Dr. Jeffrey Lusk is one year away from joining his dad and brother in their Shreveport ophthalmology clinic, but his training in Dallas has kept him away from his hunting club all season long.
So Lusk made up for lost time in a big way last weekend when he hit the mother lode and downed a huge 16-point buck on Saturday.
“My training in Dallas has really cut into my hunting time so I took that weekend to head for our Brierfield Hunting Club located on an island in the Mississippi River. I’d hunted the first two days seeing some deer but not the one I wanted,” Lusk said.
Brierfield Hunting Club, comprised of about 5,000 acres, is part of a 20,000-acre island actually located in Warren County, Mississippi. However, the access point to reach the island is just over the levee from the Tensas Parish town of Newellton.
“We knew about this deer and decided a year ago after studying photos of him from trail cameras to give him another year because we saw his potential. He was a 14-point a year ago and would have probably scored in the 140s. My cousin saw him twice a year ago and another cousin saw him this summer in velvet and realized how much he’d grown over the past year,” Lusk said.
The buck was seen last year and this summer in the same general area that features a big thicket adjacent to a green field.
Lusk knew that if he tried to place a stand back in the thick stuff, he’d likely spook the buck.
“I decided rather than to sit in a stand on the green field next to the thicket, I’d try and get a little closer because I knew it was likely that if he came to the field, it would be too late in the day to have a chance at him.
“Instead, I slipped into the thicket along a dim road where we have an old ladder stand. I felt it would give me the best chance to see him before it got too late,” he said.
Saturday was dreary, cold and drizzling. Lusk knew he’d have only a brief window of opportunity should the buck decide to move before dark.
“I had seen two smaller bucks cross the old road earlier but because it was overcast, and they moved on across the road, I wouldn’t have had a chance at either of them even if I’d wanted. I was starting to get pretty anxious when 10 minutes before dark, the big buck stepped out into the road 80 yards away,” he said.
Fortunately, the buck paused to look down the road, giving Lusk time enough to positively identify him as the buck he was hunting. He began crossing the road and Lusk grunted to stop him, giving him just enough time to put the crosshairs on his .45-70 on the shoulder and squeeze the trigger.
“After I shot, the buck just disappeared. I had no idea if I’d made a good shot or not. I walked in the direction he’d run, made a circle and walked up on him where he’d fallen. He only ran 40 yards” Lusk said.
The buck was a dandy, weighing 235 pounds and sporting 16 points on a rack that carried mass all the way to the tips of the antlers, with an inside spread of 18 inches. Lusk had the buck green scored by his taxidermist who measured 183 3/8 inches of bone.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.