Most hunters have to purchase their feed from a feed store, but Grady Brown grows his own.
The Monroe resident, who farms in Lake Providence, had been putting out some of his own corn and soybeans along an old overgrown logging trail on the Big 8 Hunting Club near Transylvania in East Carroll Parish.
The feed brought in several deer, including a big 10-pointer that Brown had been getting images of regularly on his trail cam.
And on the Sunday afternoon of opening weekend, the hunter was in position when the big deer stopped by for another meal.
Brown had gotten in his lock-on stand about 5:30 that afternoon, and was watching a smaller buck move along when the 10-point stepped out.
“I turned my head working a crick out of my neck, and within a minute that big one walked up on me,” he said. “I thought I heard something, then all of a sudden he just appeared right in front of me.”
The old logging trail was overgrown with tall ragweed, and the buck popped out of the cover directly in front of Brown only about 25 yards away.
“He was kind of nervous-acting and jumpy,” he said. “I was having to talk to myself to calm down.”
The big buck eventually relaxed and headed for the corn and beans, and Brown was able to stand up and take aim. He was using a Mathews Legacy bow, with an Easton arrow tipped with a G5 fixed broadhead.
“I pulled back and told myself to concentrate and make a good shot,” he said.
The broadhead hit the buck right behind its right shoulder and passed through, and the big buck spun around and headed back for the tall grass.
“I could see the ragweed moving, then he popped up around a tree and I heard a crash,” he said.
Confident that he had made a good shot, Brown didn’t waste much time in getting down and going to take a look for the buck.
“I was very excited and nervous,” he said. “I got my phone out immediately and was texting my wife, and my thumbs were shaking so bad I couldn’t hardly text her.”
Brown found the buck piled up right around the tree, and it was just as impressive in person as it was in the trail cam pics.
The 10-pointer sported a 17-inch inside spread, with heavy mass throughout and 5-inch plus circumference at the bases. At Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop, it green-scored 172 ⅛ inches Pope and Young.
Last year on the same stand, Brown shot another 10-point buck — with a 24-inch inside spread but with less mass throughout — that scored in the 140-inch range.
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.