Dustin Alexander and his brother Daniel are fortunate to be friends with Lane Cox, whose family has membership in the historic Winter Quarters Hunting Lodge in Tensas Parish.
For the past several years, Cox has invited the brothers from Ruston for deer hunts on the 8,000-acre wildlife mecca.
On Monday, Dec. 26, Dustin and Daniel were hunting together when Dustin encountered a big main-frame 8-point with split brow tines that measured 146 ⅞ inches of bone.
As a matter of information, Winter Quarters is located on Lake St. Joseph near Newellton, and is one of the state’s oldest and most prestigious hunting lodges. The lodge was first built in 1805, and during the Civil War, Winter Quarters was the only lodge left standing when Union soldiers invaded the area. It was occupied by Union soldiers during the winters of 1862-63.
“Daniel and I were hunting together and since the rut was on, we decided rather than sit in a stand we would slip through the woods using rattling horns to see what might happen,” Dustin said.
Incredibly, during the morning and afternoon hunt that day, they rattled up 11 different bucks.
“Mature bucks would come on in spoiling for a fight while the younger ones were more cautious and would hang out on the edge trying to get down wind of the rattling,” he said.
On the morning hunt, Daniel did the rattling while Dustin carried the rifle — a Browning 7 mm Mag — because the year before, the roles were reversed when Daniel downed a big buck.
“That morning, we slipped through the woods slowly and when we found a good opening, we’d stop, Daniel would rattle and we’d see what might show up. He actually rattled in a nice 140-inch 8-point that came to within 20 yards of us,” Dustin said. "However, the deer didn’t look all that old so I decided to pass on him. Then Daniel spotted a larger buck behind the big one.
"About that time, the 8-point spotted us, snorted and ran, and the bigger deer spooked and ran.”
That afternoon, the pair returned to the same area, found a good open area and Daniel crashed the rattling horns together.
“He had just finished his rattling sequence when we saw a big buck coming our way and before we knew it, he was 20 yards away, stopping behind a tree,” he said. “The buck spooked, snorted and ran another 40 to 50 yards but stopped and turned toward us.
“I got a good look at him, put the scope on his neck and he dropped when I shot.”
The buck was a heavy-racked 10-point, which included split brow tines. The deer weighed 192 pounds and the rack sported an inside spread of 20 inches, with 5 ½-inch bases along with 23-inch main beams.
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.