Jacob Martin has taken a few deer in his 12 years, but nothing that compares with the big 9-point buck he downed in Madison Parish on Dec. 30 during a Youth Hunt on the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge.

“I got picked for the Tensas hunt, so my dad and I got up early and we got to the refuge around 4 that morning,” said Martin, a Delhi Charter School student from Tallulah.

On Youth Hunts, the youngsters are assigned a guide who assists them during their time on the refuge.  Martin’s guide was Joseph Sylvestrie, who sat in the blind with the boy and his dad.

“We were hunting in a ground blind, and even though we got out there early, we hunted all morning without seeing anything. It probably would have been nice to even see a doe but nothing showed up,” Martin said. “We went back to headquarters, had lunch and went back out that afternoon to hunt again.

“We were having a good time, my dad and I, talking with the guide when my dad suddenly whispered, ‘There’s a deer.’  Not having seen one all day, I got pretty excited.”

Martin wasn’t able to get a good look at the animal’s head standing 150 yards away — all he could see was was a deer. He didn’t know if it was a buck or a doe.

“The guide instructed me about getting my gun up, so I did. He told me to put the crosshairs on the shoulder and when I got ready, to shoot,” Martin said. “So I just got my scope on the shoulder and shot, and the deer dropped right there.”

Sylvestrie added a little drama to the proceedings when he got his binoculars on the fallen deer, which had just gotten smacked by a bullet from Martin’s Savage 7mm-08 rifle.

“He just said he could see the deer and could see horns, and then said ‘It’s a monster,’” Martin recalled. “I was excited to know I had not only shot a deer, but had shot a big buck. “When we got down and went down there where the deer way laying, I just about went crazy when I saw how big he was.”

The deer was a trophy for sure: Sporting 9 points and an inside spread of 20 2/8 inches, the buck weighed 180 pounds. 

The big buck was taken to Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop, where it green-scored 162 4/8 inches of solid bone, good enough to vault Martin into second place in the youth category.

Editor's note: Matin's buck had been tagged as part of a university deer study conducted on the refuge.

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