Brandon Lindsey was comfortable with the 36-degree morning in his Union Parish deer stand — but the same couldn’t be said for his fiancee.
Kaylee Bryant was cold and ready to leave her stand on land near Spearsville on Nov. 19, so Lindsey reluctantly agreed to come pick her up at 9 a.m.
“It was a cold morning and we didn’t leave the house until 7. I dropped Kaylee off at her box stand and I continued on to mine. Shortly after climbing into my stand, I saw a small doe and after she texted me complaining about being cold, we agreed on the time for me to come pick her up. Nothing else seemed to be moving anyhow,” said Lindsey, who lives in the village of Lillie and is a part-time college student at South Arkansas Community College in El Dorado.
Periodically checking his watch for the time he had to go and pick up Bryant, Lindsey said it was 8:30 when he looked up and saw a big doe step out into the opening he was observing 150 yards away.
His box stand is located within 100 yards of an old beaver pond surrounded by a thicket, and the opening he was watching was an old log set that had been cleared and cleaned off after a timber harvest.
“The doe didn’t seem to be excited or in a hurry, and although the rut was kicking in, there was no evidence she was being followed by a buck. She continued on across the clearing,” he said. “Two minutes after she stepped out, I looked up and another deer came out behind where she had walked. I could tell it was a buck — and definitely a shooter.”
The big deer turned and started walking straight away from him, stopping to give him a quartering shot he was reluctant to take.
“I didn’t want to risk making a bad shot on this big buck and maybe not being able to recover him so I waited. In a few seconds he turned broadside at 160 yards and I got the crosshairs on him,” said Lindsey, who was shooting his 7mm mag Thompson/Center rifle.
Fortunately, there would be no tracking or blood-trailing necessary because the buck dropped on the spot.
“He fell right where I shot him. I got an immediate text from Kaylee asking what I’d shot and I told her I wasn’t sure but I was headed down to find out,” he said. “I told her I just knew it was a big buck.
“I said after checking out the buck, I would come pick her up.”
When he got to the deer, he was elated to find an 11-pointer that ultimately scored 149 ⅛ inches and tipped the scales at 205 pounds — a size he considered somewhat unusual for that part of Union Parish.
“I drove to Kaylee’s stand, picked her up and it took all our strength to get the deer into the back of my pickup,” he added.
Bryant shot a doe earlier in the season, and Lindsey’s goal now is for her to have a chance at a big buck — hopefully on a day when temperatures are a bit warmer.
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.