Taylor Kight got his Mathews Heli-m bow back in 2013, but in the ensuing years since, never actually connected with a deer.

Despite putting in lots of practice time, he didn’t even get to take a shot a couple of those seasons. Last year, he missed an opportunity at a doe, and still had nothing to show for his efforts. 

But the 18-year-old University of Louisiana at Monroe freshman more than made up for lost time Saturday afternoon when he battled through a bout of buck fever and stuck a massive Grant Parish 10-pointer near Dry Prong.

Kight, who was about 25 feet up in a pine tree in a lock-on stand, heard the big buck before he saw it around 6:45 p.m.

“I heard something walking through the underbrush on my left,” Kight said. “You could just see horns coming through the woods.

“I just started shaking then.”

He was positioned on the back end of a shooting lane beside a slough, overlooking piles of corn and rice bran. He had arrived on stand about 3 p.m.

“He came out at about 60 yards through the thin underbrush walking toward me. And he walked to the first pile facing straight at me — that’s when I got my bow up and ready,” he said. “Then he looked to his right and stepped to the left and got broadside to me, and that’s when I pulled my bow back. Then he stopped at 22 yards at the next corn pile.”

A couple of other 140-class bucks distracted the big deer, but Kight patiently waited for his shot. When the big deer moved perfectly broadside, he let his Gold Tip 400-grain arrow outfitted with a 100-grain Rage Hypodermic broadhead fly.

“I was shaking when I first saw him, but when I pulled my bow back I got real still. I shot him, and once I saw the red Lumenock running through the woods and heard him crashing, I pretty much went crazy,” Kight said. “Then I was shaking. I couldn’t even text people that I had shot something.

“It was crazy.”

Kight said he recognized the big buck from trail cam pics on the lease.

“We’ve had pictures of him on the club for 3 ½ or 4 years,” he said. “He grew about 2 inches every year. He was one of the ones we’ve been after for a while.”

The buck bolted into the woods, and Kight and two friends waited for a while to go in after it. Around 8:10, they found the deer piled up in a thicket.

The big-bodied buck bottomed out a 200-pound scale, and featured a heavy-horned rack with an 18-inch inside spread and 5-inch circumference bases. The buck green-scored 159 ⅜ inches Pope and Young, and was estimated at more than 5 years old. 

“My two buddies couldn’t believe it,” he said. “They just couldn’t believe how big of a body he had. And the mass on his horns — I was just crazy when I saw him.

“I didn’t really know what to do.”

The buck is already at a taxidermist, and is headed for a prime spot on the wall next to Kight’s 8-pound largemouth bass he plucked from Grand Bayou. Ironically, he downed the deer this year without getting in a lot of practice time before the season started.

“I usually start practicing a month before the season, but school started and I’m on the fishing team up here so I had to pre-fish everything, so I really didn’t have any time,” Kight said. “I actually shot my bow for the first time this year on Sept. 25.

“I shot it just the weekend before the season, and it paid off.”

Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the rand drawing for Nikon optics at the end of the contest.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here