Sometimes it just takes some time for the story of a monster buck to surface. Take Donald Forbes’ 172 6/8-inch deer killed north of Zachary back on Jan. 15.

The Sportsman staff had seen a text of the 16-point buck, but had been unable to track down the hunter. We didn’t even know his name.

Until he showed up at the Yamaha Louisiana Sportsman Big Buck Contest held last weekend as part of the Louisiana Sportsman Show.

The 68-year-old Forbes, who had no clue we had even been searching for him, won the Louisiana Gun division of the contest.

The hunter said he decided to go hunting the afternoon of Jan. 15, settling into his stand on about 200 acres of family land about 3 p.m.

This was during the height of the rut in that area, so he didn’t know what to expect — especially since he doesn’t use trail cameras.

About 4:45 p.m., movement caught Forbes’ eye, and he prepared in case a buck chased a doe out.

But that’s not what happened.

“He just walked out looking around,” Forbes said of the huge animal. “He came out in the rye grass field.”

The deer was out at about 225 yards, but there was no mistaking the deer was a shooter.

“I knew he was bigger than anything I killed before,” Forbes said.

He put the crosshairs on the deer and squeezed, putting a shot in the boiler room of the heavy-antlered buck.

Now, there are times when a hunter’s eyes fool him, making a nice buck look like a monster until it’s laid out on the ground. This was not one of those times.

When the hunter climbed out of his stand and walked up to the downed animal, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing.

“I thought, ‘Oh, man, a big one,’” Forbes said. ““He was bigger (than I thought).”

Be sure to check out our big-buck news feed to read the stories about all the huge deer killed this season.