Local hunting guide Randy Herrera received an early Christmas present from his friend Bobby O'Donnel.
The gift came in the form of a tip that there was a trophy sized Whitetail buck living somewhere north of Payson in hunt Unit 22.
O'Donnel spotted the buck several weeks ago, crossing the Control Road. Since he knew Herrera held a deer tag in the unit, he informed him of the sighting.
About 4:30 p.m. Dec. 19, the tip paid dividends when Herrera downed the buck from about 200 yards away. After rattling him in, Herrera first saw the buck from about 20 yards but the animal fled.
The deer, a 4x4, scored a 124 7/8 in the Boone and Crockett record book.
For Herrera, it was an exciting hunt that produced a trophy animal.
"It will be the biggest one that will be taken out of (unit) 22 in a while," he said. "My friends can't believe how big he is."
As the owner of Tracks Guide Service locally, Herrera is highly knowledgeable about the local hunting areas, but says he wouldn't have known the deer was in the area had he not received the tip from his friend.
"It's (the ponderosa forest) so thick in there you can't see," he said. "Unless you see one, or someone tells you, a hunter never knows if they (trophy bucks) are in there."