Blake Boone was talking to his 7-year-old yellow Lab in his Jackson Parish box blind earlier this month when he got interrupted by a big 10-point walking out of the hardwood bottom facing his stand.
“I was petting Chance and he was trying to get over in my lap,” Boone said. “I was talking to him, telling him to be still.”
It was a few minutes after 9 on Dec. 17, and he was just about to let a buddy know he planned on staying in the blind until noon when the big buck made his move.
“Before I could even pick up my phone to text, the deer had started coming out,” said Boone, 41, of Church Point.
Even though he had never laid eyes on him from a stand, Boone instantly recognized the big buck from three years worth of nighttime trail cam photos.
“I had never seen this deer in daylight hours,” he said. “This was the third year I hunted him. I got pictures of him three years ago and I’ve been trying to kill him ever since.
“Last year I missed the main part of the rut, so I thought this year if I was there during the beginning of the rut I would see him.”
It turns out Boone timed his hunt with the rut perfectly this year, and started working his grunt call at about 7 a.m.
“I’d do about four or five grunts. I’d do some aggressive ones one time, then the next time it was like a young buck grunt,” he said. “Then I’d wait 30 minutes and do it again.”
He saw a spike, a basket-racked 6-pointer and a few does before the big buck appeared a few minutes after 9.
“He was looking to see where that grunt came from,” Boone said. “When he came out, it was a beeline to where he had heard the grunts.”
The buck got within about 40 yards of Boone’s stand, and one shot from his .308 Weatherby dropped him on the spot.
“I didn’t get nervous until after he fell in the food plot and I started calling my dad and everybody,” he said. “He was dead when I got nervous.”
He and Chance, who has tracked 5 deer this year, enjoyed a celebratory hug after the shot.
“The breeze was blowing right into us, and my dog could smell him,” Boone said. “He was picking up his nose to catch the wind, that’s how bad his back hocks were.”
The heavy-horned buck weighed 268 pounds and green scored 145 5/8 inches, with an inside spread of 18 ¾ inches. Circumference around the bases was 5 5/8 inches with thick mass all the way to the top of the rack. Boone estimated the buck’s age at 6 to 7 years.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.