For a guy who just purchased his first bow in August, Sunday morning’s hunt on the Atchafalaya Delta Wildlife Management Area was an epic one for Aaron Hue.
The 23-year-old from Napoleonville arrowed his first-ever deer — a doe — and then followed that up barely five nerve-wracking minutes later by shooting a nice 10-point buck with its nose to the ground on the very same trail.
“How I did it, I have no idea, because I had such an adrenaline rush with the doe,” said Hue, 23, who works at CF Industries in Donaldsonville. “Then when I saw him, the adrenaline rush was insane… But I got the shot that I needed and I hammered him.”
It was his second trip to the Delta, and only his fourth bowhunt ever.
Hue was positioned on a small island in his climber 8 feet up in a willow tree, overlooking a line of willows on top of a levee. He got settled in about 5:30 a.m., but the wind was blowing and nothing was moving.
That all changed about 8:15.
“I just happened to glance to my left, and she was probably 20 yards into the marsh,” Hue said.
He reached for his PSE X-Force bow with his right hand as the doe continued walking, and he readied himself for his first-ever shot as the deer headed for a 6-foot gap between two bushes.
“But she never stopped in the window. She stopped behind the little bush,” he said. “Being it was my first deer, I was real anxious and I wanted to put a shot on her. So when she picked her head up, I judged where her shoulder should be and I had her in the peep sight on the pin, and I let it rip.
“She was 26 yards, and I heard the impact and it kind of startled me, and she took off.”
With his heart pumping, he texted his buddy Ryan Breaux to let him know he thought he’d connected on the doe. That’s when a good morning turned into a great morning.
“As I’m picking my phone up, I look to my left and see the beam of his horn, and then I see him pick his head up and he’s on the same trail behind her, nose down and he’s walking,” Hue said. “At that point, I didn’t even have an arrow in my bow. It was still in the quiver.”
But since he had just shot the doe, and the buck was following the same line, Hue was able to get an arrow, put it through the rest and hook it as the buck made its way to the same gap between the bushes where the first deer had stood moments earlier.
“He kept walking and got behind that tree, so I stood up and turned and put the peep and the pin where he was going to step in that window,” Hue said. “When he stepped, I (bleated) and his ears rose and I let the arrow fly.”
The buck’s back legs kicked, and the deer took a couple steps and fell. At that point, Hue saw his Cabela’s Stalker Xtreme arrow with a Rage Chisel Tip three-blade broadhead stuck right behind its front shoulder.
“That’s when the adrenaline hit me,” he said. “At that point, I still had no idea how big he was. When I saw the main beam, I tried to take my mind off the horns and just concentrate on where he was going.”
The buck took off, while Hue stayed put in his climber and waited for Breaux to arrive.
Minutes later, they found the buck piled up along the willows.
“When I saw him laying there, I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t say anything — I was speechless,” Hue said. “There was no explanation for it.
“In my mind, it was like, ‘I really just did this.’”
The 10-pointer — a solid buck on the Delta — was aged at 2½ years by biologists at the WMA, Hue said. The deer weighed 140 pounds with a neck swollen by the rut, and had a rack featuring a 14 ⅝-inch inside spread.
A few yards further down, they found the doe that Hue had initially arrowed. That deer weighed 100 pounds, and was aged at 2 years.
“I got a good chunk of meat there,” Hue said, noting the buck — his biggest ever — will eventually occupy a special place on his wall.
“I got a spot,” he said. “He’s going to be cherished.”
In the aftermath of a hunt he’ll never forget, Hue contemplated the two months of practice he had put in with his brand new PSE — and was thankful he had taken the plunge into bowhunting.
“I’ve thought about it,” he said. “If I was out there with a rifle, and I would have taken her with a rifle, I would have never seen him.”
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 optics at the end of the contest.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.