Old stand yields trophy buck for 10-year-old hunter
Massive 18-point green scores nearly 190 inches Boone & Crockett.
Ten-year-old Jack DeKeyzer chose an old stand that hadn't been hunting in a couple of years, and the decision earned him a buck that scored nearly 190 inches Boone & Crockett.
“Daddy, I want to sit on stand 73,” Jack said firmly.
“Stand 73? Son, that stand hasn’t been hunted in two years, hasn’t been cleaned up. Are you sure?” the elder DeKeyzer said.
“Yep, I’m sure,” Jack answered.
After walking to the 10-foot-ladder stand, cleaning the leaves that cluttered the platform, Jack sat down at 3:30 p.m. - and an hour later, he put the crosshairs on his Savage .243 single-shot rifle behind the shoulder of an 18-point Concordia Parish behemoth that has been estimated to score almost 190 inches Boone & Crockett.
“Jack told me he just had a feeling that the big buck my brother Justin had passed up on a couple of occasions this season would walk out,” Peter DeKeyzer said. “We’re selective in what we shoot, and Justin judged the buck to be 3 1/2 years old. The bucks down here on our club average 270 pounds, and because the one Justin saw was probably 50 pounds lighter, he assumed it still had some growing to do.
“He wanted to save it for one of the kids in our club ….”
The father-son team walked to stand 73 and cleaned out the leaves and limbs, and Jack’s dad got his son settled around 3:30 before walking to another stand 200 yards away on a power line.
An hour after leaving his son, Peter DeKeyzer heard a shot. Five minutes later, he saw Jack standing out in the power line, waving his orange cap.
He was concerned when Jack yelled out, “Dad, it’s an emergency!”
Peter DeKeyzer couldn’t get out of his stand fast enough.
“That shook me up, and I immediately wanted to know what the emergency was,” he said. “Jack said that he had some good news and some bad news.
“I told him I first wanted the good news and he said he’d shot the big old buck Uncle Justin had told him about.”
Before Peter DeKeyzer began celebrating, he asked about the bad news.
“The bad news he had to report was that half an hour before shooting the buck, a pit bull and German shepherd came by his stand chasing a deer, and he was afraid they might get the buck he’d shot,” the elder DeKeyzer chuckled.
The pair walked back to the stand, and Jack pointed out to his dad where the deer was standing 30 yards from the stand when he shot.
They found blood, and then saw the deer that had run only 30 yards before dying.
The buck, which had a double beam on the left side, sported 18 points with a 19 1/2-inch inside spread, 5-inch bases and 24-inch main beams. The 220-pound buck was judged to be 5 ½ years old.
The DeKeyzers took the buck to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop, where it scored 189 6/8 inches Boone & Crockett, - good enough to take the third-place position in the non-typical category of the company’s Big Buck Contest.
The kill was an emotional experience for the DeKeyzers.
Good friend Brett Fuqua, who had hunted and fished with Peter DeKeyzer for 20 years and who was one of the members of the hunting club, was killed in 2009 while clearing fallen trees on the club in 2009. And Jack DeKeyzer said he thought about his “Uncle Brett” as soon as he shot the big buck.
“As Jack and I were walking back to get the 4 wheeler, Jack stopped, pointed both index fingers to the sky and said, ‘Thank you Jesus Christ, and thank you Uncle Brett; I could feel your presence with me all afternoon,’” Peter DeKeyzer said.
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