Culpepper’s public land stud measures 180 1/8 inches
Even though he wasn’t holding the rifle, Roy Withers was given all the credit for downing a huge Caldwell Parish buck on the Boeuf Wildlife Management Area.
Cody Culpepper was the man who actually fired the kill shot on Nov. 23, and even though Withers was in a stand about 200 yards away, Culpepper gave his hunting mentor all the credit for putting him in the right place at the right time to take down the big buck.
“I didn’t grow up in a family that hunts,” said Culpepper, 26. “My dad didn’t hunt, and although I wanted to become a hunter, it wasn’t until my friend Roy took me under his wing and helped me get into hunting.”
Culpepper, who resides in Hebert in Caldwell Parish, lives only 6 miles from Boeuf WMA.
“Roy and I started scouting the area a few days before I got a chance at the buck. We had found sign where a big buck was just tearing up the bushes and making scrapes,” he said. “We didn’t know how big he was, but knew he had to be a good one by all the sign.”
Withers instructed Culpepper on the importance of finding trails deer were using, and four days before the successful hunt they had walked a well-used trail and came to where that trail intersected another. That was the spot where Withers suggested Culpepper set up a blind on the ground.
“We pulled in some logs and limbs to give cover where I had a good view of both trails,” he said. “I got in behind the blind as Roy moved on down to hunt about 200 yards from me.”
Before settling in behind his make-shift blind, Culpepper applied Tink’s 69 doe-in-heat scent on bushes all around — then he sat down and waited.
“I had sat there awhile without seeing anything so I got out my grunt call, and made a grunt or two,” Culpepper said. “Five minutes after making the call, I heard something coming through the woods and here came this big buck with a doe following him.”
A favorable wind appeared to take the Tink’s scent to the buck, and it apparently abandoned the doe it was working to check out the new scent.
“I watched the buck working his way to me through the thicket, and since we hadn’t cut any shooting lanes, I had to look ahead of the deer to find an opening. I found just a small clear spot in the bushes and when the buck stepped into the opening at 50 yards, I hit the trigger on my .270 short mag,” Culpepper said. “The buck stumbled and took off and I thought I heard him crash. I jumped up and headed to where I heard him fall and found him — he only traveled about 10 yards after I shot.
“I assumed it was an 8-point when I first saw him but as I got closer, I began to see more and more points. When Roy got there after I texted him, I don’t know who was more excited — him or me.”
The buck was impressive indeed. Culpepper lifted a rack containing 13 points and realized he couldn’t reach around the bases with thumb and finger — the circumferences measured more than 6 inches each. The buck’s main beams were 24 inches, with an inside spread of 18 inches.
The 208-pound buck was aged at 5 ½ years and because of all the mass that included some palmation, scored an astounding 180 1/8 inches of bone.