Son’s stand the ticket for DeRidder hunter
After a fruitless morning at another stand on Monday, Oct. 22, Brandon Bailey decided it was time for a change of scenery.
The 40-year-old pipeliner from DeRidder decided to sit on stand he had placed 20 feet up on a big pine for his son to use.
Little did he know that the 10-point buck he had only seen on his trail cameras at night would step out at 25 yards later that afternoon in Beauregard Parish.
“I hunt a lease just behind my house. The 2,000-acre lease sits on a pine plantation with some creek bottoms interspersed in the area. The area I prefer to hunt is an 800-acre block that was thinned a couple of years ago,” Bailey said.
The stand Bailey sat on that afternoon overlooks an old log skidder road in one direction, and lanes in the timber that had been thinned. Underbrush has grown up in the remaining pines, creating ideal deer habitat. He didn’t make a food plot there, but was just using the natural openings created by the timber thinning operation.
“I had gone in there and looked the area over last year and found a bedding area deer had used as sort of a sanctuary,” he said. “So I backed out and didn’t hunt it to give the deer a sense of security. I had the stand set up near — but not in — the sanctuary.”
Bailey had a history with this particular buck going back five years. It first appeared as a nice 8-point, but Bailey was impressed with its tine length.
“I felt like this deer had potential to grow into a real trophy animal, so I tried to keep tabs on his progress. The second year, he was a mainframe 10-point with a little kicker off one of his G-2s,” he said. “Each year since he has sported a 10-point rack that grew more impressive each season.”
Climbing into the stand around 3 that afternoon, Bailey really just wanted to see what the area looked like and what prospects it had for taking a good deer. He hadn’t seen the big buck’s photo on his cameras for the past two to three weeks, so he wasn’t really expecting anything exciting to happen.
“I’m looking at the old skidder road and lanes between the thinned pines when I checked the time on my phone; it was 6:02 p.m., and I felt if I was going to see anything it had to happen pretty soon,” he said. “Then I heard something take two steps in the thicket next to one of the lanes, and I saw the nose of a deer that had stopped 25 yards from where I sat.
“I started easing my Thompson Center rifle to my shoulder. It was then I saw the antlers as the deer looked directly toward me. I froze, and it was not until he moved his head again that I was able to get my gun to my shoulder.”
All Bailey was able to determine was it was a nice buck, as he could make out antlers through the brush. He decided to try for the deer, not knowing exactly which buck it was. Placing the crosshairs on the animal’s neck — the only vital area not obscured by brush —he squeezed off a shot and the deer fell in its tracks.
“I climbed down the tree, walked to the deer and couldn’t believe it was the big one,” he said. “I started jumping up and down and said a prayer thanking the good Lord for my success.”
Bailey’s big 10-point tipped the scales at 180 pounds, with a 16-inch inside spread, main beams over 25 inches each, brow tines between 7 and 8 inches and 4-inch bases. His taxidermist, Chancy Frith of K&B Taxidermy in Ragley, green-scored the rack at 144 inches of bone.
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