Jacob Frith usually hates to hunt in the wind, but on the morning of Dec. 11, the breeze was in his favor — and he suddenly found himself within 20 yards of a big 12-point buck that never knew he was there.

“With it so windy, I was in no hurry to get to my stand, so my 13-year-old brother Cameron and I climbed into our two-man ladder stand around 7 that morning,” Frith, 24, said.

They were on a private 80-acre plot in Union Parish where Frith has permission to hunt. Sitting on his stand, he was looking at a 100-yard shooting lane surrounded by oaks, a fence line and an old open field to his right.

“Not only did we get to the stand late, I’m a believer in using cover scent but when I got on the stand, I realized I’d left my cover scent at home,” he said. “So I grabbed a handful of pine needles, crushed them and rubbed them all over Cameron and me.”

While they sat on the stand with the wind in their faces, Frith picked up his two deer calls: A grunt tube and bleat call. He noted he has used them several times this season, and has seen deer react. 

A few minutes after hitting the calls, Frith happened to look over his brother’s shoulder and saw something that almost took his breath away.

“I saw this big buck walking our way and he was no more than 20 yards away when I saw him, so I whispered to Cameron to not move — there’s a big buck right there beside you,” Frith said.

The deer was walking with his head down, apparently responding to Frith’s calls or following the trail of a doe that might have crossed there earlier.

“When I realized, I had to do something pretty quick because the deer was only a few steps from the woods where I wouldn’t have had a shot,” he said. “I got my gun up and a limb was in the way so I had to move my gun to another opening. Fortunately because of a favorable wind, the deer never smelled nor saw us. 

“This gave me time to put the scope of my Remington 30.06 on his shoulder and hit the trigger at 20 yards. The deer took off and Cameron and I were getting excited.”

Walking to the spot where the deer had been standing, Frith was a bit discouraged because there was no blood. However, when he looked 25 yards into the woods in the direction the deer had run, he saw a brown “lump.”

“I started walking toward the brown lump and it got bigger as I got closer. Then I saw the rack and I just about lost it,” Frith said. “I started counting points and couldn’t believe it when I got to 12. I’ve only killed one other buck in my life — a spike about 10 years ago.”

The buck, a main-frame 10-point with two kickers, scored 166 ⅞ inches, with an  inside spread of 18 ⅝ inches and heavy mass throughout.

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