There aren’t many certainties in life, but death, taxes — and apparently Thomas Bourne busting a nice Claiborne Parish buck.
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Arcadia hunter settled the crosshairs of his Sako 7mm Mag on a sweet deer — most recently an 11-pointer on Nov. 27 that stretched the tape to 152 inches. (Louisiana Sportsman also featured Bourne’s 140-class 8- point in 2014 and his 150-class 10-point in 2015.)
“I have seven big deer mounts hanging on the wall at my house and all of them came off the timber company land I lease,” said Bourne, who works with his family-owned trucking company.
He believes the land has been so productive because his stand sits in the only grove of hardwoods within 2 miles of the area. Deer tend to funnel into his hardwoods from two different spots adjacent to his lease.
But Bourne has a history with this year’s big buck. While heading to his stand during primitive firearms season, he saw a nice buck — possibly this one — crossing the road.
“The buck was headed to land off my lease,” Bourne said. “I lease 100 acres and I immediately went to the courthouse, and checked property records to see who owned the land next to my lease. I found it’s an 82-acre tract, and I contacted the owner who was agreeable to leasing the land to me.”
Bourne erected a stand on that tract, put out some game cameras and began seeing photos of a big buck periodically. But on Saturday morning, Nov. 26, Bourne sat on his stand on the new lease without success. After climbing down, he checked cameras on his 100 acres and as luck would have it, the big buck was showing up there.
“I buckled down and decided to hunt my stand on my original lease hard now that I knew where the buck was hanging out and the rut was on,” he said.
Getting off work early on Monday, at 4:15 Bourne climbed into his box stand which sits on a power line. He had been seeing two young deer, a button buck and doe, come out on the line every afternoon. On Monday, the doe repeated its visit but there was something different about the deer’s behavior.
“When the little doe came out at 150 yards, I could tell she was nervous by the way she acted. She hurried on across the high line and as soon as she went into the woods on the opposite side, this big buck stepped out and began walking across the line, following the doe,” Bourne said. “I yelled, ‘Hey!’, the buck stopped and I shot. He ran about 50 yards where I found him dead.”
The buck tipped the scales at 177 pounds, and sported 11 points with an inside spread of 16 2/8 inches. Main beams were 23 inches each, with G2s and G3s nearing 12 inches, while G4s were 7 inches. Mass carried throughout the rack, with 5-inch-plus bases and the circumference between the G2s and G3s measuring 4 2/8 inches each. Antler measurements revealed a rough score of 152 inches.
“One reason I’ve been fortunate with big bucks in this area is we work on the does,” Borne said. “I think the best way to improve the quality of bucks is to reduce the competition, and taking out a good number of does helps that.”