As a general rule, sitting on a deer stand with a stiff wind blowing is not the best scenario when you want to up your odds of bagging a deer. Sometimes you definitely have to make adjustments to counter the wind.
Wisner’s Josh Barfield found himself in just such a situation on Dec. 28 while hunting 60 acres he frequents in Franklin Parish.
“The place I hunt is farmland with just a little bit of woods around the edges,” Barfield said. “I had seen a nice 8-point earlier in the season, and I was hopeful I’d get a chance at him this day.”
As Barfield clung onto the lean-to stand he sat on, the wind was causing the stand to sway. About that time, he looked far down the field some 250 yards away and saw three bucks — including the big 8 point — chasing a doe. Eventually, all the deer drifted off into a thicket along a ditch bank and disappeared.
“I decided it was time to make a change in plans. The wind was blowing from the deer to me, which gave me an advantage, so I decided my best bet would be to climb down from my stand and see if I could put the sneak on the deer,” Barfield said. “With the breeze in my favor and the noise created by the wind allowing me to sneak better, I stepped off into the thicket and began slowly making my way toward where I’d last seen the deer.”
What Barfield encountered next was not the three bucks and the doe he’d seen earlier. He found himself almost nose to nose with a different deer.
“All I could see at first was the deer’s nose so I eased to the side to get a better look,” he said. “The deer either heard or saw me and turned his head to look at me and it was only then that I saw his big rack and I knew I was looking at a buck I’d never seen.”
The buck turned and ran about 25 yards and stopped in a perfect clearing in the thicket, allowing Barfield to shoulder his Remington .30-06 and squeeze the trigger.
“After I shot, the deer dropped right there,” he said. “When I walked up to him, I was super-excited because I knew this buck was more impressive than the 8-point I had hoped to get.”
The buck was a dandy, weighing 220 pounds with a 12-point rack, long main beams and heavy mass. The antlers measured 170 6/8 inches in the Simmons’ Sporting Goods Big Buck Contest in Bastrop.
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.