A little scouting after last season paid off big time this year for an Opelousas hunter who bagged a nice Mississippi 10-pointer dubbed the "King of the Jungle."

Blake Charles shot the big buck on a morning hunt on his property on Dec. 22 near Fayette.

“I was hunting a spot I had found last year after hunter season that had a lot of sign, and I hadn’t been in there this year,” Charles said.

He was hunting on the ground overlooking a deep bottom when the deer appeared early that morning.

“I was sitting on a stool in a clump of trees and about 7 o’clock, I heard something to my right,” he said. “When I looked there, he was staring at me on an old logging road at about 60 yards.

“I didn’t move, and he stared at me I guess for about a minute.”

After the staring contest ended, the buck continued on his way up the hill. But Charles, who shoots right-handed, was in a bind with the buck on his right side.

“I guess he decided I was safe and continued climbing, and he got behind a clump of trees so I wheeled around,” Charles said. “When he did, I didn’t see him anymore and in a split second, he took two leaps and bounded away from me.”

But miraculously, the big buck stopped, and Charles didn’t hesitate when given the opportunity for a shot.

“I whistled, and then I pulled the trigger,” he said. “All I had was a hard quartering-away shot.”

His .35 Whelen found its mark, and he hit the buck just in front of his left hind quarter.

“He took off and stumbled, and I thought he was going to fall,” Charles said. “Then he took off, and I couldn’t find any blood at first, so I let him be for an hour.”

He eventually found blood about 100 yards from the shot, and finally located the big buck piled up just on the other side of a ravine.

“That’s my biggest deer, and the biggest on this property,” said Charles, who has hunted in Mississippi for about 20 years, but only two years on the property near Fayette.

The 205-pound 10-point green scored 155 5/8 inches Boone & Crockett, with a 17 1/2 inch inside spread and 5 1/2 inches of mass at the bases.

“We did not have one daytime picture of him, and just one picture of him this year,” Charles said. “Last year, he was a 10-point, just not as wide and not as heavy.”

Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the random drawing for Nikon Monarch binoculars at the end of the contest.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here