While some impressive deer have been taken there, Lincoln Parish in north central Louisiana isn’t typically known as a go-to spot to down a trophy buck in the Bayou State.
But one particular deer there achieved almost mythical status because for several years, hunters saw the “Lincoln Legend” only on game cameras. The big deer utilized its age and experience to elude all efforts to take it down.
That was before 35-year-old Choudrant resident Kelly Bagwell discovered the deer had a taste for Mo Bucks, an attractant that combines corn, rice bran and molasses.
With its head in a pile of the tasty stuff, Bagwell put the crosshairs of his Remington .270 on the big buck on the afternoon of Oct. 28 — and dropped it where it stood.
The hunter was overcome with emotion when he realized that his quest for the monster buck had finally ended.
“I have a history with this buck going back several seasons,” Bagwell said. “I used to live in a mobile home on 7 acres I own in the area I was hunting, and on several occasions I’d get a glimpse of the buck in addition to seeing his image on my game cameras.
“Several years ago, he sported a nice 10-point rack and each year, he kept growing. Last year he was a 14-point but as he grew older, I felt like the quality of his antlers would start to decline. Fortunately, I got him before that happened.”
In addition to hunting with his rifle, Bagwell is also a bowhunter and was hoping he’d have a chance at the buck with his bow. However, as he was filling his deer feeder, it collapsed and Bagwell landed awkwardly, fracturing his ankle in the process.
“Bowhunting him was out as I was unable to use my climber ,so it was just me and my .270,” he said.
On the morning of Oct. 28, Bagwell hunted a box stand on the property and saw several deer including some average bucks, but nothing he wanted to shoot. Returning to his stand that afternoon, he felt this just might be the day the big one would step out.
“Something just told me I’d get my chance at the buck this afternoon, but as the time grew late and there was very little shooting time left, I was somewhat discouraged,” Bagwell said. “Then he stepped out at 75 yards and headed for the Mo Bucks.”
As soon as the deer gave Bagwell a good view of its antlers, he knew the buck was the one he’d been after for several seasons. A squeeze of the trigger, and the deer went down.
“As I got down and walked toward him, I confess I had a tear or two because I’d hunted him so hard and was finally able to close the deal,” he said.
The buck sported a rack of 12 points plus a small kicker, with an inside spread of 18 4/8 inches. Its main beams averaged 26 inches, with 5-inch bases and heavy mass throughout the rack. The 215-pound buck was entered in Simmons’ Sporting Goods Big Buck Contest as a 12-point and green-scored 169 ⅛ inches.
“What was so impressive was when I checked his jaw bone to determine age, he only had one tooth left,” Bagwell said. “He had to be at least 7 ½ years old.”