Many people say the quiet solitude of a deer stand is therapy to escape the non-stop daily grind.
For Corinne Portier of Chauvin, it’s all that and more.
Portier, 49, started hunting seriously after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. It returned in late 2011, and after a double mastectomy, chemo, radiation and a year off from hunting, she took down her biggest deer to date with a nice 8-point last month in Terrebonne Parish on the opening day of muzzleloader season.
“I started hunting the first time I found out I had cancer for therapy, then I fell in love with it,” Portier said. “I love to deer hunt. To just sit in there, say my prayers and thank God for all my blessings. That’s how I kind of got into it.”
On the morning of Nov. 9, she was in her box stand overlooking shooting lanes cut through high grass when the big buck came out of the woods to her left about 6:45.
“It was a beautiful morning and I always say a rosary,” she said. “I was saying my rosary and my prayers and I look up, and I see him walk out of the woods.
“He walked out to the long grass, then he kind of turned and started coming towards me, but he was a hundred yards away against the long grass” she said.
The deer eventually made his way to a shooting lane, and after emerging from behind a pile of old trees, finally presented Portier with a good 100-yard broadside shot for her .45-70.
“I got so excited, the scope hit me in the forehead,” she said with a laugh. “It didn’t bleed, but I had a good knot.”
The deer jumped back into the high grass, and Portier stayed put in her stand in the moments after the shot.
“I was shaking, reloading the gun and getting my thoughts together,” she said. “A few minutes later, I see it crossing back right where it came from, heading towards the woods. So I shot again at about 200 yards. I didn’t want to lose it.”
After a stressful 90 minutes of tracking the buck 100 yards into the woods, her stepson and son-in-law found him, and confirmed she was on target with both shots.
“Finally my stepson called me and said, ‘Big deer down. Big deer down. It’s the biggest deer I’ve ever seen back here.’
“Everybody went crazy,” she said. “I did a little hollering and screaming and thanked everybody for helping me.”
The big buck green scored in the 130-class, with 5 inches of mass at the base of both symmetrical main beams.
Portier, who runs a shrimp boat business in Chauvin with her husband Russell, says she enjoys living every day to the fullest, especially days in the deer stand.
“I have a busy life because of those trawl boats,” she said. “But this is one of my greatest hobbies. It’s one of God’s blessings, you know. Don’t let cancer slow you down.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.