Just about one year ago - on November 14, 2014 to be exact - Arcadia’s Thomas Bourn put the pop on a big 8-point buck that scored in the 140s, which was highlighted on LouisianaSportsman.com.
Fast-forward to this weekend - November 21, 2015 - and in the words of the oft-quoted Yogi Berra, it was “déjà-vu all over again” for Bourn: Sitting in the exact stand where he downed last year’s deer, he did himself one better when he dropped a heavy-racked 10-point buck at 280 yards.
“This stand has been good to me over the years,” Bourn said. “The 120-acre plot lies between Athens and Homer in Claiborne Parish, and the landowner and I have had an agreement for the past dozen years or so.
“He lets me hunt his land in exchange for venison.”
The arrangement has worked out well for both men. The landowner has plenty of venison to last the year, and Bourn has now put four bucks up on the wall — all from this property, and all from the same stand.
“The stand sits on an old abandoned gas line that I keep bush-hogged and cleared. On one side is a big thicket, and on the other is the only good stand of hardwoods on the place,” Bourn said. “I plant a food plot on the line and keep a feeder going to attract deer.”
On Saturday, Bourn climbed into his stand early feeling confident. The bucks had abandoned their scrapes and were actively chasing does.
“I saw five yearlings without does, and I saw a big doe and a spike come out on the line. Then at 8:57, I looked way up on top of a steep hill and this big one walked out and was crossing the line. Even at that distance, I didn’t need my binoculars to tell me he was one I wanted to take,” Bourn said. “I put the scope on him, squeezed the trigger on my Sako 25.06 and the buck dropped and then tumbled head over heels down the hill toward me.”
The buck was definitely a trophy, sporting 10 points with an inside spread of 20 inches and good mass that carried throughout the rack.
“I took the deer to taxidermist Johnny Durrett, who determined the buck was 4 or 5 years old,” Bourn said. “Durrett rough-measured the deer at 150-plus inches of antler. He weighed 195 pounds — a fine, mature buck in good condition.”
His next stop was Dowling’s Processor to render the buck into steaks and hamburger to be delivered to the property owner in exchange for next year’s buck.
Hopefully it will be “déjà-vu all over again” one more time in 2016.
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.