Leesville's Kade Mitchell is known for filling his six-deer limit each hunting season, but he decided it was time to focus when he arrived home from a work trip in October and saw pictures of a big buck on his lease.

"I've got pictures of him on Oct. 19 and Oct. 21," Mitchell told LouisianaSportsman.com. "I've never had a picture of deer like that."

Each image was snapped during nighttime hours, so he couldn't get a detailed look at the rack – but he knew it was a big one.

"In the pictures I could guesstimate that he was a 12-point," Mithcell said. "I could tell he was pretty heavy."

And that's when he decided to quit worrying about filling his tags.

"I told all my buddies I wasn't killing a deer until I kill him," the 33-year-old hunter said. "I was going to just sit and wait."

So that's exactly what he was doing when the sun chased away the darkness on Nov. 3. Mitchell was 30 feet up a pine tree overlooking a creek where he had killed 10 to 15 deer before.

The situation was perfect, with the creek cutting through a 2-year-old cutover.

"It was growed up about 5 feet tall on both sides (of the creek)," Mitchell said.

In addition, there was a fresh cutover – made during the early bow season – a little more than 100 yards behind the hunter's position. He really didn't pay much attention to that because it was so wide open.

Fortunately, Mitchell snuck a peak toward the new cutover about 6:50 a.m.

"I kind of turned and looked behind me, and he was just going across that clearcut," Mitchell said. "He acted like he owned the place."

The deer was about 220 yards out, but there was no doubt it was the buck Mitchell was hunting.

"I could see his horns well from that distance," the hunter said.

Mitchell swiveled around and shouldered his .300 short mag, working to get a shot through the scattered trees between him and the clearcut.

"There were trees coming up and limbs in the way, so I was kind of concerned," he admitted.

Finally, he picked an opening and waited for the buck to appear. When he did, Mitchell squeezed the trigger.

"I whistled, and he wouldn't even put his head up, so I had to shoot him walking," he said. "I could tell I hit him. I heard the hit, and I could tell the way he was moving that I had hit him."

What Mitchell couldn't see from his perspective was that the deer was quartering slightly. He only discovered that potential problem when he climbed down about 15 minutes later and hurried to where the deer had been standing when shot.

"I gut shot him just as plain as day," Mitchell said. "There was no blood. None. I was getting sick."

The deer had left clear hoof impressions, however, so Mitchell eased along the deer's trail.

"My dad called because he heard me shoot, and I told him I had shot a monster," he explained. "I followed the trail about 150 yards, and I was just about ready to turn around and I found a pin-drop of blood."

That quickened his pulse, and Mitchell continued trailing the deer. Another 75 yards on, a spot of blood about as big as the bottom of a cold-drink can was found.

And then the deer's trail disappeared into a "sure-enough thick" part of the old cutover.

"I got my wife to run my shotgun to me on my 4-wheeler," Mitchell said. "When I had the shotgun and some buckshot, I slipped into that thicket and I heard him get up."

The buck escaped into a clearcut, where Mitchell caught up with it.

"He had his tail down and was barely getting along," Mitchell said. "I shot him twice with buckshot at 80 yards."

The deer disappeared on the other side of the clearcut, and Mitchell backed out to let the deer lay.

On the way out, Mitchell checked where the deer had been laid up and confirmed his errant rifle shot.

"There was blood everywhere," he said. "There was corn in the blood, so I could tell what had happened."

About two hours later, he returned with a buddy and a tracking dog. The two hit the thicket with the dog tugging at the leash.

"After I shot him with the buckshot, there was plenty of blood," he said.

Mitchell admitted he probably should have waited longer to track the deer, but was nervous because "I had messed up and got a good look at his horns."

It didn't take long for the dog to track the deer down, and the buck was critically wounded but had yet to expire.

"The deer was crawling, trying to get up," Mitchell said, adding that a shotgun blast put the deer down for good.

And then the celebration started.

"The mass on him was just unreal," Mitchell said. "I've never seen anything like that around here."

The 27-inch main beams sprouted 14 scorable points, and were thick along the entire length of the beams.

"There's 7 inches of mass between the G2 and G3 on the right side," Mitchell said. "I was thinking he was in the high 150s, maybe on up to the 160s."

The deer was green scored by retired Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Czerny Newland at 189 inches, with Simmons adding 4/8 of an inch to that.

It's been hard for the Mitchell to hit the woods again.

"I told a buddy of mine who called the other day and asked if I was going hunting, 'I'm retired,'" Mitchell laughed.