Ryan Riche' had a trail-cam picture of a great buck from last August, and he had put his time in trying to ambush it. But it wasn't until Dec. 27 that the 22-year-old finally got a look at the Avoyelles Parish deer.

"The deer has a G3 that looks like it splits, and when he stepped I saw that," Riche' said. "I thought, 'Oh my God! That's the one.'"

Riche' was overlooking three shooting lanes when five does ran across one of the green patches about 3:45 p.m. The hunter snapped his binoculars to his eyes, and watched as a really nice 8-point followed the last doe into the woods about 120 yards away from the stand.

"She was running back and forth (across the opening)," Riche' said.

While he was watching the 8-point through the glasses, something unexpected happened.

"(A deer) came out of the woods and slapped (the 8-pointer) with his horns," Riche' said.

This buck was obviously dominant, and Riche' traded his nocs for his rifle. That's when he noticed the weird G3.

Click here for another view of the big buck.

The buck quickly disappeared with the doe, but the pair soon returned.

"The probably ran across the food plot four or five times," Riche' said. "They were just going in the woods and coming back out."

Finally, the doe trotted out and stopped momentarily at a pile of rice bran before bolting again. The big buck reached the bran, and made its fatal mistake.

"He stopped for about 10 seconds," Riche' said. "That's when I shot him."

The buck streaked away, and Riche' was left to wonder.

Not wanting to spook the deer if it was only wounded, Riche' waited until dark and headed to the camp. When his father returned from his own hunt, the younger Riche' had the trail cam photos out.

"I told him, 'I'm 95 percent sure that it's that deer right there,'" Riche' said.

They returned to the woods, and found a blood trail. However, they called off the search after not finding the deer down close to the food plot.

"It was cold, and we didn't want to push it," Riche' said.

The next morning found a party of about 10 combing the woods.

"I knew the trail he was following, and we just followed it," Riche' said.

The blood trail was intermittent, but finally the group walked up on the downed animal.

"I just saw a big set of horns," Riche' laughed.

That was an understatement. The calcium crown was composed of 15 scoreable points arrayed around an 18-inch-wide frame that sprouted from bases greater than 5 ½ inches around.

It green scored at 167 7/8 inches Boone & Crockett.

And Riche' said he had no clue it was that massive when he squeezed off the shot.

"I never knew until I got to the deer how many points he had," the young hunter said.

Visit the Nikon Deer of the Year contest to see more bucks killed this season and to enter your own photos. Only registered users are eligible to win the monthly and grand prizes, so be sure and sign up today!

User reports also can be viewed on our deer hunting forum, which everyone is encouraged to join.