When the big 11-point buck Scotty Quigley had been hunting for almost two years finally appeared about 25 yards from his stand last month near Folsom, the young bow hunter steadied himself for the shot of a lifetime.
“I was shaking so bad I didn’t know what to think,” said Quigley, a freshman at Covington High School. “I was worried about missing.”
But Quigley’s Muzzy broadhead brought the buck down about 75 yards from where he was hit, and now the 14-year-old is waiting to see if he’ll be atop the state record books for the biggest buck taken by bow and arrow in St. Tammany Parish.
“As soon as I shot, I sat down. I was just so relieved that I had hit him,” he said. “I knew it wasn’t a really great shot, towards the back of his lungs and kind of high, but at least I knew I had hit him.”
The big buck, sporting a 5 by 5 mainframe with a kicker, green scored 143 6/8 inches Pope and Young with a 16-inch inside spread.
“As soon as I saw him fall, I called my dad,” Quigley said. “I was shaking. I could barely even talk to him.”
His father Scott, 40, a superintendent with Boh Brothers Construction, had been keeping an eye on his watch that evening, wondering if Nov. 30 would be the day when his son would finally cross paths with the big deer.
Just the afternoon before, Scotty had seen a spike and 6-point sparring in the food plot, but decided to pass on a shot then because the 11-point usually accompanied those two deer.
“It was getting right before dark and I’m thinking to myself, ‘If it’s going to happen, it needs to happen in the next 30 minutes,’” Scott said. “Sure enough, right at dark my phone rings, and it’s him. I could hear it in his voice.
“He said, ‘Daddy, I just shot that big deer.’”
For the better part of two years, since they started hunting on property adjacent to their home in Folsom, father and son had doggedly pursued the buck, which they watched closely via trail cam. Scotty worked hard on the food plots, kept track of the deer over the summer and helped move stands around in anticipation of taking a shot with his bow.
“That’s the cool part of the story,” his father said. “He worked so hard to get him, then to finally take him with the bow was a really big deal. He put in a lot of time and effort and did a lot of the work himself.
“It’s an experience he’ll never forget.”
After the shot, Quigley told his son to stay put in the stand until he got there, and the two walked up on the 250-pounder together.
“That kid hasn’t hugged me since he was 9 or 10 years old,” Quigley said with a smile. “You know, they start getting cool at that age.
“But he turned around and gave me a hug and high five. He just couldn’t believe it.
I was actually as excited as he was.”
No matter where the deer ends up ranking in the state, father and son already have the memory of a lifetime.
“We’ve got our fingers crossed that it doesn’t shrink too much, but if we’re not first, we should be in the Top 3,” Scott said. “That’s pretty incredible for a 14-year-old kid with a bow.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.