Bobby Albert, of Colfax, knew there was a big buck hanging out on the Kisatchie National Forest 3 miles from his home.

But the 19-year-old hunter didn’t know how big the deer actually was until the bruiser finally stepped out into a clearing on a fire break just before the end of shooting time on Sunday, Oct. 8. 

“I had been going out and checking for sign on Kisatchie before bow season opened,” Albert said. “I went down an old haul road and got a little excited when I saw some really big old rubs on some cedar trees.”

The old road becomes an abandoned fire break, and the way the break connects with a hill, it becomes somewhat of a pinch point. Albert found a suitable tree that would give him the best view of where the deer would walk, and decided that was where he’d hang his climbing stand to begin the quest for a buck that had shredded the cedars last season.

“A few days before the season opened, my friend and I went in, I put my climber on the tree and climbed to make sure I had a good view of the area,” he said. “After being satisfied with the set-up, we left the area and I wasn’t going back in there until opening day.

“Opening morning, I hunted the stand but didn’t see anything. I climbed down to head for church and when I was walking out, I spooked a deer — couldn’t tell what it was but I felt encouraged.”

Albert works at Walker Toyota in Alexandria, and gets home in time to make a quick hunt before dark. He hunted the same stand every afternoon that week, and although he didn’t score, he saw three bucks one afternoon: a nice 8-point, a 6-point and a spike. 

“I’d have taken a shot at the 8-point but he never gave me the look I needed for a killing shot, so I held off,” he said. 

He hunted before church on the 8th but didn’t see anything, so he got his gear and headed back to his tree that afternoon. Albert shoots a Bowtech Assassin with Gold Tip Hunter Pro arrows and a Grim Reaper broadhead.

“It had started getting late and I hadn’t seen anything when I began hearing footsteps in the leaves. It would walk a few steps, stop and walk a few more,” he said. “I felt like it was a deer walking, and I was hoping I’d be able to see it before it got too late. Finally … I got a glimpse of a deer and could tell it had a big body. I was hoping it was the big buck. I had one little opening and I could see it was a buck. As the deer stepped behind a big tree, I stood and got my bow ready.”

The deer finally took the step Albert needed for a shot, and he released the arrow and watched as the deer bolted. He heard the deer crash not far away.

“I called my buddy and told him I’d shot a good buck, so he came down, we picked up my blooded arrow, and followed a good blood trail and quickly found the buck piled up 50 yards from where I shot him,” Albert said. “My legs were shaking and my heart was racing when I saw just how big he was. I knew I was after a good deer, but he was bigger than I imagined.”

The buck tipped the scales at 215 pounds, and sported a symmetrical 8-point rack with an inside spread of 19 inches. The G-2s were indeed impressive, stretching the tape to 13 ¼ inches each. Bases were between 4 and 5 inches, and the buck green scored 143 2/8 inches.