I could count on one hand with a couple of fingers to spare the stories I’ve heard about a hunter taking a shot at a trophy buck, actually nicking the deer and then weeks later getting a second chance to finish the job.
Success in these instances is indeed rare.
But Hunter Black, of Bossier City, gave credit to the Lord for exactly that scenario earlier this season on family land in south Bossier Parish.
After an errant shot to the brisket area failed to stop a big 12-point, Black found proof that his bullet had done very little damage because the buck started showing up again on trail cameras, seemingly none the worse for the ordeal.
And on Dec. 8, a second opportunity presented itself when the buck stepped out at 55 yards. This time, a single shot from his .300 Weatherby dropped the big deer in its tracks.
“My dad and I identified this deer last year on our cameras, and it was impressive enough for us to target as one we wanted to take,” Black said.
The 1,200-acre family property is located in a prime area near Red Chute Bayou, the Loggy Bayou Wildlife Management Area and the Red River, with good soils capable of producing big deer. Food plots and protein feeders are kept active all year on much of the property, which keeps the deer in the area.
The first time he encountered the big buck, Black took a hurried shot.
“Three weeks ago, I was hunting a stand I’ve taken big deer from before. I was watching several deer on the food plot when a 4-point buck stopped, looked back in the woods and took off. I felt he was probably looking at a bigger deer and sure enough he was, because this big buck walked out onto the plot at 200 yards and started walking straight across the clearing,” he said. “I grunted to try and make him stop but he kept walking. I got on him just before he stepped into the woods, took a quick shot and saw him flinch before he took off.”
A search of the area revealed only a couple of small drops of blood, but no deer. Black knew he had not made the type of shot he’d hoped for.
Within a couple of days, trail cameras showed the buck feeding on the food plots again, apparently not seriously injured from the earlier shot.
“The buck was only showing up on camera at night so I decided to do something a little different. I decided to hunt a stand over a food plot we hadn’t hunted. There was no feeder there, only the food plot with a road running beside it,” Black said.
There is an oil well on the property and trucks were going in and out from the well site, which was concerning, especially if a truck drove by just as the buck appeared.
“I looked up and saw the buck step out at 175 yards quartering toward me. I was getting ready to draw a bead when a tanker truck drove down the road. I watched the buck turn and trot back into the woods, but I wasn’t too concerned because it was only 4:45 and there was a good half hour or more of daylight. I felt he would probably come back to the plot,” he said.
As Black watched a dim road adjacent to the food plot, he heard a grunt in the thicket and a doe ran out with her tail up. Then a bigger doe came off the road into the food plot with the big buck following her.
“He stepped out and I could tell it was the one I’d shot three weeks earlier. He stopped at 55 yards, I got on him, squeezed the trigger and he dropped on the spot,” Black said.
The buck was estimated to weigh about 255 pounds,and sported a 12-point massive rack with one drop tine. The inside spread was 18 inches, the main beams were more than 24 inches each and bases approached 5 inches.
Even with one of the brow tines broken off, the green score of the rack was 169 5/8 inches of bone.
“I think the good Lord must have been smiling on me that day because few hunters get a second chance like I did,” he said.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.