The old adage about real estate is, “Location, location, location.”
The same can be said about where you set up your deer stand, and Mason Troquille got the best of both worlds.
When he and his wife Bethany decided to move out of their apartment last spring and into a rent house just north of Natchitoches so their 2-year-old son Tripp had a place to go outside and play, Troquille, 30, quickly realized the property also was prime deer habitat.
“I got to know the landlord real well. He lives right across the street, and the house sits on his 105-acre property,” Troquille said. “He said he didn’t hunt it, and his two sons didn’t really hunt it, so he pretty much gave me permission to do what I wanted back there.”
Troquille’s interest in the potential of the property deer-wise peaked when he was heading home one evening in November and saw a heavy-horned 10-point on the highway.
“I was coming home one night and pulling onto the road about a half-mile from the house, and he was standing in the road,” he said. “Then I started doing whatever I could do to try to get him on the property.”
Troquille put out lots of corn, and eventually set up a ground blind on the edge of a tree line about 90 yards from the house.
“I noticed that every evening deer were coming out almost in the backyard, and I started putting corn out and set up a ground blind with the intention of shooting a doe with a bow,” he said. “Then I put a camera back there, and he showed up on that camera on Dec. 4.”
On Dec. 8, Troquille had a prime shot at the big buck with his Diamond bow, but missed from 14 yards as daylight faded.
“He didn’t jump the string or anything. It wasn’t until my arrow went past him and made some noise behind him that he took off,” Troquille said. “But he didn’t tear out of there. He just walked off, so I didn’t think I’d messed up too bad.”
From that point, Troquille opted to take along his .30-06, and got a shot at redemption on Dec. 17.
“The morning of the 17th, while I was walking out to go to work that morning, I saw an 8-point back there in the tree line,” he said. “The last time I saw the 8-point was the last time I saw the big 10-point, and I figured he might be back in the area.”
He made it into his ground blind about 4:15 after work, and does started trickling into the area about 4:35, he said.
“It was kind of early for the deer to be moving. Then the 8-point showed up and he was in full rut, chasing does all over the place. The does came back, and then the 8-pointer came back around again,” he said. “They were getting probably 5 yards from the ground blind running around me. They ran off to right, and when I turned and looked back, the big 10-point had stepped out and he was right in front of me.
“He just snuck in. I never saw him walk in. When I turned back, he was just right there.”
Troquille was ready with his .30-06, and blasted the buck from only 14 yards.
“He rocked back and took off through a honey locust thicket.” he said. “Deer were running everywhere. All I could was deer running. I couldn’t tell what noise was a deer crashing.”
Troquille decided to head back to the house because guests were coming over for a church gathering at 6:30.
“I kind of had to wait for everybody to leave,” he said. “It was a pretty long wait.”
He headed back out to look for the deer around 8:30 that night, and found the buck piled up 45 yards from where it had been shot.
“It was almost like it wasn’t even real. I shined the light up there and I didn’t have to track him that far — I got about 10 or 15 yards from him and I could smell him in full rut, musky as he could smell,” Troquille said. “I shined the light up there and saw him laying there with his horns sticking up in the air.”
Impressive horns they were — the buck’s inside spread was 15 6/8 inches, with 5-inch plus bases. The big 10-pointer weighed 245 pounds, was estimated to be between 4 ½ and 5 ½ years old, and green scored 160 6/8 inches Boone & Crockett with a very symetrical rack.
Not too bad for a backyard buck, which will soon be on a wall in the living room of his rent house.
“I need to give a lot of the credit to my landlord, Cliff Conine,” Troquille said. “As far as landlords go, I think I got the best one you can get.”
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.