Wesley Miller took down two nice bucks - an 8-point and a 10-point - in the first two weeks of deer season this year on his family’s farm in Dubberly, so his focus shifted to catching slab crappie on Dorcheat Bayou.
“I hunt on family property and everybody likes to hunt, and I had already killed my two I’d seen,” said Miller, an RN at LifeCare Hospital in Shreveport. “I didn’t want to step on everybody’s toes.
“I didn’t see where I could do any better.”
But he was dead wrong - things got a lot better when he shot a big 14-point, 170-class buck in the first week of January.
Heavy rains around New Year’s raised the water level too high to fish, so Miller figured he'd go out in pursuit of a nice doe near the end of the season to stock up on deer sausage.
So with an Arctic cold front bearing down on the state on Jan. 7, he headed to 150 acres of property in Webster Parish near Dubberly that his family refers to as “The Meat Hole.”
“I’m set up in the dogleg of an old abandoned gas well road,” he said. “You can look to the left and see about 200 yards down the road, and to the right about 300 yards.
“I was in a very ventilated box stand,” he said with a chuckle. “The thing has more holes in it than it does windows.”
He got to the stand about 3 p.m., and was met with a stiff north wind and absolutely zero action.
“I didn’t see a thing. I was wondering if I was going to see a thing,” he said. “I was doing nothing but getting colder by the minute. The wind was whipping down the well road and coming into my ventilated box stand.”
But Miller had scattered corn up and down the road the previous week, a tactic he likes to use to pick up a mature doe late in the season when acorns are gone and the weather is frigid.
“About 5:15, I glanced to the left and I saw a deer standing down there,” he said. “My scope was down like at 2- or 4-power, and when I turned it up to 9, I could see it was a good buck, but since he was standing looking straight toward me, I couldn’t tell much about him.
“But when he turned his head, the mass and length of the tines became apparent. He took like one step and turned broadside to eat a little corn, and I shot him.”
Miller’s Browning A-Bolt Stalker .30-06 found its mark at 215 yards, and the buck collapsed, coming to rest with its head in the roadside ditch.
He wasn’t prepared for what he saw when he approached the deer.
“It took my mind a minute to realize what I was looking at, just the horns going everywhere and how big and massive they were. It just wasn’t what I expected,” he said. “I expected a good buck, but I wasn’t expecting that.”
What he got was a palmated 14-point monster, with so much mass he green-scored 171 5/8 inches Boone & Crockett with only a 15-inch inside spread.
“The main place where he got his score was the circumference around the horns,” Miller said. “Once you got up the horns, they were over 6 inches everywhere they measured.”
The buck was aged at 5 years, but only weighed-in at a relatively light 150 pounds.
“I’d never seen one that small with that size horns on his head,” he said.
Miller now has three big bucks in the process of getting mounted from a deer season he won’t soon forget, along with a caribou bull he killed in September on an Alaskan trip with his brothers.
“I swear, I owe the taxidermist so much money, I’m having to eat a lot of sandwiches these days,” he said with a laugh. “I’m thinking about having a benefit fish fry to pay for it all.”
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.