Most seasoned deer hunters have been on a hunt that lasts a couple of days. But how many of them can say they essentially shot, tracked and shot again to kill the same deer over the course of a two-day period?
Right. Not many.
But Travis Lucas has. And the resident of tiny Hessemer in central Louisiana has a huge deer to show for it.
Lucas was hunting about 20 miles from Hessemer on a private lease in Avoyelles Parish during the afternoon of Dec. 15.He had set up his ladder stand about 45 minutes earlier, when at 4:30 p.m., the biggest deer he had seen in all of his 52 years came into sight. The giant creature crossed approximately 30 yards from where he was set up, but it was in a thicket. Lucas had enough faith in his new Mission MXB-360 crossbow, however, to let fly with an arrow.
His mark was true, as Lucas would soon learn the arrow passed completely through the buck's hindquarter. After the initial rush of excitement, Lucas made his way through the thicket and eventually began using toilet tissue to mark the blood trail through the woods.
He followed the trail until well after nightfall -- passing through sloughs and dense woods with water in his hip boots and futilely swatting mosquitoes which were prevalent on the warm evening. He gave up the search about 7:30 p.m., figuring if the buck had died, he'd have a better chance of finding him in the morning.
Leaving for the night was extremely tough, though.
"It was hard, yeah," he said. "Absolutely. But it happens to the best of them. I figured if it was dead, the buzzards would be swarming him, so I'd be hunting him again."
Before church the next morning, Lucas made his way back to the lease and after getting on the trail again, he found the buck. After 16 hours of being shot, it was still alive. That wasn't something Lucas expected, and as such, he had left his bow at home. He made a quick call to his wife, who brought the bow so Lucas could make the final shot.
"I was walking around him and then I found him only five steps from where I was," he said. "When I saw he was alive, I did an about face and just kind of backed out of there quickly. I definitely didn't expect to find him alive."
The buck was huge. It was a 10-pointer that green scored at 182. The mast was 7 inches at the base and the main beams measured 28 inches across. The deer, when field dressed, weighed 215 pounds. It's believed that when alive, it could have tipped the scales at 275 pounds.
The deer officially scored 175 6/8 inches typical after the 60-day drying period. It's gross score was 182 7/8 inches .
Lucas had plenty to say about the bow he had purchased only a few months earlier.
"It's a 2013 model," he said. "It's high dollar, but man, this thing is just unreal."
Sort of like the buck that will take a place of honor on his wall.
"I've got a few really nice ones on the wall," Lucas said. "But those will look like Bambis compared to this one."
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