On a deer hunt in the Dumas vicinity, someone may remark, “Aw, Eleanor is here. No use in going after that big buck.”
Eleanor Henry is 17 and a junior at Dumas High School. Already a veteran deer hunter, she has four Boone & Crockett bucks to her credit.
Boone & Crockett is the organization that keeps records on outstanding North American big game. Most Arkansas deer hunters openly or secretly yearn to take a whitetail deer that would make the B&C; lists. Eleanor has done it four times, the latest an 18-point big ‘un that was measured at 202 by B&C; standards. There is a required 60-day wait for the horns to completely dry before going into the books.
She has taken all four of her big bucks with a .243 rifle. The previous three scored 176, 184 and 160. The figures are inches compiled in measuring all points and the circumference of the main beams of a deer.
The 18-pointer came late in the afternoon, not long before dark. She said, “I was in a stand with my dad, and a doe went across in front of us. We waited, and the buck came out following her. The grass was really tall, and all we could see was horns sticking up. The buck circled and came back behind a tree, so I didn’t have a shot. Finally it got into the open, and I shot.
“The deer went down then got back up. I jacked another round into the gun and shot again. It went down again. We waited 30 minutes then went to the deer.”
That’s when Eleanor and dad Martin Henry realized the size of the antlers. A later check of the buck’s jawbone produced an age estimate of seven and a half years.
Successful deer hunting is becoming a tradition in the Henry household. Eleanor’s younger sister, Ellis, 11, took her first deer. A doe, a few days before Eleanor’s big one – and Ellis did it with a compound bow.
Ellis said, “This is the first year I have hunted with a bow. I shot at a deer with a rifle before that but didn’t get it.”
Eleanor was 6 years old when she went on her first hunt with dad Martin. Ellis had a boost in deer hunting interest when a friend, Ben Farmer, scored with a compound bow last season then got another doe with his bow this year.
Eleanor keeps busy with a variety of activities in addition to hunting. She is a cheerleader, plays softball with the Dumas Lady Bobcats and is on the tennis team. She’s a Student Council member and sings in her church’s choir.
“After high school, I want to go to the University of Arkansas then to go to law school. I have an aunt who is a lawyer, and I think I would like to be one too,” she said.