When she and her husband overslept earlier this month, Megan Asch was tempted to just cancel their planned hunt that morning and go back to sleep.
“We were running real late. We slept through the alarm clock and it was already turning daylight,” said Asch, 27, of Anacoco. “I told Mark, ‘There’s not sense in even going.’
“But he was like, ‘No, we’re going to go.’ So we loaded up and started that way.”
Neither one knew it at the time, but that early-morning decision to make the trip on Nov. 5 would yield perhaps the largest buck ever harvested from the 1,800-acre lease they hunt in Vernon Parish.
Thirty minutes later, they arrived and the mad dash was on as they each made their way to their respective stands.
“I’m more comfortable hunting over corn, so I jump in the back of the truck, pour corn in in a 5-gallon bucket and take off at a dead run down the fire lane,” Asch said. “And sure enough, the hogs had been in there, because there wasn’t a kernel of corn left. So I just threw it out.”
On her way back to her tripod at the base of the lane, she remembered she had forgotten to put out her beloved Code Blue — so she just hung it on the nearest branch, only about 40 yards from her stand.
When she got situated about 6:30 a.m., she sent a frustrated text to Mark, who was in a stand about 300 yards away.
“I said, ‘This is just a disaster. I don’t know why we’re doing this.’”
A button buck eventually meandered by to nibble on the hastily thrown out corn, but the morning was unusually quiet.
“The birds weren’t chirping. There weren’t even any crows,” she said. “It was just dead silent.”
Until about 8 a.m., when in a matter of minutes it sounded like up to three bucks were simultaneously grunting on all sides of her stand.
“Then all of a sudden, I hear this god-awful racket, and the only way I can explain it is when my dad’s goats butt heads,” Asch said. “I texted my husband again and I said, ‘I really think there’s some deer fighting.’ I had never heard that before.”
Minutes later, a small doe sprinted across the fire lane only 20 feet from her tripod.
“So I knew something was probably chasing her, so I got my gun up and got ready and this 8-point steps out,” she said. “He sees me as soon as I see him, and he just starts blowing and going.”
At that point, she figured her frustrating morning had reached a fitting conclusion.
“After the 8-point blew at me, I figured the hunt was over,” she said. “But I figured I’d just let Mark finish and just sit there and twiddle my thumbs.”
Turns out she didn’t have long to twiddle.
Only 10 minutes later, about 9 a.m., she heard a soft grunt.
“You wouldn’t even think it was a mature buck,” Asch said. “It was real, real soft. So I pick my gun up again and I could see a portion of the big buck’s rack.
“That’s the only thing I can see, and I know it’s a lot of mass, but at the time I didn’t know which deer it was. So I drop my gun down to where if he takes a step out into that fire lane I’ll have a shot. I don’t think I breathed from that point on.”
But the wily old buck, who had appeared on the edge of the right side of the lane near the Code Blue, had one more trick up his sleeve. Instead of casually walking into the 15-foot wide lane, he took off running straight across.
“So I lined up the best I could, took a shot and I hit him in his hip,” she said. “We didn’t know it at the time, but I broke his hips and he was spinning around in a circle.”
She struggled to reload her bolt action .308 as the big buck crashed from one side of the lane to the other.
“He’s down there spinning in circles and I”m trying to reload my gun, and I can’t get the bolt to go forward,” Asch said. “I’m in a panic, he’s going from one edge to the other spinning around in circles and finally I get another shot off - and he’s done for.”
Mark quickly contacted her when he heard the shots.
“I hadn’t even got my gun down and my husband called me and said, ‘Well, was it hogs or was it coyotes? I was like, ‘Mark, you don’t understand what I just killed.’”
The heavy-horned 14-point deer, which had been seen on trail cameras on the property for three years, green scored 136 ⅝ inches, with a 20 ¼-inch spread and 5 ⅛ inches circumference at the bases. He had never been photographed during the day, instead moving almost always between midnight and 4 a.m.
“We talked to the lease president,” she said. “We’re pretty sure this is the largest buck to come off the lease.”
She’s not sure why, but the big buck had acquired the nickname ‘George Strait’ through all the years of seeing him on camera.
“It was funny because we got to my dad’s to skin him out and my daddy was like, ‘Well, I guess George Strait has done his last tour.’”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.