Sometimes a special gift is received on Christmas Eve, and sometimes it comes on Christmas Day. And if Santa thinks you’ve been really good, you might even get a present on both days.

Greg Freeman must have been on the ‘good list’ because he found one special present on Dec. 24, and then collected his Christmas bonus the very next day.

“I had a plan this hunting season to go after one particular buck I’d been seeing on my trail cameras for the last three years,” said Freeman, a Calhoun building contractor. “He was a big 7-pointer and I knew this was the year I needed to take him because I believed him to be 5 ½ years old and he would be on his way down if I didn’t get him this year.”

Freeman often takes his 10-year-old grandson, Breydan, to the stand with him and had decided to take him on Christmas Eve morning. However, the weather didn’t cooperate and it rained all day, so he decided he let the youngster sleep in.

“I sat on the stand that morning and saw two or three small bucks, none I wanted to shoot. But I thought I might take Breydan when the weather cleared and maybe he could get one of the bucks,” said Freeman, who hunts on Riser Road Hunting Club in Jackson Parish. 

The big 7-point had never shown himself during daylight hours, with the only photos of him coming at night. But when Freeman went back to his stand that afternoon, the 7-point showed up at 4:10, and he didn’t miss his opportunity. 

“The buck had lost a lot over the past couple of years and although he was 5 ½ years old, his rack was just average,” Freeman said.

The following day, on Christmas, Freeman decided to go back to his stand that afternoon. His plan was to scout the small bucks he’d seen the day before and take his grandson the following day.

“I hadn’t been on my stand 10 minutes when a buck bigger than the 7-pointer stepped out at 43 steps,” he said. “I got on him with my Remington 300 short mag, squeezed the trigger and heard him crash down 40 yards away.

“When I got to him, I was surprised because this was the first time I’d ever laid eyes on this deer. Nobody on our club had ever seen a photo of him or knew about him. We were all surprised,” Freeman said.

The buck was a dandy, tipping the scales at 200 pounds and carrying a symmetrical 8-point rack. The deer had an 18 ¾-inch inside spread, 6-inch brow tines and 11-inch G2s.

Unofficially, the buck scored 140 2/8 inches Boone and Crockett, and a check of the jawbone indicated the deer was 5 ½ years old.

“I’ve hunted on this club for 37 years,” Freeman said, “and this is by far the best buck I’ve ever taken here.”

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