Troy McNeal knows that first hand, but you wouldn't know it from a kill he made Dec. 29 on his 100-acre parcel in Avoyelles Parish. McNeal, whose lease is surrounded by other leases and landowners, bagged a 10-point buck that day that scored an impressive 167 6/8 Boone and Crockett. The main beams measured 24 inches, the spread was 21 ¼ inches inside and the bases were 6 inches in circumference. The deer was estimated to be 5 ½ years old and it weighed a whopping 230 pounds.
Like the buck, 100 acres isn't exactly "small," but it is considering the big spreads occupied by some clubs these days. McNeal, who lives in Center Point, said it's the biggest deer he's killed in his life and he believes it to be the biggest buck harvested from the land he now hunts with his two sons, Cody and Trey.
"There have been a lot of deer killed here near the refuges," McNeal said. "But we're located away from there. There haven't been many bucks this big killed near here for sure."
Dec. 29 was a cold day, with temperatures in central Louisiana hovering in the mid-thirties near daybreak. McNeal was in his box stand before the sun rose, while his two sons had decided to hunt ducks nearby. It didn't take long for the father to see some activity about 150 yards away.
"The sun hadn't been up for long, and I was just watching down the shooting lanes to my left and to my right," he said. "I saw a doe cross the lane to the right and when I put my scope on her, she looked skittish. She took off real fast. Then the buck stepped out. I noticed with my naked eye he had six or eight points. They were nice horns. I went straight for the kill. I put it on his front shoulder and squeezed one off."
He would soon find that the shot from his Remington 700 7 Millimeter Magnum was true.
"The boys sent a text and said they had heard a shot," McNeal said. "Cody said it sounded like it was a hit. I got down there and there was a peel out mark, and then blood. He only got maybe 40 yards. When the boys met me, Cody, my older son, said it was the same one he had caught on camera back in October."
McNeal said the big buck will go on his wall – a fitting prize, after the 42-year-old hunter was skunked last year.
"After not killing one last year, it was nice to get one like this," he said. "I might never top it out, but there are a few back there that are nice. And the boys are young. They have plenty of time to see one like this and take him."
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