It’s Nov. 13; that’s a Friday, as in Friday the Thirteenth. This is traditionally a day when you have to be on your guard. You watch for black cats crossing in front of you and for sure, you don’t want to walk under a standing ladder. All sorts of bad things can happen on this day known for producing bad luck.
Don’t tell that to Choudrant’s Jay Smith, 47. To my knowledge, no black cat crossed his path nor did he have to walk under a ladder to reach an old homemade ground blind he had constructed for himself. But something did happen that smacked of anything but bad luck. A massive 14-point buck stepped out at 75 yards.
“I was hunting on a five-acre piece of land owned by my family on the outskirts of Ruston,” Smith said. “Actually I was scheduled to go to the barber shop for a haircut that afternoon but changed my mind at the last minute. I could get my hair cut later but I had the urge to go sit in my little ground blind instead.”
One reason that prompted the change in plans is that friends had told him about a big buck that was hanging around in the area and he thought that just maybe this would be the day the big one decided to pay him a visit.
“My family at one time owned a towing business on the property,” Smith said said. “There is still an old building on the place and a few old vehicles utilized for parts that are still out there. The little five-acre plot backs up to an old grown up clear cut.”
A good sign
In view of the reports of the big buck hanging around, Smith had gone out to the property on the previous Tuesday and had put out some corn to see if the food might be able to attract any deer hanging out in the area.
“When I decided to postpone my haircut and go sit in my blind, I was pleased to see that the corn I had piled up on Tuesday was all gone, and this gave me hope that at least something had visited the area,” he said.
Smith drove his truck down to his blind, put some more corn out before driving back to the front of the property and walked back to his blind.
“I got in the stand around 4:30 that afternoon and settled in to see what might happen,” Smith said. “Around 5:15, I watched a doe come through the broomsedge to the corn pile and begin eating. I also noticed that she kept looking back in the direction she had come. I figured maybe her yearling might be coming out to join her.”
The big buck arrives
Fifteen minutes later, he saw movement in the broomsedge patch and realized it was another deer headed toward the doe.
“The doe also saw the other deer and she moved a few steps away from the corn pile,” Smith said. “Then I saw what she was looking at, a big buck. The buck turned around like he was going to leave but then turned and started scraping the ground, lifting his head high like he was smelling the doe. He stood facing me but then he turned a bit and I got a bead on him with my Thompson Center Encore 300 magnum and squeezed off a shot. He took off and my heart almost stopped; I was afraid my shot was off.”
The buck disappeared from sight and Smith walked over to where the buck was standing and found a couple of spots on the ground where the buck had scraped. He followed a blood trail and found the buck piled up 30 yards from where he was shot.
“I had no idea he had a rack like that; I was expecting to find a nice 8-point but he had a lot more than that,” he said.
The buck, estimated to be 4 ½ years old, weighed 180 pounds and was a main frame 10-point with four smaller points for a total of 14 points. Inside spread was 15 7/8 inches with heavy mass and long tines. He took the buck to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop to be entered in that store’s big buck contest and the rack was measured at 166 2/8 inches.
Friday, Nov. 13, turned out to be anything but unlucky for Jay Smith.
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