Gray Allums, an 11-year-old sixth-grader at Benton Middle School, said his favorite subject is math.
It’s a good thing, too: Allums will need solid arithmetic skills just to keep track of the total number of deer he’s taken down during his six years of hunting (more than 25), as well as count up the total number of points on a big Caddo Parish buck he shot the Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.
The younger Allums got an assist during his weeklong school holiday when his dad, Randy, passed on the heavy-horned 11-pointer they had nicknamed “King Kong” that morning, Nov. 24, on their lease adjacent to the Red River.
“It came out within 50 yards of me and I watched it for two minutes,” Randy said. “I just took a gamble and said, ‘I’m going to try to bring my sons back for the rest of the week, and hopefully they’ll get a chance to shoot it.’ I said, ‘Lord, let it be your will that we get another chance at him.’ I came home and told my wife, ‘I’m going back every day until we get another shot at him.’
“And we got lucky on the very first try with Gray — he was the lucky one.”
That was the first time the elder Allums had ever seen King Kong during daylight hours.
“We had pictures of him last year as a 10-point with lots of mass. We have pictures of him just about every night, but when he came out Tuesday morning, I was in awe,” he said. “When he crossed the first shooting lane, he just stood there for a while looking both ways, and I already had my scope on him, just watching.
“But I’ve killed enough deer in my life. I don’t even hardly shoot deer anymore. I just go with my kids and hang out with them.”
He returned to the same stand that afternoon with Gray, and King Kong didn’t disappoint. The big buck came out of woods paralleling the river about 5 p.m., crossed a thicket and eventually came out in a shooting lane at about 125 yards.
“When he came out, I knew it was a good buck and my heart was racing the whole time he was coming through the woods,” Gray said. “Finally when he walked out, he wouldn’t stop, so I shot him while he was walking. Dad thought I made a bad shot, but I was sitting there telling him I made a good shot.”
The youngster was right — he connected with his .300 Magnum, and the big buck went down. But it quickly got up dragging its back leg, and headed out of sight into the woods.
“We didn’t wait long because we were scared it was going to get dark on us,” Randy said. “We jumped down and as soon as we walked down there, he was dead right beside the woods 20 yards from where Gray shot him.”
That was where a special father-son moment unfolded.
“The high-fives started,” Randy said. “It was awesome. If you have kids, it’s such a blessing to be able to sit out there in the woods with them to enjoy what God gave us. If we get to shoot a deer, that’s lagniappe. If we don’t, we have a good time in the stand together.”
King Kong lived up to its nickname: the buck’s rack had 11 scorable points with three kickers, and a 20-inch inside spread, 5-inch-plus bases and weighed about 200 pounds. Allums estimated it to be 5 years old, and the buck green-scored 159 ¾ inches Boone & Crockett.
“I’ve hunted all my life and killed some big deer in my day, but that’s the biggest I’ve ever been associated with,” Randy said.
So his gamble on letting King Kong walk that morning worked out, and led to a Thanksgiving week celebration that he and Gray won’t soon forget.
“We started taking pictures and sending them to my wife, and to grandma and grandpa — basically everybody we knew,” Randy said with a laugh. “If you look at those pictures, you can see that big smile on his face.
“He was so excited he was smiling ear to ear.”
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.