That's definitely the case for Johnny Gallion, who for the better part of two months, had been spotting a 10-point buck on a trail camera he set up on a small tract of land he hunts near Leesville.
The huge deer didn't show up for the first two weeks Gallion (who goes by jgallion26 on the LouisianaSportsman.com forum) had the camera in the wild, but it began making regular appearances on the camera at about 9 p.m. every other night. The animal's size had Gallion dreaming he might one day have a shot at him with something other than a camera lens.
The 29-year old beer distributor finally came face to face with the big buck Friday (Oct. 26), and it's a meeting Gallion will not soon forget.
Just before nightfall on that cool and drizzly Friday, the buck walked out of the woods into a fire lane cut onto the Fetting Hunting Property — a 16-acre parcel of land his boss owns. The buck walked down the clearing to Gallion's corn pile about 70 yards from his tree stand perched 30 feet above the ground.
That's when Gallion shouldered his single-shot .308 and hit the buck in the left side.
The deer only ran 15 yards before falling into thick brush, but it took Gallion more than 45 minutes before he finally got his prize because he only found one drop of blood in his corn pile, and with the sun quickly fading there was no trail for him to follow into the woods.
He didn't know if the deer was injured or dead, so Gallion wisely didn't go charging into the heavy brush to find the animal.
Instead, he called his dad for help, and with the use of lights they were able to locate the deer — white belly pointing upward out of the thicket.
"It was huge," Gallion said. "His base antlers measured 4 ¾ inches around. His G1s were 9 ½ inches long. It was a 10-point, but it had ¾-inch long spikes right over his eyes. So, those were a ¼-inch shy of making him a 12-point."
The rack, which measured 17 ¾ inches inside and and 19 ½ inches outside, has been greenscored at 147 inches Boone & Crockett.
Gallion and his dad dragged the deer (they estimated it weighed more than 200 pounds) more than 200 yards down a hill to his truck. The work was well worth the effort, he said, as the only other buck he had killed before was a spike he dropped about seven years ago.
"I'm a meat hunter. I tried to get on a lease all year, but I couldn't," Gallion said. "This is a small tract. It's bordered by two timber companies, but it's only 10 minutes, maybe, from where I work.
"This is proof you don't have to have a club or a huge piece of land to find a deer like this."
Of course, finding a buck as big as the one he killed could be a daunting task.
"All my friends, everyone is telling me that it will be hard for me to top this," he said. "That's OK. This was a great experience."
Click here to read about other big bucks killed this season.
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