Big Buck Photo Contest in Northeast Louisiana
Finally caught up with this six and half year old whitetail that I had spent some amount of time looking for.The first trail camera photo of him I had gotten was on October the 30th and from that moment forward I knew I was looking for one deer. Also soon realized that I had seen him before one time two years ago and also had just a couple of photos of him from that year. I never really thought about shooting him this year because of our club rules he would have to score 150 to be shot with a bow and I did not think he would have been a legal buck to harvest under our club rules , but figure he was 145 ish two years ago. Had no trail camera photos and never laid my eyes on him last year , and had hunted the area he was living in quite a bit but never saw any sign of him.
On November 12 2012 I got to see the buck again but it was only a glimpse of him at about 100 yards through the woods and it was only for a second , At this time of the year I was bow hunting and I had countined to bow hunt for the buck but soon realized as December rolled on that I was going to be extremely lucky if I was ever going to see this old mature whitetail ever again. At around the same time in early December I had found out there were a couple of members from our club who had also had some trail camera photos of the buck and they were looking for him as well. At this time,that was when I decided in my best interest to put the bow down and pick up the rifle.
Finally on December the 18th 2012 I got to lay my eyes on the buck again. Arriving to my stand a little before three pm I had not been seated but maybe a minute and a doe comes out and after watching her for maybe a minute a buck grunted five or six times. At this time I look in the direction the grunts were coming from and I could see a deer white throat patch through some thick thick cover as I raised my binoculars and looked through the deer turned his head and I knew then that it was him. The deer stood looking at his doe from cover and would grunt ever so often to her and did not present me with a shot at all , this is all going on at around 80 yards. During this time the buck had made two scrapes and rubbed a pretty good size tree and still never presented me with any typof shot. Next thing I realized I could hear a deer walking thru the leaves coming from behind my buck I could tell he was watching whatever was coming and next thing I realized he took off running in that direction and I thought at the time that was it hes gone , just could not believe that I had gotten to see him agian and could not get a shot on him. Soon realized he was just protecting his doe as the sound of horns hit and hit hard as the fight broke out I could not see this going on but could hear plenty of it as it had to of been over 100 yards through the woods. As the fight went on for around 5 minutes whiuch killed me not being able to see it or the other buck , I still had a pretty good feeling that he was going to return because the doe was in front me in a lane watching all of this going on. I knew if she left it was over , as the fight ended I could hear one the bucks making there way back towards the does direction as I was watching it was no suprise it was the deer I had been after but still stayed in the thick Tensas brush and still not presting me with any type of shot. I watched thru the brush as the buck made another scrape thinking hes got to step out. it had been well over an hour had gone by and still no shot , I had my remington model 700 7mm up the entire time just waiting for the shot. As the buck turned his attention back to the doe and grunted as well as lunged for her the doe jumped back in some catails , and it was at the time he finally stepped up in a hole in the timber and presented me with my first shot , as i squezzed the trigger and shot both the buck and doe bolted behind the brush I could not tell if I hit him or not , next thing I knew they started crossing a slough in front of me and both of them stopped in about chest high water and turned back and looked in my direction I could not believe it first reaction was oh my gosh I missed , threw another shell in the gun pretty much in panic mode raised up and made my second shot as the shot went off i saw thru the scope water splash all over him and I was sick in mind I had missed again , the buck and doe came up out of the water and ran over to the next ridge and stopped so i reloaded my remighton model 700 again they were about 120 yards thru the woods and across the slough all i could see were the bucks horns and the top portion of his front shoulder as i squezzed off another round at the buck. After the 3rd shot went off all I saw were whitetails running off and the time I was sick I just could not belive it to hunt so hard and to blow the oppertunity. From the 1st to the 3rd shot it had probably only been less than a minute. As I sat in my stand I just didnt have a good feeling about it all. So I waited about 20 minutes before getting down out of my Millenium lock on and eased over where I had first shot at the deer and could find no signs of blood. As I waded across the slough you could see right where the deer ran because he had parted the duck weed in the slough as I reached where I made my second shot in the water I looked up towards the bank othe other side and spotted a cyprees knee covered in blood. As I made my way to the cypress knee looked up and from where I made my third shot the buck was laying righ there. I know I was all smiles from there. As I raced over to him to get my hands on those horn the buck was even bigger then I thought. I have hundreds of trail camera photos of him and they just didnt do him justice the mass was incredible. As I turned the buck over curious about my shots I couldnt believe it all three shots were right were they were suppoed to be. Both of the bases were over 6 inces with the left being 6 3/8 with both main beams being over 24 inches the left supported 24 5/8 inches. The air betwwen the two main beams was 16 7/8 inches. His G3 on the right and G4 on the left were both over 10 inches long. The buck supported right at 45 inches in mass alone. T P Outdoors in Monroe scored the deer out at 171 1/8.