When the image of a big Tensas Parish buck started appearing on 17-year-old Hayden Theriot’s trail cameras in early October, he had his sights set on meeting up with the big deer.
On Saturday, Dec. 30, the senior at Hahnville High School got his chance, but not before a bit of soul-searching — and pulling a little rank on his cousin.
“My family owns some land in Tensas Parish between the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge and Buckhorn Wildlife Management Area,” Theriot said. “Although I’m in a hunting lease at home near Luling where we hunt some swamp land, my favorite place to hunt because of the size of the deer there is our land in Tensas Parish.”
On the afternoon of Dec. 30, Theriot, his cousin and two more friends crawled aboard a woods buggy and headed for their stands. But on the way, the buggy broke down and as time was getting late, the quartet of hunters hurried to get on stands before daylight was gone.
“There are only three stands we could walk to that late in the afternoon, and one of them is a two-man ladder stand,” Theriot explained. “Two of the hunters headed for stands while my cousin and I decided to sit on the two-man ladder.”
As daylight started fading, a doe walked out and Theriot dropped it. The family has DMAP tags and wanted to thin the doe population a bit, so there was no hesitation about taking the doe.
“About 15 minutes later, we looked up and this big buck walked out at 300 yards,” he said. “It was my cousin’s time to shoot, but actually my cousin hadn’t hunted much and this was the buck I’d been after all season — so it was a no-brainer for me to try him.”
Theriot’s first shot with his .300 Win Mag was high and he completely missed the buck. However, the deer took a couple of steps in their direction, apparently not knowing where the shot came from.
“I jacked another shell in and this time when I shot, he hit the ground right there,” Theriot said.
The rack carried 11 points with a drop tine and kicker off the G2. The inside spread was 16 inches, and the bases were impressive at nearly 7 inches each with mass that continued throughout the rack.
The buck was 5 ½ years old and weighed just under 200 pounds. A Buckmaster scorer put tape on the rack and came up with 168 4/8 inches.