Teddy Roussel is good to his fiancé. Really good.
He and brother Ben saved a stand on their family land in the Tunica Hills for Heather White through opening week of the season, and the second afternoon she sat it a monster buck walked out.
White, who has only bow-hunted for four years, put an arrow through the deer — which has been estimated at 160 inches Pope & Young.
Unfortunately, no one believed her for nine days. That’s how long it took for the deer to be discovered.
It all began on Oct. 7, when White eased into the stand site on the stand with one goal in mind.
“We were meat hunting,” the St. Amant hunter explained. “We wanted to shoot does. We were ready to pack the freezers.”
And it looked like she’d get that opportunity, as an hour later a four does appeared to her left, and cautiously made their way toward the feeder in the food plot over which White was sitting.
“It was windy, and they were nervous,” she said.
That wasn’t helped by a small 6-point that stepped out about the same time and began pestering the other deer.
“They met in the middle, and the 6-point kept running them off,” White said.
She didn’t even think about the buck, and soon drew her bow on one of the does.
“I drew back once to shoot one of the deer, and the 6-point ran them off,” White said.
She let off, and then waited for the does to settle down and return to the feeder.
“They walked back again, and I drew back and the 6-point ran them off,” White said. “I let off again.”
The hunter was getting a bit frustrated, and she sat to see if the deer would return.
But soon the young buck began acting nervous.
“He looks down the food plot and backs up,” White said.
So White eased her head around to see what had caught the 6-point’s attention.
“I turn my head and look, and there he is, stepping out,” she said.
A huge buck was walking onto the food plot 60 to 70 yards from the stand, and White suddenly found it hard to catch her breath.
“I knew he was a monster,” she siad. “I said, ‘Please, Lord, give me the strength to pull the bow back a third time.’”
Fortunately, the buck never hesitated.
“It felt like forever, but it was probably only a minute,” White said. “The way he was walking, he had to cross behind a tree. When he did that I drew back.”
The buck reappeared at about 30 yards, and White loosed her arrow.
And knew she had missed her mark, hitting the deer farther back than she intended.
The buck disappeared, and she quickly got in touch with Teddy Roussel so they could start tracking it.
“We trailed him for a couple of hours, but we just lost blood,” White said.
Roussel returned the next morning and continued searching until about 10:30 a.m. before giving up.
White was crushed.
“I did some crying,” she said. “I said, ‘Y’all are never going to believe how big he was.’”
And she was right.
“They didn’t believe me,” White laughed. “They just put their hands on their heads and said, ‘Heather’s big deer.’”
And then on Oct. 12, she received a call from someone who lives next to the property.
“He said, ‘I think I’ve found something you want,’” White said. “He saw a lone buzzard coming out of a bottom and went to check it out.
“When he went down there, there (the big buck) was.”
Of course, the deer was ruined — everything except for the massive set of headgear.
And now everyone believes her story.
“When (Teddy) saw it, he was like, ‘Oh my God. It’s huge,’” White said.
Huge indeed. The couple drove to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop today (Oct. 26), and it taped out at 160 ⅞ inches typical. Each base measured 5 inches, and the main beams held solid mass.
“He was bigger up close,” White said. “I didn’t know it had that much mass.”
Amazingly, no one had a clue that the deer was in the area.
“They’re calling him ‘The Ghost’ because no one has caught him on camera or saw him crossing the road or anything,” White said.
Teddy Roussel didn’t call off the May wedding over the kill, but White said he and her soon-to-be brother-in-law have regretted the decision to save the stand.
“I think they put a camera out there, but they didn’t see that deer,” White said. “They were just going to save it and let me hunt that.
Now they’re kicking themselves; they said if they’d had seen that on camera that would be that.
“But they didn’t see it, so they were just going to let me go out there and shoot does.”
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|This is all that was left of a 160-inch 11-point arrowed in Tunica Hills on Oct. 7 by St. Amant's Heather White. The trophy was found Oct. 12.|
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