Hunting public land takes a bit of extra work. That's a lesson Trent
Boudreaux learned when he first started hunting Red River Wildlife
Management Area as a teenager in 1998.

"It's tough to get away from the crowd," he said. "It's taken me years to
learn the land. You see the signs of traffic, and you avoid that. You have
to be prepared to walk much farther than most people do."

It's a labor of love for Boudreaux, though, and it's one that has paid off
for the 30-year old Thibodeaux resident.

On Dec. 27, during a hunt with friends, Boudreaux bagged a buck sporting a
rack that green scored 144 1/8 inches gross score, and 140 7/8 Boone and
Crocket after deductions were made.

But perhaps the most impressive thing about the 8-point buck might be its
weight: The deer tipped the scales at a whopping 255 pounds, a figure made
even more impressive considering the deer was only 4 ½ years old.

"It was the heaviest one they've seen come out of there in a while,"
Boudreaux said. "The fat on it was really thick. I don't know if it was
early in the rut, because they'll drop some pounds during the rut. But it
just had inches of fat on it."

The hunt came on a frigid morning. Boudreaux said it was 25 degrees at
daybreak,and he said the woods were really quiet until about 8:15 a.m. when
the sun began to melt the ice hanging from the trees around him.

At about 8:45 a.m., Boudreaux heard a noise behind him — a doe had snuck out
and busted him as he turned to face her. But as he continued to slowly stand
up, he spotted the buck only a few steps behind that doe.

He shouldered his H&R Handi-Rifle .444 and fired at the buck that was only
70 yards away.

Boudreaux didn't get the immediate results he sought, however.

"He sped off, real low to the ground," he said. "I've seen them do that
before. I thought I had missed him. I was just sick to my stomach."

But when he overcame his disappointment and made it to the ground, he
noticed a pool of blood where the deer had been standing at the shot. His
hopes revived, Boudreaux sat on the ground for 20 minutes to gather his
wit,s and then began tracking the deer.

He found the buck approximately 80 yards away.

Once the deer had been taken from the WMA, Boudreaux couldn't wait to weigh
the buck. So, he found a game warden nearby who took him to a biologist who
guessed it would weigh 250. When it registered 255 on the scale, Boudreaux
said it finally registered that he had bagged the deer of a lifetime.

"All I (had been) thinking (was) that I missed and there would be no way (my
friends) are going to believe me when I (told) them it was a wall hanger,"
Boudreaux wrote in an email recollecting the story. "I knew it was a big
deer, but had no clue he was that nice. I feel truly blessed to be able to
experience a hunt like this with great friends."

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