The call from the timber company where Dean Wainwright has a hunting lease in Vernon Parish carried news he wasn’t  anxious to hear: The timber harvest was set to begin.

But Wainwright had trail camera photos of a big buck on his hunting club — a deer that had been hanging out right where the harvest was planned. So he devised a new plan hat worked like a charm when Wainwright got the big 11-point in his sights on the morning of Nov. 19.

“I realize that timber companies are in the business of managing and harvesting timber, and it was what I first saw as a case of bad luck on my part,” Wainwright said. “I knew I had to do something different if I hoped to have a chance at this buck.”

So instead of hunting from his box stand on his food plot and waiting for the buck to show up, Wainwright had a good idea where the buck was hanging out — so he set up a ground blind in an area that would hopefully allow him to spot the buck if it made a move.

“I hunted Saturday on a warm, windy day in the blind and didn’t see anything. The next morning, I was back in my blind before daylight,” he said. “The wind was still blowing, but fortunately it would carry my scent away from where I had a feeling was the buck’s core area.”

As he got comfortable in his blind, listening to skidders and shearers working just a few hundred yards from his location, a doe stepped out at 80 yards. 

“I got my .300 Win Mag up and ready in case there was another deer following her. Sure enough, I made out the movement of another deer and could see antlers and a black hock,” Wainwright said. “I felt like it was the big one I had been after.”

As the buck slipped along, Wainwright saw that with the cover so thick, it was going to be difficult to find an opening where he could shoot. 

“I looked ahead in the direction the deer was walking and saw a tiny window in the brush I thought I could get a bullet through,” he said. “When he stepped into the small opening, I fired and quickly jacked another bullet in. I could no longer see him nor could I hear him running. I was beginning to wonder what happened when I saw the buck slowly walking in my direction, trying to pin-point where the shot came from. I later learned that my shot had glanced off a tree, totally missing the deer.”

The buck stepped behind a big tree, and all Wainwright could see was the neck and shoulder. Placing the crosshairs of his scope on the deer’s shoulder, he squeezed off another shot and the buck hit the ground. But unfortunately, it got up and disappeared again into the thick brush. 

“I called my buddy to come help me,” he said. “I felt I had hit the deer good but not hearing or seeing anything, I was afraid he had run off.”

Fortunately, the buck lay dead not 10 yards from where it was shot. The trophy sported 11 points with an inside spread of 16 inches. Main beams were 23 inches each; G2s were 10 inches, G3s were 11 inches and G4s were 8 inches. The rack measured 166 inches of antler bone.

“When I shot the deer, I was within 200 yards of the log loader. Log trucks were driving through my food plot,” Wainwright said. “I assumed that when the activity started with the timber harvest, the buck just tightened his circle and held tight until the hot doe caused him to throw caution to the wind.”