Guin’s buck green scores north of 140 inches
You might say Caleb Guin enjoyed a good run of jam-packed, adrenaline-fueled days earlier this month.
The 26-year-old from Castor in Bienville Parish made his first-ever trip to Tiger Stadium and watched in person as LSU dismantled the Florida Gators 42-28 in Baton Rouge on Oct. 12.
A day earlier, Guin had settled into a different kind of seat: He was in his ladder stand overlooking some palmettos about a mile from his home in Castor, in pursuit of a big 9-point buck he’d been keeping a close eye on for a couple of years.
“That Friday was the first real cool front that we got. About lunchtime, the wind started blowing and the temperature dropped 15 degrees in a matter of 30 minutes,” Guin said. “I had him on camera all week in daylight, so I knew that evening would be a good chance of getting him out early enough to shoot him.”
Guin got off work from his dad’s machine shop around 3:30, then called his brother Colton to go over the forecast and make a plan for a late afternoon hunt. A line of rain was in the cards, but it looked like the weather would let up in time to get a good crack at the buck.
“It started raining pretty good,” he said. “I just hunkered down under my umbrella and sure enough as soon as it quit, I had a little deer come out from the side, get corn and leave.
“Ten minutes after that deer left, he came out from my right. I knew it was him because of how wide he was. I let him go last year, my dad let him go and my brother let him go, and we let him go the year before that, as well.”
Guin almost inadvertently let the deer walk again when a piece of his video camera equipment fell out of his stand as the buck moved in.
“As he walked out, I went to grab my camera and I bumped my camera arm, and the clip that holds my remote fell to the ground,” he said. “It spooked him a little bit, but it had been raining and rain drops were still hitting the ground. So I guess it sounded like an acorn.”
After that mishap, the only thing Guin had to contend with was a solid case of buck fever.
“I’ve never gotten shook up like that from a deer before,” he said with a chuckle. “It usually kicks in and everything kind of slows down until after the fact, then I start shaking. But I was shaking before I shot him, and afterwards I was fine.
“This deer meant a lot more than the deer I’ve shot in Kansas. This one was from my home state, and I’ve always had bad luck here until then.”
Second guessing the shot
Guin was outfitted with a Mathews NoCam bow, and Carbon Express Maxima arrows equipped with 2-inch mechanical Rage broadheads. After making the 25-yard shot with the buck quartering toward him, he was concerned that he might have screwed up on his biggest deer ever.
“When I shot, he was looking at me because I guess he was still wondering what that sound was. He ducked the arrow. I was aiming a little low because I figured he would, but when he ducked he went backwards and brought his left leg back, so the arrow went in front of his shoulder blade,” Guin said. “My heart sank when I looked at the shot on video. If the arrow hit his shoulder blade, it might not have gone in far enough. And if he did die, it might be from an infection later on.”
Guin waited a bit before going to pick up his brother and look at the video on a big screen at home. When the buck had bolted away, a portion of the arrow broke off on the leg of the feeder as the deer headed into the palmettos.
“We decided from the video it looked like we got plenty of penetration, we just needed to go back and look at the arrow and decide how much broke off in him,” Guin said. “My dad looked at it with me, and he said it looked pretty good.”
They determined the arrow had gone into the deer about a foot, but initially had trouble finding blood in the wet conditions. Eventually, though, they located the big deer piled up in the palmettos.
“The celebration began. It was just a huge relief that I killed him. It went from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs,” Guin said. “I went from thinking that I had messed up the biggest deer I had ever had a chance at here, to killing my first Louisiana buck.
“I’ve killed some in Kansas and Texas, but they’ve always evaded me here. I’ve let a bunch of deer here go. I bought into ‘Let ‘em go, let ‘em grow’ pretty young.”
The big buck weighed 215 pounds, and was estimated at about 4 ½ years old. The 9-pointer had an inside spread of 20 7/8 inches, and rough-scored 140 5/8.
“The arrow actually broke off in his heart. We had to clean him the next day real quick because I had tickets to the LSU-Florida game. We had to clean him, go home and take a shower and get on the road to Baton Rouge. It’s about a four-hour drive, so it was a great weekend.”
His first Louisiana buck was capped off with his first-ever visit to Tiger Stadium, and a big LSU win to boot.
“We got home at 2:30 Sunday morning,” he said. “I was still pretty pumped up from the deer and the ballgame, so I didn’t have to stop and get coffee until right before we got home. I was pretty excited.”