In her day job, Stephanie Sullivan Rogers administers anesthesia to patients at the Shreveport Surgery Center.
But in her Claiborne Parish box stand, the 37-year-old certified registered nurse anesthetist knocks out deer with her Browning 7 Mag A-bolt.
And on Nov. 14, the Benton hunter took down her best buck ever, a big 11-point she shot on 40 acres of land near Lisbon.
Rogers was hunting over a fire lane separating a hardwood creek bottom and a three-year cutover when she noticed the big buck emerge around 5:15 p.m.
“I looked down and he came from the left-hand side of the woods about 220 yards out, and he started heading straight down the lane toward me kind of in a trot,” she said.
Earlier in the season, Rogers had shot a nice 8-point in almost the same spot under the same conditions, with the deer moving down the lane directly toward her stand. That helped her as she scoped the big 11-pointer.
“The one two weeks before helped me to not be nervous,” she said. “He was dead-on facing me, too, so I had the experience of shooting the 8-point dead-on two weeks before.
“I was pretty calm. It happened so quick I didn’t have time to really think that much or get nervous about it because he was moving and I knew I had to act quickly.”
She shot the big buck in the chest just above his right shoulder, and the deer bucked up and headed across the fire lane into the cutover. She texted her dad and waited for him to get out of his stand and join her to look for the big deer.
“We didn’t find any blood or any hair,” she said. “There was no exit wound.”
But Rogers had noted a spot with reed-like grass where the buck took off in the cutover, and the two concentrated their search in that area. She said she could smell the buck’s urine, but couldn’t find him in the falling darkness.
“I was looking in one area and my dad had backtracked a little further back than me, and he called me over to where he was,” she said. “He said, ‘Come over here to see if you still smell him over in this area.’ And I went over there and I was getting aggravated, and then he shines his flashlight over and there he was on the ground, right up next to a patch of thicket.
“It was awesome. A huge sigh of relief because I always fear injuring one and not being able to find it, so I’ve always been real careful with shots that I’ve made.”
She was surprised when she saw the buck’s impressive headgear up close and in-person.
“I was pretty shocked because I didn’t take a long look through the scope,” Rogers said. “When I saw him step out of the woods and he was coming toward me, I knew the rack was big. I put the scope on him and glanced at his horns and aimed and shot.
“So I knew he was 8-point or better, but I didn’t know that he was 11. I was pretty stoked.”
The big buck actually was a mainframe 12-point with one broken tine on the right side. The deer’s green score hasn't been determined yet, but his rack featured an 18-inch inside spread, with 8-inch-plus G3s.
So the little girl who grew up hunting with her father was with him when she shot her biggest buck ever on family land.
And to make the day even more special, her husband Dustin, and their two kids, Isabella, 8, and Cason, 6, joined them right after they located the buck about 25 yards from where he had been shot.
“That’s what’s kind of cool about this,” Rogers said. “My 6-year-old eats, lives and breathes it. He goes hunting with us both, and he’s been practicing all year on shooting and he’s wanting to shoot a deer. He’s ready. It’s kind of neat.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.