How would you like to have a great place to hunt - but to do so, you had to follow restrictions on what deer you could shoot and what equipment you had to use?
For the past several years, Donny Eames, of Sicily Island, has hunted such a piece of property near Waterproof in Tensas Parish.
Restrictions he and eight others who hunt this 850-acre tract must abide by are these: Each hunter can take does, but is allowed only one mature buck per year.
Secondly, hunters can only hunt with bow and arrow or muzzleloaders.
“And when he says muzzleloaders, he means real black powder muzzleloaders and not the primitive firearms hunters are finding so popular today,” Eames said.
Those restrictions weren’t a problem for Eames on Nov. 18 when his muzzleloader aim proved true and he dropped a big 9-point buck in its tracks at 60 yards.
“I got off work in Newellton around 3, which gave me just enough time to get on my stand,” he said. “I sat on a food plot with the idea of trying for a doe, not only for the venison but to help keep the buck/doe ratio near where it needed to be.”
A couple of does walked out of the woods and began feeding, but something told Eames to hold off shooting one. He had a feeling one of the good bucks he’d seen on his game cameras might show up that afternoon.
“Sure enough, as I watched the does, I saw a big buck walk out onto the plot and began feeding,” Eames said. “I studied him awhile because I only get one buck per season here, and I wanted to make sure it was the one I wanted.
“The buck was feeding with its head down so I couldn’t get a real good look at the rack until a young spike began harassing the does and the buck looked up toward the action. I saw then the size of the rack and decided right then this is the one I wanted for this season.”
Eames took aim and squeezed the trigger on his .45 caliber Knight muzzleloader. Once the smoke cleared, the big buck was piled up right on the spot where he was shot.
The buck, which scored 147 2/8 inches in the Simmons Sporting Goods big buck contest, was a main frame 8-point with one extra sticker. The rack had heavy mass, with bases over 5 ½ inches each, and main beams more than 24 inches long. The inside spread was 17 5/8 inches.
Currently, Eames’ buck is in fourth place in the muzzleloader category at Simmons.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.