176-inch Grant Parish hammer goes down

Nick Olden downed this monster 11-point on Oct. 20 up in Grant Parish.
Nick Olden downed this monster 11-point on Oct. 20 up in Grant Parish.

Olden’s big 11 features 21-inch inside spread

When he was just 14, Nicholas Olden thought he might have taken the buck of a lifetime when he downed a big chocolate-horned 8-point that measured 133 inches.

Only three years later, he proved himself wrong. Now 17 and a senior at South Terrebonne High School, Olden upped the ante on Oct. 20 when he shot an amazing 11-pointer up in Grant Parish that pushed the tape to more than 176 inches.

His family’s hunting club there is more than 200 miles from his home in Bourg — but it’s obviously worth the trip.

“We have a campground up there and we, along with other club members, have campers set up where we stay when we make the trip north,” he said.

There was one particular buck on the lease that had shown up on trail cameras in velvet a long way from where the Olden’s had their stands. The big deer had never been seen or photographed within a mile of their hunting locations, but that all changed on opening day of primitive firearms season when Olden and the monster buck had a surprise encounter.

“We got up long before dawn on that day and got to our stands. I had already taken a really good buck three years ago, an 8-point that was measured at 133 inches,” he said. “I had no real expectations of beating that one, and I was content to see what might step out, never thinking it could be something this big.”

Nick Olden of Bourg downed this massive 11-point up in Grant Parish that green-scored north of 176 inches.
Nick Olden of Bourg downed this massive 11-point up in Grant Parish that green-scored north of 176 inches.

As he sat in his stand exchanging text messages with his family members, he was a bit discouraged because they all were reporting seeing deer — but Olden hadn’t caught a glimpse of a single one.

“To get to my box stand, I walk in on an old road that is to the left of my stand; I have another lane out front. About 9:20 that morning, I checked the lane out front at first and then looked down the lane to the left. I was shocked to see this really big buck step out into the lane at about 90 yards,” he said. “He got the middle of the lane where I had walked in, stopped and looked directly at my stand. I assume he had smelled me and was about to take off.”

But as the deer stepped into the lane, Olden was able to get his .35 Whelen out the window — and when the deer stopped quartering slightly toward him, he was ready. He fired and the deer fell — but then took off.

“I thought I heard him crash but couldn’t be sure. I was shaking so hard it was difficult to text my dad,” Olden said. “ I told him what had just happened and he said to wait in his stand until he could get there. It was probably an hour before he came — the longest hour I ever spent in my life.”

When his dad got there, they walked down to where the buck was standing and found a lot of blood, indicating a good hit.

“It was no trouble following the blood trail; there were no little drops but plenty of blood to follow. We got about 50 yards from where the deer left the lane, I looked up and there was a little bush and next to it, all I saw was horns,” Olden said. “I had never seen anything like that in my life.”

Walking up to the buck, Olden counted 11 points on the massive rack, which had a 21-inch inside spread with long main beams and heavy mass. On scales back at the camp, the big deer weighed-in at 220 pounds, and was green-scored at just more than 176 inches of bone.

“Everybody told me that if I kept shooting big bucks, I’d soon learn that they don’t get much bigger than this,” Olden said. 

Glynn Harris
About Glynn Harris 356 Articles
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.