Her daddy, David Tuggle, introduced her to deer hunting at an early age. Before she was born, her dad had made the decision that his first-born, no matter if a son or daughter, would be given the name of “Hunter’ because of his passion for deer hunting. It just so happened that 21 years ago, a little girl was born into the family with a middle name of Renee and a first name of Hunter.
For the past couple of years, David along with other relatives, had targeted a big buck that had been hanging around their hunting lease in Winn Parish near the town of Sikes.
“Last year, they found the sheds of this big buck and we all had our minds on one of us getting a chance at this buck,” said Hunter, a pre-veterinary student at LA Tech University who lives with her parents in Winnfield.
“We are out of school on Thanksgiving break and I have a part-time job at a veterinary clinic in Winnfield. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, my dad and I and other family members were hunting on our lease when it happened for me,” she said.
A slow start
Hunter stepped into her box blind sitting a few feet off the ground around 3:00 that afternoon and settled down to see if the buck might show up. As she sits in her stand, she is looking at two shooting lanes that are bordered by stands of pine trees.
“I had sat all afternoon without seeing so much as a rabbit. It was really quiet and still and starting to get late. Then about 5:30, I saw something move just off the shooting lane and suddenly, this big buck walked out at 50 yards.
“I figured the first time I ever saw a buck like this I’d get buck fever but it happened so fast, I didn’t have time to get nervous. He stopped for just a second, looked around and with his nose to the ground, headed across the lane. I got him in the scope of my Remington bolt action .270 and took a shot,” Hunter said.
From the way the buck was acting, Hunter thought that maybe a doe had crossed ahead of him, one she didn’t see because she was watching a different lane.
“It was obvious, especially after we cleaned him, that he was in full rut and he definitely had his eye or nose on something across the lane,” she added.
After the shot, she notified her dad and others and before they got there, she climbed out of the box and walked down to where she thought the deer was standing.
“I realized I had walked past where he was standing when I shot so I walked back a little way, looked out in the woods and there he was just a few yards from where he was when I shot,” she said.
The buck carried a rack of 10 points, 8 on each beam with a second short beam with two points, making it a 10-point rack. The deer, judged to be at least 6 ½ years old, had an inside spread that measured 21 3/8 inches. His estimated weight was at least 200 pounds. His rack was measured at 148 3/8 inches.
“My uncle has killed several big bucks in the past,” she said, “and he was pretty excited and glad that I was the one who got this big buck.”
She has entered her buck in a photo contest held by the Colfax Banking Company in Colfax with the winner claiming a nice cash prize.
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