It’s not too often that you have to stop spearfishing to drop a trophy 10-point whitetail in its tracks, but that’s pretty much what happened to Landon Burnham.
Well, sort of.
Burnham, 8, of Farmerville, was playing a spearfishing game on his iPad Sunday morning, Nov. 9 when a nice Union Parish 10-point made a beeline for a mock scrape he and his father had made on their lease near Junction City.
“He was sitting there playing on his iPad,” said his dad, Chris Burnham. “I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ‘There he is.’
“He didn’t even lay the iPad down. He laid it in his lap, picked the gun up and popped him.”
Father and son were in the same stand the day before when the big buck made his first appearance.
“He came across on my side of the stand,” Chris said. “I didn’t have a gun, and the buck was so close I couldn’t move Landon around to my side without running him off.”
So on Sunday, they made a mock scrape and added some Code Blue doe estrous, which brought the big buck in like a moth to a flame around 8:20.
“He came out from the north and headed south,” Chris said. “We had the perfect conditions, a south wind with all that scent out. He came straight to it.
“They’re chasing does like crazy up there now.”
Landon, a second grader at Cedar Creek Elementary in Ruston, sighted in the big buck and took the 50-yard shot with his Mossberg 7mm-08.
“I was calm,” he said. “He wasn’t paying attention and I shot. I thought I was going to miss him, but I hit him.”
In fact, he hit him so perfectly, the big buck fell where he stood.
“When he shot that deer, I’m talking about it was graveyard dead,” Chris said. “He fell down in that green grass and I picked up those binoculars and I said, ‘Bubba, you just shot yourself a monster, man.”
Initially, Burnham felt the buck was only a marginal shooter, but thought he would cover the lease rules: eight points or better outside the ears.
“I had no idea that deer was that big when I saw him,” he said. “That deer looked nothing like that when he was standing in the lane. It looked like a miniature 8-point.”
Instead, the big buck was a solid 10-pointer that green-scored 126 4/8, with a 14 5/8-inch inside spread and 20-inch main beams. The deer weighed-in at 192 pounds.
“I made him sit there long enough for me to finish my cup of coffee and we got down,” Chris said. “He went crazy. He was high-fiving, he couldn’t even talk. He was just blabbering stuff, not making any sense.”
The buck was down, but now the two hunters had another problem: Loading it up.
“No one else came to the lease on Sunday. I think everybody stayed up too late watching the LSU game,” Chris said. “We were the only ones on the lease the whole day, so we had to tackle that big rascal by ourselves.”
Hard work and a ratchet strap did the trick, and father and son enjoyed a great hunt they’ll both always remember.
“This was the first time it was all on his own,” Chris said. “He picked his gun up, put it out the window, put it on ‘fire’ and shot a big buck all by himself.
“It was definitely a memorable hunt, I tell you.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.