed. Aaron kept tabs on this buck through trail cams from March until September. There were only a handful of days in which Aaron wasn’t sure where the buck was, and, rightfully so, those days were spent with heavy nerves.
The hunt itself started roughly two weeks into bow season—slap dab in the middle of Hurricane Sally and all the unpredictable winds and weathers that arrived with it. Aaron needed an east wind to hunt Showtime in his honey-hole. Aaron had seen Showtime in another stand once before and had gotten a chance to draw back at the brute; however, he decided against releasing because it was just too risky of a shot.
“I owed that deer more than that,” he said.
Because of how Showtime was patterned, Aaron fixed up a lock-on in another area. For three days, Aaron would walk to this new stand expecting east winds, only for them to shift and force him to change locations. All of that changed when Aaron woke up on Tuesday morning, Sept. 22. At the time, he was not hunting mornings to avoid spooking deer—particularly this big buck—out of their nightly bedding areas and into the next county. After checking weather conditions that morning, Aaron said he could feel that day was the day something was going to happen. He told a couple of buddies he was going after the behemoth, saying “I truly believe this is gonna go down.”
He waited till 3:45 p.m., then made the trek. When Aaron got to the property and got out of the truck, the first thing he did was gear up, and the second thing he did was check the wind.
“I ain’t walking back here again to realize this wind is shifting… That ain’t gonna happen. So, I checked, and it was straight east, 5 miles an hour.”
Elated and determined, Aaron walked on to the stand. He climbed up into his lock-on and immediately re-checked the wind.
“Everything was perfect… that’s exactly what we needed! Thank ya Lord!”
Because this was the first time he had hunted this stand, he started getting a nervous.
“I had been hunting this deer for two and a half weeks now, and it’s only a matter of time before he starts to realize that he’s being hunted.”
He just kept assuring himself, “Man, everything’s gonna be alright. Everything’s pitch perfect today. It’s gonna be alright. It’s gonna go down.”
So, about an hour goes by. It’s 5 and Aaron’s calmed down. He started to hear something behind him… but…
“I was in a sick game of Texas Hold’em son, I just couldn’t get out of it!” We both started laughing, me cackling and him chuckling at a whisper. “I had a full house… I was about to crush ’em!” He said he was thinking, “Well, whatever it is, it is gonna walk out past me in a minute.”
That minute ended up taking a little longer than he had anticipated. He kept hearing that movement, so he inched up and leaned over around the tree to see three mature does right behind him, downwind.
“Please Lord, y’all don’t act foolish!” he thought. They ended up feeding in front of him for about an hour. At around 6, he noticed that one of the does kept looking down at the edge of a bottom.
“I didn’t know what was down there, but I knew it was something.”
As he started to notice movement in that direction, he pulled up his binoculars and saw that it was about a 2- to 3-year-old 8-point.
He thought, “Alright cool, seeing a buck this early, it’s a good sign.”
So that buck slowly made its way up the hill to the white oaks Aaron was hunting. Right about when that 8-point made it to the top of the hill, Aaron noticed more movement in the same area the young buck appeared. He saw that this was one of his other big bucks… “Loppy.”
Loppy is a 4-year-old 9-point with five tines on his right side. On his left side, he has a long spike that shoots way out past his ear and goes straight up, carrying a drop tine with an additional point. This buck followed the tracks of the youngin’ and started feeding around out front. At that point, the three does decided to pop back up, and suddenly Aaron had five pairs of eyes in front of him.
He told me, sounding nervous, “Man, this was cool at first, but now y’all need to go somewhere!”
Not long after, he started to hear movement over his right shoulder. He turned around to see “Bull,” a 150-inch 8-point, tearing up a rub on a small tree.
“Oh my God… I’m in the middle of two mature bucks, a young buck, and three does..”
Aaron immediately started dreading the thought of getting busted during his first opportunity to finally hunt this stand. He cooled his nerves, and watched these deer for around 45 minutes. As he was eyeballing Bull, he said he was thinking, “Man… he’s about to get it!”
I laughed hard… I believe any Georgian who can watch a 150-inch 8-point for 45 minutes has got to be someone who really has something special. Aaron Harrison dang sure does!
The more Aaron watched Bull, the more enticing the chance of sticking a mature buck became. Eventually, he got up to draw back on the buck, as any hunter might. Before he could do so, he saw movement again from the bottom.
“Who is that?”
He pulls up his binoculars… It’s none other than Showtime. Aaron immediately put his hat down over his face and started praying… “Calm me down. Let me make this shot.” All the time Aaron was listening to the other deer walking all around him. He sat there, not moving an inch, being with himself and God, and asked, “God, I’ve waited my whole life for this. Please, please, please, please, please let this happen right here.”
Suddenly, he heard the all too familiar stomp…
Aaron watched as the does started making their way to cover. He could see Loppy very clearly and saw his posture change and how the buck was alarmed. He could see the bristles stand up on the buck’s back.
“Don’t do it. Don’t you do it.”
The buck stomped. Simultaneously, Showtime was making his way up steadily from the bottom. He’s at roughly 80 yards. Then, Loppy blew.
Aaron looked back down the hillside, and Showtime was nowhere to be found. The entire area was cleared. There wasn’t a deer in sight. Aaron was in disbelief. He had no idea what happened. Still, to this day, he has no idea what happened. He had done everything right: no movement, the right wind, all the works. Aaron hung his bow up, and pulled his hat down over his face.
“I just wanted to throw up. I knew I had one chance.”
The man was devastated. It was 7:40 p.m., and Aaron was losing light fast. He had nearly given up. He sat and prayed for minutes, starting to accept what had happened.
“Maybe someone else will get a chance at him before he’s out the county…”
Suddenly, he saw Showtime top the ridge just seconds before entering one of the shooting lanes.
“I didn’t even have time to think. I hopped up, grabbed my bow, made sure my pin was on point, drew back, and stopped him at 22 yards. I let it rip.”
He watched his Lumenok bury behind the buck’s right shoulder. Aaron’s initial reaction was… “Freaking SMOKED!”
He listened to the buck run 40 yards down into a creek bed and heard the crash. After sitting for approximately 15 minutes, Aaron started to pack up. As this was happening, Aaron looked up to see that all of the other deer that were originally in the plot slowly began to feed back in… forcing him to sit a full 45 minutes so that he wouldn’t spook all of the deer and potentially scare off Showtime before he passed. Once those 45 minutes were over, Aaron called his buddy, Shawn, and his father, Don. On the phone with Shawn, the two decided it wouldn’t hurt to give the big buck just a little more time. Aaron made his way to the truck and drove 30 minutes to Shawn’s house. Once he arrived, Shawn and Don hopped in Aaron’s truck and they hightailed it back to the property. They unloaded the 4-wheeler and headed to the shooting lane where Aaron had stuck the brute. Instantly, they found blood. They followed the trail down into the bottom, which held the creek. The buck was down 20 yards at the base of a steep 20-foot ledge that overlooked the creek bottom.
“There was nothing nobody could do or say to keep me from sliding down that friggin’ ledge. I got down there, I put my hands on him, and the tears just started flowing… It is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
Aaron explained that when he sat down after letting that arrow fly, he was hit with a wave of emotion. He described it as something similar to seeing your life flash before your eyes. Most people don’t understand what it takes to achieve something this man did that evening. Sure, anyone can get lucky in the deer woods the same way anyone can get lucky in a game of poker. But if you wanna win the big pot, you need to know how to play your hand. Listening to the story of a man who has spent thousands of hours in the woods, shedding blood, sweat and tears in the pursuit a mature animal that well over the majority of the people on this planet will never see, or can’t even comprehend, is inspiring in and of itself… but, to listen to that man tell me the experience of laying his hands on the hide and horn of the single animal that he has worked so diligently for is nothing less than daunting.
Aaron said us outdoorsman have a responsibility when we pursue these endeavors. That buck had lived on this earth for eight years doing everything right. He survived to a magnitude that is unseen by most white-tail deer in the Southeast. Hunters owe these animals the respect they deserve, because without them, most of us would be lost. I know I would, and I feel Aaron would say the same.
Harris County All-Time Best Bow-Bucks
Rank Score Name Year County Method Photo 1 170 2/8 Jeff Foxworthy 2018 Harris Bow View 2 161 7/8 Glenn Garner 2017 Harris Bow View 3 161 4/8 John Lester 2018 Harris Bow View 4 184 7/8 (NT) Mike Strickland 2010 Harris Bow View 5 160 2/8 Hal McGinnis 2003 Harris Bow View 6 157 4/8 Tyler Jordan 2022 Harris Bow View 7 178 7/8 (NT) Tyler Jordan 2021 Harris Bow View 8 153 1/8 Jay Foxworthy 2009 Harris Bow View 9 152 6/8 Glenn Garner 2017 Harris Bow View 10 152 2/8 Rich Milliner 2011 Harris Bow View
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