When Jackie James was a defensive end at Louisiana Tech in the mid-70s, he had to help out on some tackles other linemen missed.
Last Wednesday, Oct. 15, James got the chance to clean up after another miss — but this time the miscue he corrected was his own.
After shooting low on a nice buck with his bow, he credits a quick prayer for another shot.
And the second time around, he arrowed the big 13-point that weighed more than 200 pounds and green scored 149 inches in the Simmons' Sporting Goods Big Buck Contest in Bastrop.
“When this buck stopped in a small opening at 35 yards, I shot under him,” James said. “Fortunately the buck bolted, ran a short distance but then turned back and stopped in another clearing. This time I nailed him.”
James was hunting on 80 acres of private land in Lincoln Parish where he had been given permission to hunt by a friend.
“My son, Wes, and I have some cameras out and while several pretty nice bucks have been photographed, we had never seen this particular buck,” he said.
James, who lives in Ruston and works in commercial and residential construction, decided last Wednesday would be a good afternoon to try his luck, and hoped one of the bucks the cameras had revealed would show himself.
“I got to the stand about 4:45. The stand I hunted is actually my son’s climbing stand and I decided on it strictly because it was closest to my truck,” he said. “The wind was blowing fairly briskly from the northwest and it finally died down around 5:15, and I decided to drizzle some doe-in-heat scent around the stand.”
In a few minutes, James caught movement down along the creek that runs by the stand, and saw the legs of a deer and then a nice rack as the buck seemed to be keying on the scent.
“He came up to my left, turned and stopped in an opening about 35 yards away, giving me a shot. I shoot an old Mathews bow I’ve used for probably 15 years, and it only has one pin set at 20 yards. I compensated for the distance and apparently misjudged it because I shot under the buck,” said James.
The deer ran only a short distance, turned and walked back and stopped in another opening.
“This time I held over the 20 yard pin where I thought the aim point should be, released the arrow and it was dead on. The buck bolted and ran only about 65 yards before it collapsed and died,” he said.
The big buck measured green scored 149 inches Pope and Young, with a 19 ¾-inch inside spread.
“One thing interesting about this buck is a split brow tine. I recalled hunting with my dad several years ago in the same area and I shot a buck with the almost exact antler configuration, including a split brow tine,” James said. “My dad has since passed away, which made my getting this one really special to me.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.