Randy Marks has traveled upstate to DeSoto Parish to his Dolet Hills hunting lease for years.
But on Saturday, Oct. 29, he brought his 14-year-old daughter Alexis with him, hoping to give her a crack at a buck.
The pair crawled into one of the box stands on the property and settled in.
After a couple of hours of sitting and watching fawns feed on corn scattered in the lane, the freshman at Beau Chene High School in Arnaudville started to grow tired and tried to persuade her dad into vacating the stand before he was ready.
As often happens when you least expect it, the pair climbed down from the stand — and then a nice buck promptly showed up. So she and her dad snuck back into the stand and Alexis wound up downing a beautiful 9-point buck.
A note from Marks tells how it all went down.
“After watching a pair of fawns eating corn on the lane, they leave around 9:50 and Alexis asks me what time are we going to leave.
“When I told her 10:30, she gives out a huge sigh and is obviously disappointed.
I assure her that I understand, but a huge buck can pop out at any second, and this boring hunt can get exciting real quick. Feeling for her a bit I tell her at 10:10 we will walk out and head back to truck. As 10:06 rolls around, I look at her and say, ‘Let’s roll out,’” Marks wrote.
According to Marks, of Arnaudville, the pair packed up their gear and climbed down. As Alexis stepped out from the stand, she stopped suddenly, pointed down the lane and whispered excitedly, “A buck!”
Her dad motioned to her to climb back in so she could get a shot at the deer, which was continuing to feed on the corn.
“We climb back in the box stand, I get her in position and still he's just eating corn. She gets a look at him through the scope and really sizes him up. Then it got real shaky in that stand. I tell her to take her time, but hurry. Boom! She pulls the trigger and he buckles up a little and runs away down our lane and into woods.”
The pair walked down to where the buck was standing, found blood, and after a prayer and tears of gratitude, they made a short tracking job and found the buck mortally wounded but still alive. The buck tried to get up, took a few steps and then collapsed, and the hunt was over.
A beautiful 9-point buck with a rack estimated at 140 inches lay at their feet.
Marks concluded his report with these words: “After I get her set up and take lots of pictures, I dragged the deer back on to our shooting lane and I can't help but think the same thoughts I had when I killed my buck of a lifetime the year before.
“For me and my family, we know that it's God as our ultimate reward — the deer are just a bonus.”
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.