Martha Sumrall has hunted with her husband on Somerset Hunting Club for a number of years, and has taken several good bucks on the 5,800-acre property in Tensas Parish.
But on the afternoon of Jan. 2, after deliberating a while, she decided to take down an old cull buck that walked out into the clearing she was watching.
Unbeknownst to her at the time, the “cull” turned out to be a trophy: a strange 19-pointer that scored 153 5/8 inches Boone and Crockett.
“When I saw him a couple of days before I shot him, I knew he was an unusual deer because his rack was really weird looking,” said Sumrall, of Ruston. “My grandson said later that it looked like his rack was upside down, sort of like he’d rammed his head into a brick wall, causing the antlers to be so misshapen.”
Sumrall climbed into her box stand around 4 that Thursday afternoon which overlooked a clearing left by a timber thinning operation. She scattered corn and rice bran in the opening.
“As the afternoon wore on, I watched some does and small bucks come onto the opening with the bucks chasing the does around and about an hour after I got in the stand, the weird buck walked out,” Sumrall said.
Having hunted deer for several years and developing some expertise in determining their age, she came to the conclusion that this was a really old buck, and the time for a decision to shoot or pass was at hand.
“I noticed that his nose was short, he had a sway back and sagging stomach, so I knew he was old. I texted my husband, Tom, and described what the buck looked like and we decided I’d best go ahead and take this old cull out of the herd,” she said.
She put the crosshairs on the buck that was standing at a pile of rice bran at 45 yards, squeezed the trigger on her 7 mm mag and the buck took off, running only 25 yards or so before collapsing behind some trees.
“I called a friend who came to help me load up the deer. I was telling him about shooting an old cull, but when he got to the deer before I did, he looked back at me and said, ‘Cull? This is a real trophy,’” she said.
The buck, estimated by tooth wear to be at least 8 ½ years old, weighed only about 175 pounds, but sported 19 points on a most non-typical frame. What the rack lacked in width, it made up for in being unique, and scored 153 5/8 at Spotted Dog Sporting Goods in Columbia, currently standing in second place in that store’s big buck contest.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.