When a heavy-horned buck walked out of thicket only about 25 yards from his stand in the Atchafalaya Basin earlier this month, Timothy Trahan didn’t rush to take a shot. 

The big 10-pointer was so focused on a doe that had come out earlier that Trahan decided to concentrate and take his sweet time before squeezing the trigger of his Remington 700 .30-06.

“I took 45 second to take the shot. I literally counted down,” said Trahan, 45, of Youngsville. “I just sat there, and he was just looking at the doe. He’d browse a little bit, and then look at the doe. 

“He was more worried about her.”

The big buck had appeared about 5:20 p.m. on Jan. 8 near Butte La Rose, about 90 minutes after Trahan had climbed into his ladder stand that afternoon.

“I had seen a doe and a spike come through, then the spike stopped and was constantly just watching behind him, staying with the other doe,” Trahan said. “I knew something was up because he was just too nervous.”

The buck was perfectly broadside, and Trahan put the cross hairs on the sweet spot between his shoulder and neck, ending a two-year quest for the elusive big deer he’d been seeing on his trail cams.

“For the last two years, I’ve been after that deer,” he said. “I knew this deer. I knew him very well. He was mainly a nocturnal deer, even in the off season.”

As calm as Trahan was before the shot, his adrenaline was pumping after the big buck fell where it was standing.

“In all honesty, I never got excited or anything until after I saw him hit the ground,” he said.”When he hit the ground, to take that deer here in your home town, the woods were spinning.

“I started hyperventilating. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ If I wouldn’t have had other people around, I’d have been yelling. It’ll be something I’ll be telling my grandkids when I’m 80 years old and they’ll hear it over and over and over.”

The 5 ½-year-old deer was a 10-pointer with a kicker, and green scored 158 2/8 inches Boone and Crockett. Circumference at the bases was 5 1/8 inches, with an inside spread of 20 inches and main beams 22 ½- and 23-inches long.  The buck weighed 205 pounds, but Trahan said he has trail cam shots of him before the rut north of 250.

He had been hunting woodcock in the area for the four days prior to taking the buck, which helped get the does up and moving, but Trahan said he was just in the right place at the right time.

“The good Lord up above put that into my hands. Everything just had to click,” he said. “There was no calculated plan on this deer. I knew he was there and I knew what he was doing.

“But the rest was fate. That’s just how it is. These deer aren’t on leashes. That’s deer hunting. That’s why we go in the woods every single day, day in and day out. Because you just never know what’s going to happen.”

Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the random drawing for Nikon Monarch binoculars at the end of the contest.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.