Atchafalaya Basin New Year’s buck

So the chase for this buck started in November with one trail camera photo. I checked several cameras in the area never saw him again so I figured someone got him. But I did have several other bucks still passing through. I only went in and checked my cameras and hunted only if the wind was in my favor, always sneaking in early and quiet. Then the Christmas holidays came along and I was off of work for 2 weeks so it was time to get it together and figure out when and where the deer was. Only problem, it was 80 + degree weather, definitely not good for deer activity. But one thing that was in my favor was the RUT. I had New Year’s dinner at home with my family then headed out to the camp. It was 84 degrees New Year’s Day. I got to the camp and was undecided whether or not to go hunt because it was so hot, but I decided to go. There was a hard south wind blowing 15 to 20. I get to my stand around 3 p.m. It was quiet, but hot. I sit and wait patiently. At 4:30 p.m. I look to my left and I see a yearling feeding. I keep looking and I see a doe and then who walks out, the one-photo buck, so I eased up my rifle and took aim. The only problem was the way the doe was feeding she was soon gonna catch my scent and the buck wouldn’t turn broad side, so I took a chance and fired glancing him in the neck. He shook his head and turned broadside and just walked, I shot again and he dropped where he stood. It was an amazing experience and a better one walking up on such a magnificent animal.

-Derek Domingue

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