Tyler Waller and his brother-in-law, Corey Wichelns, nicknamed a legendary Webster Parish buck “Rocking Chair” because it’s big rack looked like a rocker turned upside down.
On Dec. 5, the wily old buck — who had been photographed on cameras for four years but had never been seen — finally let its guard down pursuing a doe.
And Waller was there when the buck stepped out of a thicket just before shooting time ended, finishing the quest for Rocking Chair.
“I work for an oil field supply company and usually don’t get home in time after work to hunt,” Waller said. “However, I was able to get my work done early enough that day to rush home and get to hunt the last hour of daylight.”
A cold front had just pushed through, and Wallace felt confident this might be the day he would finally get a chance at the big buck.
“My brother-in-law and I had been after this buck for the past four years, and we knew he was probably 6 to 7 years old and was getting past his prime,” he said. “It was sort of a now or never situation if we hoped to ever bring this old fellow down.”
Hurrying to his stand located on property he, Wichelns and his dad lease, Waller sneaked up to the stand only to see three does already feeding on his food plot.
“My first thought was to leave because I felt if I spooked the does with so little daylight left, I wouldn’t have a chance at the buck that would probably not come out until after dark, if he came out at all,” Waller said. “I finally decided I was here, and I’d take my chances.”
As he expected, the does took off as he climbed into his stand. But to his surprise, a doe stepped into the lane about 30 minutes later some 150 yards away.
“I noticed that the doe was acting nervous and kept looking back in the thicket behind her. Suddenly, she took off in a rush and I was ready, because I felt something was about to step out behind her,” he said. “Then a big-bodied deer stepped out and I got my gun up. Once I saw his antlers, my heart started racing because I recognized him as Rocking Chair.”
The crosshairs on his Browning 7 Mag settled on the shoulder of the big buck, and he shot. But the deer took off in a flash — with no evidence it had been hit. Wallace started doubting the accuracy of his shot, but waited a few minutes before walking down to see what he could find.
“I walked to the spot where he was standing and found a good pile of blood. Following the blood trail into the thicket, I walked about 75 yards and all I could see was antlers sticking up,” he said. “I dropped to my knees, and with tears in my eyes said a prayer of thanks.”
The buck was a mainframe 10-point with one kicker, officially making it an 11. The inside spread was 19 ⅛ inches, with bases over 4 inches and main beams stretching to more than 21 inches. The buck weighed-in at 232 pounds, and was measured with 152 inches of antler mass.
Incredibly, trail cam photos from past seasons revealed the buck was past its prime, and had actually lost some antler mass this year.
“Downing Rocking Chair was bittersweet because Corey and I had worked so hard for the past four years to get him," Waller said. "I only wish that Corey could have been there with me to share what I experienced.”