Tara Roszell is a registered nurse working in the recovery room at Rapides Regional Medical Center in Alexandria, and although she’s hunted deer off-and-on for 30 years since she got married, she’s spent most of her time at home as mom to her kids.
But on the afternoon of Nov. 24, Roszell and her husband, Scott, were sitting in a box stand on their Avoyelles Parish lease when a buck they had come to know as ‘Freaky’ stepped out.
Roszell dropped the buck in its tracks.
“We had known about this buck for the past several years and he got his nickname because of a deformed right leg and humped back. His body never reached its full potential but he made up for it in his headgear,” said Roszell, who’s gotten serious about hunting in the last seven years.
The couple hunts on CRP land with water, brush and bottomland around the stand. The hour was getting late when Freaky stepped out onto a clearing at 300 yards.
“My husband had the binoculars on him and the buck was slowly walking our way but would periodically stop, lay down before getting up and walking again. Scott said at the slow rate he was walking, he doubted the deer would get much closer before it got too dark and when he got to 225 yards, he gave me the go-ahead to take the shot,” Roszell said.
Although trail cam photos showed what a great deer Freaky was, they didn’t realize how impressive his rack was until they walked up to him.
The buck sported 17 points, a 21-inch inside spread with 23-inch main beams, 5 ½ inch bases and weighed 175 pounds. He was aged at 7 ½ years old.
“We took him to Simmons' Sporting Goods to enter him in the big buck contest where it was initially in first place with a score of 172 3/8 inches. We had to sweat it out from November to the end of deer season, but it ended up beating out the second place buck by a mere half inch,” she said.
The second place buck, scoring 172 1/8 inches Boone and Crockett, was taken by Lauren Pardue.