Angie Parker is a bowhunter at heart, but her decision to spend a little quality time with her father on a rifle hunt last November in Caddo Parish resulted in her biggest deer ever — a 170-class buck of a lifetime.
And it couldn’t have come at a better time, because Parker had little to show at that point in the season for all her efforts with the bow.
“I just moved back here from Texas about a year and a half ago, and the particular land I as bowhunting this year was in the process of being clear cut, so I wasn’t seeing any deer,” said Parker, who lives in Frierson with her husband Adam. “This was my 13th hunt, and and I had seen like six deer randomly.”
That all changed on the afternoon of Nov. 23 when Parker, her dad Reggie Roe and her brother-in-law Dale McPhearson headed out about 3:30 on land across Bayou Pierre.
“God aligned everything perfectly for this hunt because I would usually be bowhunting in a different set of woods, but since I wanted to spend time with my dad I hung up my bow and brought out my Browning A-Bolt .300 WSM,” she said. “My dad was generous enough to let me go hunting in his stand, which he perceived as the best stand in these particular woods.”
Before she made her way to the box overlooking three shooting lanes, the two men reminded her of the lease rules — only 150-inch bucks or better were legal to shoot.
“I was really nervous, because I mostly bowhunted,” she said. “Usually, I kill does or maybe a little 5-point, stuff like that. But I don’t see big deer - I just don’t get the chance.”
That changed dramatically at about 4 that afternoon when a 12-point monster followed a young buck out of a thicket on Parker’s right side, and started ambling straight away from her down the lane.
“I started shaking horribly and I was able to put my rifle out the window,” she said with a chuckle. “I tried to start telling myself to calm down … to make a nice clean shot.
“But apparently my body wasn’t listening and I was shaking so bad, I couldn’t keep the buck inside the crosshairs of my scope.”
Parker, 32, battled a raging case of buck fever for a full five minutes — but the deer cooperated by staying in the lane the whole time. When she finally fired, it was about 80 yards away.
“The buck finally turned broadside, and I took a deep breath in and started to exhale fully while I gently squeezed the trigger,” she said.
The heavy-horned deer bolted back into the thicket and Parker was unsure of her shot, but McPhearson — who was about 700 yards away watching the spectacle unfold with his binoculars — put her mind at ease.
“He assured me I made a good shot,” she said.
While her dad went to get McPhearson in their ATV, Parker searched and found a solid blood trail. When the men returned, they all ventured into a grove of honey locust trees and found the big buck piled up 50 yards away.
“I was amazed and just thrilled. I was so happy,” she said. “My dad was jumping up and down, saying he was so proud of his ‘Boo Baby.’ My brother-in-law was like, ‘That was the deer of a lifetime. It’s going to score probably 170 or 180.’”
Turns out he was right — the big 12 point had an inside spread of 20 ½ inches with 5-inch bases that helped stretch the tape at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop to 172 6/8 inches, currently good for 3rd place in the store’s big buck contest.
The big deer was a typical 10-point, with two kickers at the base of its left antler, and was aged at 6 ½ years.
Parker, a stay-at-home mom to two boys — ages 4 and 23 months — doesn’t have lots of down time to hunt like she used to, but her and her husband made a deal this season that ultimately benefitted both of them.
“We are both big deer hunters. He went elk hunting this year and turkey hunting, and he went on a couple of duck hunts,” Parker said. “So for him to go on his elk hunt in Colorado, I told him he was going to have to watch the kids this year and let me get back into bowhunting and rifle hunting. I think he shot a 5 by 5. It was a tradeoff.
“He was very proud of me, and said that this was a monster buck of a lifetime.”
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.