After Andy Kliebert drilled a big 9-pointer on Richard K. Yancey Wildlife Management Area earlier this month, he had to collect himself for a little while before taking the long trip down in his climber.

“Generally, when I shoot at a deer it hits me after. I get kind of nervous and start breathing heavy a little bit, but the shaky stuff comes after, and that’s what happened for this deer, too. I had to calm myself down,” said Kliebert, 32, of Prairieville. “I remember thinking I was 30 feet up. I said, ‘You better calm yourself down before you kill yourself and you’ll never get to see this deer.”

He had reason to be excited: The 4-year-old 9-point, which green-scored 156 3/4 inches Boone and Crockett, had a rack with 14-inch G2s, an inside spread of 17 inches and about 6 inches of mass at the bases.

The site supervisor for SGS at Shell Chemical had barely gotten settled into his climber overlooking two briar thickets when he heard movement to his right and saw a doe walk out shortly after 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 7.

“In the corner of my eye, I saw something else coming and I saw all his antlers above the briar patch. He just came trailing the doe,” Kliebert said.

The buck proceeded cautiously, looking both ways before exiting the thicket. As he moved into a wooded area, Kliebert patiently waited for him to present himself for a good shot.

“I was looking at him through my scope on the other side of the tree he was going to walk around,” he said. “I grunted at him, he stopped and I took the shot.”

He fired his .35 Whelen from 60 yards, and the buck kicked and took off.

“He was looking toward where the doe ran off to,” Kliebert said. “So I didn’t know if I missed him or not, so I start unloading and then I reloaded.

“When I cracked the gun back, he was doing like this drunk deal, swaying back and forth. Then he fell over and kicked twice, and that was it - he never moved again.”

After collecting himself for a few minutes, Kliebert made the trip down safely and headed over to check out his public land trophy.

“I knew he was big, but I didn’t know how big he was. Man, I started walking toward him, and I saw the rack before I saw his body,” he said. “I saw how big he was, and I just hugged him, to be honest with you.”

When the buck returns from the taxidermist, Kliebert’s wife already has a spot on the wall picked out for the big deer, his best one ever.

“My wife knows how much that means to me,” he said. “She always tells everybody that our marriage is on a temporary hiatus during hunting season because I’m gone all the time.

“I’ve been hunting public land since I was 19, and I’ve killed a couple of nice bucks, but nothing like this one. To score 156 3/4 and kill that on public land, that’s pretty damn good in my book.”

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