When a barking dog disrupted Jim Lensing’s morning deer hunt on Jan. 23 in Lake Providence, he decided that afternoon to move to a lock-on stand overlooking an old pecan orchard that he’d only hunted a few times this season.
Turns out he owes that dog a bone.
Lensing’s move to the orchard resulted in a unique 11-point buck — nicknamed “Kickstand” because of a foot-long, rear-facing kicker — that he’d had his eyes on since last season.
“Where we hunt, it’s a very populated area,” said Lensing, 29. “It’s not uncommon to hear kids on four-wheelers or dogs barking. I got up in the stand about 3 o’clock and heard dogs barking, and they may have been chasing a deer out there.
“So I was even hesitant to sit all afternoon.”
He decided to stick it out, but didn’t see much until an 8-point ran out in a clearing about 4:45, followed shortly thereafter by a yearling.
That was when Kickstand finally made an unexpected appearance.
“He came out of a little thicket and just popped out right under my stand,” Lensing said. “He was probably 20 yards when he stepped out right under my tree.
“He was just cruising through there.”
Lensing drew back his Mathews Z7 Xtreme bow, and the Gold Tip arrow with a 100-grain Rage mechanical broadhead found its mark at 22 yards.
“I could tell it was a good hit, but I was just nervous because this was a deer I had pictures of, and had been watching for the last couple of years, and he’d finally come out,” he said. “It just happened so quick. When he ran away, I could tell where my arrow hit it was a kill shot.”
Lensing may not have had time to get nervous before the shot, but immediately after he definitely felt a rush of adrenaline.
“It hit me after the fact,” he said with a chuckle. “I sat there for 45 minutes before I was able to collect myself and get down.”
He made a quick check for blood, but didn’t find any, so he headed home to eat supper, then returned with some buddies about 9:30 that evening to try to locate the deer. Thirty minutes later and 120 yards away, they found the big buck piled up with the arrow still intact.
“I was thrilled. That’s my biggest, and to get him with a bow right here next to my house…,” Lensing said. “I killed my first deer with a bow out there when I was 12, so that made it that much more special.”
His history with the deer made the late-season kill stand out, as well.
Last year the buck was a mainframe 8-point in the 130-inch range, and Lensing saw him on the last day of bow season missing one antler.
“You could see a bloody spot on the top of his head,” Lensing said. “I made a point to look for the shed about this time last year, and when I found it, there was about an inch of skull hooked onto the shed itself.
“My theory is he could have gotten hit by a car.”
That accident possibly contributed to the 11-point’s unique antler growth this season. The right side of its rack features an angled, almost foot-long kicker coming up directly behind the brow tine.
“When he’s got his head back, he could almost scratch his shoulder with that kicker coming off the back,” Lensing said. “It’s pretty cool, man.”
The big 11-point had a 17 ¼-inch inside spread, with almost 6-inch bases, and the unique rack has been scored at 165, 155 and 157 inches by three separate scorers.
No matter what the final tale of the tape might be, Lensing is looking forward to getting Kickstand back from his taxidermist and putting a very unique trophy up on his wall.
“You hunt all your life and you never think you’re going to get a crack at a deer like that, and then it finally all comes true,” he said. “It was an exciting moment.”
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.