Michael Veuleman, a plant manager for LaSalle Lumber Company who lives in the town of Iowa, La., has been in a small lease with a couple of friends near Singer in Beauregard Parish. For four years, he patiently sat in his stand without taking a deer.
On Oct. 30, the spell was broken when he downed his first, a buck with a drop tine, but an otherwise unimpressive rack. The following Saturday, Nov. 4, Veuleman found himself looking at a truly outstanding buck.
“My friends and I lease a 500 acre plot of private land an hour from my home, and since I got a buck the week before, I felt like maybe things would begin to pick up,” Veuleman said. “I never had any photos of a particular buck that my buddies had found on camera, but when one sent me a photo from his camera of an impressive buck with dark chocolate-colored antlers, I couldn’t help but wonder if my luck had really changed.”
“It was daylight before I reached my stand and climbed aboard at about 7:05,” he said. My stand overlooks a single shooting lane where we have a feeder trough where we place corn. I had settled into the stand, feeling maybe I should have gotten there earlier when I happened to look down the lane and this huge buck was stepping out at 150 yards. The deer was walking toward the trough.”
Veuleman felt that the buck might be cruising for does because it kept putting its head down like it was looking for the scent of a receptive doe.
“I got him in my scope – I shoot a .35 Whelan – but the deer was walking facing me,” he said. “This is when the ‘buck fever’ set in because as I watched him continue to walk toward me, I really got the shakes.”
When the buck got near the feed trough at 125 yards, it turned broadside and Veuleman knew he had the sight picture he wanted, so he hit the trigger.
“When I shot, he took off like a rocket, heading for the woods adjacent to the lane,” he said. “A buddy on a nearby stand texted me, asking if that was me who shot, and I told him what happened. He told me he heard the ‘whack’ and believed I had made a good shot.”
Waiting about 15 minutes, Veuleman got down and walked to where he thought the buck was standing when he shot. Finding no blood, nor evidence of a hit, he walked further down the lane and found blood; he had guessed wrong as to where the buck was standing when he shot.
“I texted my buddy and he came over to help me look for the buck,” Veuleman said. “We lost the blood trail after 10 yards, but he spotted a deer trail and began walking down it. After 50 yards, he spotted the deer that had fallen next to a sapling with low hanging branches. At first he thought he was looking at branches above the deer’s head, until he realized what he was looking at was the big rack.”
Hitting the jackpot
The buck was impressive, sporting a main frame 8-point rack with a kicker off one of the brow tines. Taking it to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop to be entered in the store’s Big Buck Contest, the rack was scored as a 9-point.
Tipping the scales at 170 pounds, the age was estimated at 5 ½ years old. The buck had an inside spread of 17 4/8 inches and main beams near 24 inches each, with bases of 4 4/8 inches with mass that carried throughout the rack. Simmons measured it at 152 7/8 inches.
He may have had a dry spell for four straight years, but Veuleman really hit the jackpot the morning of Nov. 4 in Beauregard Parish.