Kyle Adams hunts with 25 other members in Catahoula Parish on a 2,800-acre club near Harrisonburg.
Because of windy conditions, Dec. 21 wasn’t really the best day for hunting, but he decided to give a big buck he had seen on his trail camera a try that afternoon.
“I had found only one photo of a big buck on my trail camera back in November, a photo that was taken at night. I had the chance to hunt that afternoon, so I crawled into my two-man ladder stand,” said Adams, 26, a boilermaker. “I passed my camera on the way to the stand, and retrieved the card to see what was there while waiting on something to step out.”
But by the time he got into his stand, he realized he was facing a potential problem: The wind was blowing from him directly into the area where he felt the buck might possibly be bedded down.
So he made a decision then which likely was the difference maker in connecting with the big deer.
“With the wind blowing from me into the area, I knew my chances would not be good if I hoped to have a chance at a mature buck like the one I was hunting so I crawled down from the stand, and walked all the way around so I would be downwind from the bedding area,” he said.
But there was no stand in the area — so he hunkered down and just sat on the ground next to a big tree.
“The tree where I decided to sit gave me a good view of a creek bottom as I was sort of in a draw between two hills,” he said. “The wind was blowing directly in my face which gave me confidence that if the buck was in there, he wouldn’t catch my scent.”
Armed with his Winchester .308, Adams sat down, pulled out his grunt call and after letting things settle down, tried the call to see what would happen.
“Along about 4:45, I had just hit the grunt call and caught a glimpse of a deer out in front of me along the creek,” he said. “I couldn’t tell what it was as it moved on away. But I noticed that every time I hit the grunt call, I’d hear something moving out in front of me.
“About 5:20, I hit the call and saw a squirrel out in front of me on the ground and in just a minute, I heard something in the leaves. I assumed it was the squirrel but when I looked up, there came the big buck, hair all frizzed out like he was looking for the buck making the sound so he could challenge him.”
The buck stopped at 30 yards, Adams got the scope on it and hit the trigger. When he shot, the deer ran off up the hill, over a ravine and disappeared.
But when Adams searched, the buck had only run 50 yards and was piled up as the result of a well-placed shot behind the shoulder.
A mainframe 10-point, the big buck sported four extra small points, and had an inside spread of 20 6/8 inches with main beams 26 and 27 inches each. Bases were 5 ½ inches each, and although he wasn’t able to weigh the deer, he estimated it to be in the 220-pound range. The buck was aged at 6 ½ years old.
Adams took the buck to Simmons' Sporting Goods in Bastrop to enter it in the store’s annual big buck contest, where it scored 172 ⅛ inches.
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.