Shreveport oil and gas industry representative Cody Upchurch owes his friend named Mike a steak dinner for an event that took place Nov. 4. Mike invited the 28-year-old Upchurch to his Bossier Parish hunting club and, in the process, Upchurch downed a big 220-pound 13-point buck that taped out 152 inches.

“Mike said I could take any legal deer on our hunt,” Unchurch said. “‘Just so it doesn’t have spots,’ Mike said.”

Driving to the club, Mike went to his stand and gave Upchurch directions to the stand the

was to hunt.

“He told me to walk down the trail and hunt from a box blind that was only a couple feet off the ground,” Unchurch said. “When it got daylight, I could see a lane in front of the stand that opened into a field 100 yards or so away.

“On either side of the 25-foot-wide lane was an oak thicket, and behind me was a pine thicket.”

As he sat in his stand, getting familiar with his surroundings, he noticed acorns were on the ground in the oak thicket, and he watched several squirrels feeding.

Suddenly, every squirrel scooted up a tree and began barking.

“My daddy had always taught me that when you hear and see squirrels acting like that, get ready because something has alarmed them,” Unchurch said. “About that time, I began to see movement in the thicket and saw a doe with a buck chasing her.

“While I was watching this little 8-point chase the doe, two bigger bucks just stepped out into the opening, with a really big one ahead of the other.”

It was decision time for Upchurch: He was looking at a buck he felt club members had been hoping for a chance at, so he made the decision not to take the bigger buck.

“Even though Mike had told me to take any legal deer I wanted, I wouldn’t feel right about shooting such a fine buck,” Unchurch said. “I watched the bigger buck walk past my stand when the second one stepped out.

“I decided to take this one, so I shot him at 35 yards, and he hit the ground right there.”

The shot from his 12-gauge Remington 870 Express shotgun, which was loaded with slugs, hit the buck in the neck. 

“When I saw the buck hit the ground, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional,” Unchurch said. “The last year has been both good and bad: Our baby was born in April, and two days after that my mom passed away.

“I felt like I was sharing my success with my mom.”

Incidentally, the bigger buck walked toward the stand in which Mike was holed up. The hunter took a shot at him but missed. The buck showed up on a trail camera a couple of days later.

Upchurch’s buck carried 13 points on a massive rack with an inside spread of nearly 19 inches. Fowled Up Taxidermy in Doyline scored the deer at 152 inches.