Jason Mire was literally minutes away from missing the buck of a lifetime after he decided to abandon his stand in Acadia Parish and head for home.
The 38-year-old from Crowley was hunting in a hardwood bottom between some deep drainage canals that tie into Jonah Bayou near Egan. He had been positioned near where the canals, which are 4- to 5- feet deep but hold very little water, form a “T.”
He had been there almost four hours Sunday morning, Nov. 3, and hadn’t seen much of anything.
“I hunted that stand until 9 o’clock that morning ‘til I got aggravated,” he said. “When I got out of the stand, I was going back to the truck and I saw a couple of does coming at me in the drainage canal. So I stopped and sat down real low on an old rotten pine tree that had fallen across the canal. I wasn’t even 20-feet from my stand.”
Area 10 hunters can’t shoot does this year, so Mire watched as the pair made their way up the canal, got to the dead end and turned right, away from him, to make their way towards Jonah Bayou.
That was when Mire looked towards the canal to his right and thought for a second someone was playing a trick on him.
“All I could see was antlers. I couldn’t see the deer at all because the canal is so deep. He was moving really slow, looking up and down, up and down. He’d take one step, turn, look up and down and keep moving.”
So Mire, who was hunting with a shotgun and 000 buckshot just north of where the canals intersected, patiently sat on the log and watched the big buck’s rack as he slowly but surely made his way to the dead end.
That was when the wily old buck made one last surprising move, and gave Mire a story he’ll never forget.
“I thought he was going to come down that canal and head right to follow those does, but he didn’t. He turned left and climbed up the bank and came straight at me,” he said. “That’s when I finally saw the body of the deer, but he was close - maybe 15 to 20 yards. He couldn’t see me, but when he came up that levee, those horns just kept growing and growing. I was like, ‘Oh my God.’
“I was shaking so bad, I couldn’t believe it. I still don’t know why he just didn’t go to the end of the canal, take a right and go to the bayou.”
Mire, who already had his shotgun in position as he watched the antlers move down the canal, faced a tough decision when the big buck finally appeared in front of him.
“I didn’t want to shoot him in the face, but I panicked. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to miss him,” he said.
Fortunately, the big buck turned to his right to head back into the canal, and Mire got the broadside shot he was waiting for.
“That deer never saw me. When he turned sideways, I let it go and he flipped into the canal right there,” Mire said. “He wasn’t even 15 steps from me.”
The buck is big, but for Acadia Parish, he’s extra-special, said Mire, a taxidermist who also works for Superior Energy Services in Broussard.
“I never mounted an 8-point that size that was killed around here,” he said. “For Acadia Parish, that’s crazy.”
He aged the buck at 6 years old, with an 18-inch spread. The 8-pointer had a 4-inch and a 4 ½-inch base, featuring one 7-inch brow tine on the right main beam, and he estimates he will green score in the 120- to 130-inch range.
Mire, who can see I-10 in the distance and hear traffic from his stand, said a friend had a fun explanation for the deer’s unusual size for the area.
“He said that deer must have fallen off one of those trucks getting hauled to a Texas ranch,” Mire said with a laugh. “But I guess they can grow big if the habitat’s right.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.