Ruston’s Andy Durrett and his brother B.J. are attorneys in Ruston, and the pair are serious deer hunters.
A friend from law school, Brian Wilkinson, often comes up from his home in Baton Rouge to hunt with the Durrett brothers on their family land near Simsboro in Lincoln Parish.
One particular buck on the property has generated more than a modicum of interest over the past few years because of an interesting characteristic of the deer’s antlers.
“For the past four years we’ve been seeing this buck on camera, the right side of his rack has always carried almost the same characteristics while every year, the left side of his rack is noticeably different. Our dad, Johnny Durrett, is a taxidermist who has seen thousands of deer, and he agreed that although one side of this deer’s rack is different every year, it is the same buck,” Andy Durrett said.
The big buck earned the nickname “The Ghost” a couple of years ago when Wilkinson had a chance at the buck but missed.
“After that, B.J. and I kidded Brian, claiming he shot at nothing and the buck was not really there. We jokingly told Brian he must have shot at a ghost buck, and from then on, the deer was tagged with the ‘Ghost’ nickname,” he said.
On the afternoon of Dec. 10, “The Ghost” became reality when he stepped out and Andy Durrett downed him.
“I was hunting on a stand I’ve hunted several times this season because a trail camera revealed the buck was coming out on the food plot this stand overlooked, and he always came out in the late afternoon.
“At about 5 p.m., a couple of does and yearlings came out on the food plot and started feeding. Then at 5:25, the deer suddenly all left the plot and from the way they acted, I knew something had alerted them. With about seven minutes of legal shooting time left, ‘The Ghost’ stepped out. He took a bite of grass and was quartering toward me at 50 yards, and I felt I didn’t need to wait any longer. I fired and the buck took off,” Durrett said.
Durrett had his 4-year-old son Davis with him, and the youngster helped his dad track the deer, which only traveled to the edge of the food plot before collapsing.
“The buck had 11 points and scored 145 inches, but from the photos we got last year, he was probably in the 160s then. His G1 was broken in half on the right side and had it been there, he would have probably scored 150,” Durrett said.
The buck, which was estimated to be between 5 and 6 years old, weighed 175 pounds with an inside spread of 18 ½ inches.
One has to wonder if Andy Durrett has a new nickname now. Ghostbuster, perhaps?
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.