Joey Busbice, a Morgan City dispatcher and fleet manager for an oilfield company, hunts on family land near Olla bordering LaSalle and Winn parishes. 

On Monday morning, Nov. 7, he had a choice of stands he could hunt, so he decided to slip in and sit in his dad’s box stand which sits on the portion of the property in LaSalle parish.

“I was hunting with my crossbow, a Barnett Razr armed with a 110-grain Gravedigger broadhead mounted on a Bloodsport arrow, and I felt my best chance at a buck would be off dad’s stand,” Busbice said. “We had a big one on camera but he was only moving around at night.

"I felt with the rut coming on, he might make a move during daylight. I really wanted to have a chance at this buck with my crossbow because I’d never taken a deer with it.”

The 27-year-old hunter didn’t have long to wait before a nice 8-point buck stepped out and began feeding on his favorite attractant, Sugar Beet Crush.

“We had lots of trail cam photos of this 8 point-which was probably in the 130 inch range, but I decided to pass on him — he just wasn’t the one I wanted,” Busbice said. “I watched the buck feed on the Crush for a while before he moved on off.”

After the 8-point moved away, things quieted down and he checked his phone and drank some water — while his crossbow sat in the corner of the stand.

“While I’m looking at my phone and sipping water, I happened to look up and saw horns,” he said. “The buck began walking out into the lane 25 yards from me and I knew immediately that this was the big one I was after. 

“The buck looked at the pile of Crush and then looked up at me in the stand, and here I am holding a bottle of water with my crossbow over in the corner. The deer seemed pretty skittish and he backed away — I felt like he was going to bolt any second.”

Fortunately for Busbice, while keeping an eye on the buck, he was able to lay the water bottle aside and reach for his crossbow as the deer turned broadside and quartered slightly toward him.  

“I put it on his shoulder, hit the trigger and stuck him right where I was aiming. The buck took off but only ran some 70 yards before collapsing beside a creek,” he said. “I walked up to him with my pistol drawn in case he still had some life in him. Thankfully, he didn’t — and I was able to claim my first crossbow buck.”

The 175-pounder was a 9-point with an inside spread of 19 inches, and green-scored an impressive142 4/8 inches of antler.

“You can bet this buck is headed to the taxidermist,” Busbice said. “Not only because he’s a good buck, but it’s my first one to take with my crossbow.”

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

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