Vicki Husted left that ground blind that evening the owner of a fourth book deer that is a potential state-record non-typical at more than 240 inches.
The deer looks to top the current 219-inch state record – held by her husband.
"I just still in shock," she said.
However, the story of the Tensas Parish kill started much earlier when the husband-and-wife hunting team began picking up the deer on trail cams scattered about their property.
"We had it figured out that he was going out to a big field at night and coming back to the (Wetlands Reserve Program property) in the morning," Husted said. "We probably had him on six or seven cameras on a one-mile path.
"So that's where we set up."
The morning of Oct. 5, the couple was sitting in the ground blind well before daylight because they had the deer hanging out near the blind the day before. They were delighted when the flash of a nearby camera fired, signaling there was a deer nearby.
"When it finally got light enough for us to see, we could see it was the deer we were after," Vicki Husted said.
As daylight began seeping into the woods, Husted drew back – and couldn't see a thing through the peep site because it was still too dark.
So she let off and waiting nervously. Finally, she decided to give it another try.
"When I drew back, my nock lit up," Husted said. "In that dark blind, it really got the buck's attention. He started walking off."
But the deer paused at about 35 yards out and gave the hunter another shot.
"He was a little bit farther than I thought," Husted said. "We both saw wherer the arrow went. I undershot him."
Of course, the deer quickly disappeared.
That afternoon, however, the Husteds returned in hopes that the deer's habits would prevail. And about 30 minutes before dark the buck stepped out again.
"I've never been so nervous in my life," Vicki Husted said. "I told Billy, and he said, 'You don't have to tell me: You were shaking the whole ground blind."
At about 20 yards, Husted drew her bow on the buck for the third time and sent the arrow into the deer's side.
"We knew where the arrow hit," she said. "The shot was a bit far back, and we kind of suspected it might not have gotten the lung."
After discussing whether they should look for the deer or let it lie overnight, Vicki Husted said she couldn't stand it and headed out to get a look.
"We found a really good blood trail, a lot of good, red blood," she said. "We thought he'd be laying out there."
Another 75 yards revealed her broken arrow, which was covered with blood to the fletching.
"And then the blood stopped," Husted said.
The hunters pulled out and returned the next morning, hoping they would be able to see blood in the daylight.
"We did not find another drop of blood," Husted said.
They finally called in a friend who has a penchant for tracking deer, but the effort was unsuccessful. And then Husted remembered something her late father had taught her.
"My dad said sometimes when a deer gets hurt it will go to water," she said. "There was a pond 125, 150 yards from the ground blind, so I went to look."
The deer was dead on the edge of the pond.
Coyotes had gotten to it, dining on the back end of the deer and around the arrow entry site. But the head was fine.
The animal was in full velvet, but boasted 27 points on a 16 ½-inch frame.
"A friend said it's just an explosion of horns," Husted. "The pictures don't do it justice because the primary explosion of horns is off the back side. It looks so much better from the back side."
The animal was first scored for the Tyner Petrus big-buck contest, and the outcome was 240 5/8. Simmons Sporting Goods upped the score to 249 4/8.
The deer cannot be officially scored for 60 days.