Greg Felts, 33, and Chad Johnson, 31, are best friends. Felts lives in Monroe and is the owner of a convenience store in Mangham, while his friend, Johnson, lives in the village of Start.
Felts’ uncle owns 600 acres in Tensas Parish near Yucatan Lake, an area Felts is allowed to hunt. One the morning of Nov. 28, the pair of buddies set up shop in a box stand located on a utility line.
“There is one particular buck I have been chasing for the past several seasons, a buck I had never seen until this season,” Felts said. “He showed up several times on trail cameras but it was always at night.”
At first sight
During this year’s youth deer hunting season, Felts had his 9-year-old son, Gage, in the stand with him hoping to give the youngster a chance at a deer.
“We were on the stand late one afternoon when the big buck crossed the line. However,” said Felts, “it was getting late in the day and Gage couldn’t get him in his scope so he wasn’t able to shoot. That’s the first time I had actually laid eyes on the buck.
“Soon after Chad and I got settled into the stand, it started getting daylight and we saw two deer cross the line, neither of which was the big buck.”
In just a minute or so, another deer was sighted, a big buck, that came out on the line. Felts got him in his binoculars and realized it was the big one that nighttime photos had revealed, the same one his son had seen during the youth hunt.
“By the time I realized it was him and got my gun up, he was going into the woods giving me just a second to get off a shot,” he said. “I had no idea if I had made a good shot so we waited in the blind for awhile to go check for a sign of a hit.”
Less than 45 minutes later, another buck came out on the line, one Felts suggested to Johnson he’d better try for since it was a good one. Johnson shoots a Browning A-bolt 30.06. Getting the buck in his scope, he fired and the deer ran into the woods.
“Soon after Chad shot, we walked down to where the deer was standing and found blood,” Felts said. “Then we went down to where my deer had been standing and found blood there as well. We followed the blood trail and found my buck piled up maybe 50 yards from where he was walking when I shot.”
The buck was huge, weighing approximately 280 pounds, sported a rack of 11 points. Inside spread was 18 inches with big bases that carried throughout the rack that measured 155 inches. The buck was at least 6 ½ years old.
Johnson’s buck had run some 50 yards after the shot and upon recovery, his rack also carried 11 points with an 18-inch inside spread and weighed some 240 pounds. His rack measured 131 3/8 inches.
“What was interesting with both these bucks was that each had 11 points with the 11th point on each being identical kickers off the right brow tine,” Felts said. “We feel there is a real possibility that my buck, at age 6 ½ was likely the father of Chad’s 4 ½ year old.
“Something like this will never likely happen again when two best friends sitting together get their best bucks ever with such similar characteristics.”