Just last week, I got a note from David Moreland, retired deer professional with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. I had asked him for his opinion on the most effective way to waylay a mature buck during daylight hours.
“During the rut, a good buck can show up about any time. However, prior to the rut, you may want to move from your box stand in the direction you expect the buck to travel to the food source. Set up a climber or lock-on along his trail for the best chance to see him before dark,” Moreland wrote.
Without having the benefit of that great advice from David, Stephen Williams did exactly that on Thursday afternoon and put the hammer down on a big 10-point buck he had patterned since primitive firearms season began.
“I had trail cam photos of this buck last year when he was a big 9-point. This season, I was relieved to know he’d made it past last season because I had gotten trail cam photos of this buck for the past five days. Each photo showed he reached my food plot just after shooting hours. I was watching the weather report and noted that a good front was headed this way so I took off work Thursday with a change of plans in mind,” Williams said.
The 45-year-old deputy who supervises the Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division hunts on family land in Lincoln Parish. He decided to abandon his box stand overlooking a lush food plot and place his climbing stand 100 yards away along a trail deer were using.
“The wind was just right that afternoon and I had a good feeling that my hunch just might pay off because not long after I got settled into my climbing stand, I began to see deer. Six does and yearlings walked by my stand as they headed toward the food plot,” he said.
The big 10-point had been accompanied by a nice 8-point buck on several of Williams’ trail cam photos. And around 6:30 p.m., Williams saw the smaller buck walking along a trail that ran parallel to the ones the does and yearlings used.
He got ready because he suspected the one he was after would be along shortly, and a minute later, his hunch paid off as the big 10-point buck stepped along the trail.
“It was hard to pass on the 8-point because he was a really nice deer and would have been the best buck ever taken on this property. I’m glad I held off when I saw the big one following the 8-point along the trail at 65 yards,” he said.
A well-placed shot with his .444 primitive firearm connected and the buck collapsed after traveling only about 15 yards.
The buck weighed 180 pounds, and carried a rack of impressive headgear. Sporting 10 symmetrical points, 16 ½-inches of air separated the antlers. He rough-scored the buck with some 150 inches of bone and only two inches of deductions, validating the symmetry of the rack.
I guess when you think about it, it’s not too surprising the deputy eventually got his man.
“I’m always on the hunt for something,” he said with a grin.