On the morning after Thanksgiving Day, the thought of getting out of her nice warm bed at the deer camp to go sit in a sub-freezing box stand was not one that Ashly King relished.
The 28-year-old nurse from Moss Bluff had been hunting for a few days with her husband James at their lease in Grant Parish north of Alexandria, and while the weather had been nice and cold all week, the deer were definitely not cooperating.
“Nobody had seen anything,” Ashly said. “So we were all frustrated because all we kept seeing were rabbits and crows. We were like, ‘What the heck? This is Thanksgiving week. The weather is perfect and there’s no deer.’
“I really didn’t want to go hunting that morning because when they woke me up, I was like, ‘Oh my God. I don’t even want to get out of the bed. We haven’t seen anything all week. I am not looking forward to this.'"
Her attitude improved greatly about 8:30 that morning when a 140-class 8-point made his way across a dirt road towards a food plot about 100 yards from her box stand.
“I was listening to some music and I had my phone in my hand, and I turned to the right and I just saw him walking out of the woods,” she said. “All I saw were his horns. I was like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God.’”
James was sitting right next to her in the stand - dead asleep.
“I was doing good all week and that morning I wasn’t feeling well,” he said. “She was like, ‘Just go to sleep for a little while.’ So I did.
“Whenever I woke up, she said, ‘I’m about to kill a monster.’ And she had the gun out the window. I was trying to look to see what was going on and she pulled the trigger and shot.”
The only problem was that Ashly’s view was partially obstructed by a limb near that right-hand window, and she ended up having to ‘guess-timate’ where the big buck’s front shoulder was.
“I had been telling James, ‘You need to cut that branch because you can’t see the corn. You need to cut it,’” she said. “When I put the gun up to the window, all I could see was his rear and the top of his horns because the branch was blocking his entire body.
“So I knew about where I thought the front shoulder would be, and when I pulled the trigger he ran into the woods.”
Anxious because she wasn’t sure if she had hit the big buck, the one-hour wait suggested by her father-in-law before starting to track the deer seemed like an eternity.
“I was freaking out. I looked at my watch and it had only been five minutes,” she said with a laugh. “I was like, ‘Oh my God. Can I just go down there and look at the blood?’”
James had headed out in the cold and found lots of blood in the corn and on some trees bordering the food plot, but when Ashly went down and saw it she couldn’t wait any longer.
“I said, ‘That’s it. I’m going,’” she said. “I was following the trail of blood and I saw his body. He had run about 30 yards from where I shot him.”
She and her husband were amazed at the buck’s mass. The 8-point’s inside spread was 16 ½ inches, with 11 ½-inch G2s. The 200-pounder green scored 140 2/8 inches Boone and Crockett.
“When I saw the horns, I started balling crying. I don’t even know why. That was just my reaction,” Ashly said. “I thought, ‘Oh my God. It’s a freaking monster.’”
So in hindsight, she was happy she toughed it out and trekked to the stand that morning.
“I didn’t want to go. I’m not a morning person and I don’t like to get up early. I’m always grouchy in the morning,” she said. “Then, I dragged myself out of bed and ended up killing. I was pretty stoked.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.