Delores Sampey is part of a hunting family: her husband, son, daughter and son-in-law are all avid hunters.
In fact, this past weekend her husband Dwaine was on a hunting trip in Kansas, while her son Nicholas was on a deer stand in Illinois, both in pursuit of trophy bucks.
So while the two men of the household were away, Delores decided to slip out to her stand near Goldonna Saturday afternoon and ended up bringing down a big 8-point buck only minutes from home.
“This was a buck we knew about because not only did we have his image on a trail camera recently, my son Nicholas was bow hunting and actually shot at and missed him the afternoon before he headed to Illinois to hunt,” said Sampey, who works as a registered nurse at Specialty Hospital in Winnfield.
The Sampeys hunt on family land located just outside Goldonna in Natchitoches Parish, and Delores decided to head out Saturday afternoon and sit in her stand overlooking a food plot.
“I had a pile of rice bran out on one of my shooting lanes, and my husband had planted me a food plot on another lane, and we also had corn out on this lane,” she said.
Delores hopped aboard her golf cart for the drive back to the woods and was disappointed to learn it wouldn’t start.
“I thought about just forgetting the hunt, but I really wanted to go. My son’s 4-wheeler was there so I put all my gear aboard and drove it to the woods,” she said.
Crawling into her stand, she didn’t have to wait long before she spotted some activity. Two does and yearlings stepped out and began feeding on the rice bran. She looked toward the other lane and noticed a raccoon munching the corn.
Suddenly, the raccoon stood on its hind legs and began looking out toward the woods.
“I felt like maybe it saw something coming so I laid my rifle in the window and got ready. A little 6-point buck walked onto the food plot,” Sampey said. “A minute later, two other deer entered the food plot at about 100 yards and one of them was the one we had on our trail camera, the big 8-point.”
Instead of turning broadside for a more desirable shot, the buck began walking straight away from her. In view of the fact that the hour was getting late and the buck seemed to have no plans to stop, she took aim with her camo-pink 7 mm mag and squeezed the trigger on the only shot she had: the rear end.
“I waited a few minutes before climbing down, walked to the spot where he was standing when I shot and found nothing. Then I watched an 8-point buck dash across the shooting lane and I assumed that was the buck I’d shot at and missed,” she said.
However, she began hearing rustling noises in the direction the buck she’d taken a shot at had run, but because it was late and she was alone, she decided to wait until morning and get some help to track the deer.
“The next morning, my brother Dale Rowell joined me and we located the deer, which had fallen and died after traveling only 130 yards,” Sampey said. “My brother saw him first and said, ‘Here’s your deer, sis.’ We gave each other a big hug because it’s by far the biggest deer I ever shot.
“All I could say was, ‘Thank you, Lord.’”
The buck, an 8-pointer evenly matched on both sides, had a 17-inch inside spread, and its main beams were each over 20 inches, with bases exceeding 4 inches. Rough scored, the buck is in the 135-inch range.
“The words of a commercial I’d seen on television came to mind when I thought about what happened,” Sampey said. “My version of it goes, ‘Husband hunting in Kansas. Son hunting in Illinois. I ride out to my stand three miles from home while they’re gone and kill a big 8-point buck.