If one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, Gray Marston struck gold when he finally shot a big buck he had nicknamed Trash Head on Sunday, Nov. 10 in southern Natchitoches Parish.
The majestic non-typical 22-point weighed in at 215 pounds and green scored 183 inches with a 19 ½-inch spread that included matching drop tines, but Marston didn’t realize he had actually shot Trash Head until after the hunt when he was going through trail cam pics on his computer.
“I only have four pictures of him, and they were all at night and all looking at him from the side,” said Marston, 24, a Shreveport geologist who works for JM Exploration. “I named him Trash Head because, when you look at him straight on he’s magnificent, but when you look at him from the side he just looks crazy.
“I don’t know if he lived on our farm or around it, but this is the first year I’ve seen him,” he said. “I was not expecting that deer to walk out at all.”
Marston had gotten to his box stand positioned in a clump of trees overlooking three shooting lanes around 5:30 that chilly morning, with a negligible wind blowing into his face.
“The funny thing is, being right handed I was sitting in the stand tucked into the back right corner because I wasn’t expecting anything to come out to my right,” he said. “The best lanes are the one right in front of me and the one to my left.”
A pair of does walked through early, and Marston was looking at his cell phone when he noticed something to his right.
“So I look, and I wear glasses and my vision’s not great, but I could see this deer had a big body and I could see it was a buck, but I didn’t want to turn my head too much,” Marston said. “And then he looked away from me and I could see a big drop tine on his left side and so I’m like, ‘Oh my goodness, me.’”
The big buck eyed the box stand warily from about 60 yards as he ate from the food plot, but Marston was ill-positioned inside because he wasn’t expecting a deer from that direction.
“When he looked away, I had to move the chair off that wall in the corner to get my gun out the window and I did that. I looked at him through the scope and I was trying to make sure he was a real big buck, but I knew by his drop tine he was,” he said. “Basically, as I was getting my scope out, he looks right at me and like in all one motion, I shot and he took off running.
“It didn’t even look like he’d been hit.”
But the .270 Winchester short mag round hit home behind the buck’s left shoulder, and Marston heard a crash in the woods seconds later.
“I knew to wait and give him some time, but I couldn’t,” he said. “I got down and I looked and found blood, and that’s when I knew I was in business.
“And I really didn’t wait long enough, but I ran in there and followed the blood trail all the way to him. That’s why I’m big on hunting the rut: you never know what’s going to walk out.”
Two friends hunting on the property joined him to check out the buck and his amazing rack, and celebratory texts, phone calls and pictures ensued.
“I called my dad to tell him and he didn’t answer me, so I left a voice mail telling him about this deer,” Marston said. “He played it back for me, and it was just about inaudible. I was rambling on, saying all kinds of crazy stuff. I was excited.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.