Within a span of about 24 hours, West Monroe’s Krista Richardson laid her eyes on the same big buck three different times.
The first two, the buck was there and gone so fast she had no chance for a shot.
But on his third pass, the buck hung around just long enough for her to get him in her sights, and Richardson finally got the big 9-point that ultimately green scored in the 170-inch range.
“My husband and I hunt on a private 200-acre tract of bottomland in Ouachita Parish and had gone out Friday afternoon, Nov. 15, to hunt. I was hunting alone in a box stand overlooking a food plot and watched a doe dash across the opening with a big buck in hot pursuit. He was there and gone before I could get a shot,” Richardson said.
She prefers to do her hunting in the afternoon but her husband, Dewayne, talked her into going back to the stand the next morning. The weather was unusually warm and foggy and she didn’t see any deer at all.
“So that afternoon, I got back on my stand. My husband had some trail cam photos of this big buck and that was the one I was hunting for. I knew he was in the area after getting a glimpse the afternoon before,” she said.
“Around 5, some does and yearlings and a small 6-point buck came out to the food plot to feed. I just had the feeling that the big buck would appear any minute, so I put my gun in the window and waited. Sure enough, I saw him stick his head out of the brush and I got ready.”
As the buck had done the afternoon before, he burst from the thicket chasing a doe and the pair disappeared into the woods across the opening. That was two glimpses of the big buck in two days without getting a shot, and Richardson was beginning to get a bit discouraged.
“I was frustrated but I said a little prayer that the buck would give me a decent opportunity and about that time, the doe came back across the food plot with the buck right behind her,” Richardson said.
This time, her prayer was answered because instead of dashing back to the woods, he stopped to spar with the little 6-point.
“I had to wait until he stepped away from the smaller buck because I was afraid if I shot, I’d hit both deer. Fortunately, he moved aside and I shot,” she said.
But instead of dropping in its tracks or rushing away, the buck just stood there for a few seconds, then began walking toward the woods and disappeared.
“I called my husband and he came over and we couldn’t find anything to indicate I’d hit the deer. We went back home, assuming I’d missed.
“The next morning, we went to church and that afternoon, I got back in my stand in case he’d show up again. He didn’t,” Richardson said.
Her husband checked his trail cam and saw the does, yearlings and the 6-point had come back to feed after Richardson’s shot, but there was no sign of the big buck.
The next morning, Dewayne had a feeling she had hit the buck, so he went back for a last look, two days after the encounter.
“He called me and told me he hadn’t gone far into the woods when he saw antlers and found my buck. The coyotes had already started working on him,” she said.
The buck carried a rack with an inside spread of 18 ½ inches, with main beams over 28 inches each. The mass of the antlers carried throughout the rack, and the buck was estimated to weigh around 180 pounds.
He was entered into the big buck contest at TP Outdoors with a score of 170 6/8 inches. She also entered the Simmons Big Buck Contest in Bastrop, where he was scored at 170 even. Although the latest results have yet to be posted, Richardson’s buck will lead the women’s category and the 9-point category, and be in 2nd place in the muzzleloader (primitive firearms) category.
“This is the first buck I’ve shot in 11 years,” she said. “I guess this one was worth waiting on.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.