Terry Alvis retired as a fireman with the Ouachita Parish Fire Department and works part-time as a mechanic for a friend. His work in putting out fires and manhandling an engine block apparently gave him the strength and stamina to do what he had to do. He was faced with the task of dragging a 220-pound buck after dark through a thicket some 125 yards and loading it in his truck by himself.
“I’m 66 years old but feel like I’m 40,” Alvis laughed when relaying his story of the big 11-point buck he nailed with his Raven crossbow late on the afternoon of Oct. 7.
Alvis was hunting on a tiny 8 acre plot of land behind his sister’s home in Union Parish. Sitting in his ground blind, he can look down the hill and see his sister’s mobile home at the end of the property.
“I had been seeing this buck on my trail camera for the past couple of months and I could tell he was a good one that I wanted a crack at,” he said. “There was a cool front moving in and I felt it was a good time to be in my blind.”
The big buck arrives
Crawling into his blind that afternoon around 5:00, he was soon seeing deer coming to feed on the corn he had spread out in a clearing.
“At first there were several does that came out followed by three small bucks, a 5-point, 4-point and spike. I was enjoying watching the young bucks spar and clash antlers when all of a sudden, they all threw their heads up and were looking toward my sister’s house. I knew she was gone on vacation and there wouldn’t have been anything to see there. About that time,” Alvis continued, “the big buck stepped out.”
The buck circled the other deer and came up to the corn on the ground at about 25 yards, Alvis explained.
“I had my crossbow on a shooting stick and as the buck was quartering away from me, I felt good enough to take a shot, so I hit the trigger,” he said. “What happened next was chaos. The ground was so dry and all eight deer took off leaving a thick dust cloud. All I could do was guess what happened to my buck because all I could see was dust.”
Alvis questioned himself as to why he didn’t wait for a broadside shot and he was feeling bad about possibly messing up on the biggest buck he ever shot.
“I just leaned back and had a sick feeling, afraid I had really messed up,” Alvis said. “I looked at my watch and it was 6:40 when I pulled the trigger. I decided to give him 45 minutes to an hour before starting to look for him.”
The difficult waiting period
In order to make the time he waited to pass faster, Alvis did something that helped him calm down.
“I got out my phone and started playing the Candy Crush game,” he laughed.
After 45 minutes or so he decided he had to go look and found a single drop of blood 15 feet from where the deer was standing. He began to find more blood along a trail that led downhill through the thicket. It was dark by now and at 120 yards, his light shined on the beams of the buck’s antlers where it had fallen.
“I called a friend and told him what I’d found and he offered to come help me,” Alvis said. “I told him I thought I could handle it but if I needed him, I’d call.”
Alvis would drag the buck a few yards and have to stop and catch his breath. He finally got the deer into the clearing, backed his truck down and using a piece of plywood propped on the tail gate, he was able to drag the 220-pound buck into his truck. Quite the accomplishment for a 66-year-old guy who tips the scales at 180 pounds.
The buck, which was estimated to be 5 ½ years old, was scored by Greg Hicks, Buck Master’s official scorer, and measured out as an 11-point with bases over 4 inches, main beams 23 inches and an inside spread of 18 3/8 inches. The rack measured 147 6/8 inches.