Bob Thompson, 60, has a philosophy about deer hunting that has worked well for him over the years.
“I’m a dark-to-dark hunter, meaning I usually get in my stand before daylight and stay there all day hunting until dark,” Thompson explained. “I don’t walk around my property so deer can feel safe and not pressured; I just crawl into my stand and stay there.”
Thompson is retired from state employment and is currently Assistant Administrator for the Johnny Robinson Boy’s Home in Monroe. He hunts his own land located 11 miles north of Rayville in Richland Parish. The land he hunts is a 100-acre hardwood bottomland that sits at the junction of two rivers, the Lafourche and Boeuf.
“I have hunted his property for years and have killed some really big bucks, most of which were taken out of this same scope of woods and out of the same box stand,” he said.
On Dec. 6, Thompson was set to do his all day thing in his deer stand, getting there early with plans to stay all day.
“I have a big food plot that I have kept up since the mid-90s,” he said. “Its 130 yards long and 40 yards wide and I usually plant it in oats and clover. This year, I didn’t plant because of all the damage from the hurricanes we had and it had grown up in four foot high weeds. A neighbor came and mowed my food plot in strips leaving clean ground next to strips of weeds, giving deer a bit of cover rather than just being out in the opening.”
Plenty of action
Does started coming onto the food plot early feeding on the corn and rice bran he had placed on the plot.
“At one time I counted 20 does feeding and I could hear bucks grunting in the woods,” Thompson said. “Before long three bucks came onto the plot, a spike, a 4-point and a big 8 probably 2 ½ years old, one I wanted to let grow another couple of years. The bucks would harass and push the does around and after awhile the show was over, ending my morning hunt.”
Sitting the rest of the day as is his custom, the does began filtering back onto the food plot late in the day and he counted 18 at one time.
“A big 6-point buck walked out and began harassing the does,” Thompson said. “He was joined by a high-racked 8-point and a big 4-point. They were putting on a real show with chasing going on in and out of the woods and criss-crossing the food plot. Then I happened to notice another big buck I had never seen before chase a doe across the food plot. I try not to shoot a buck under 5 ½ years old and I was convinced this one met the minimum because of his big rack and body. Just as he stuck his nose in the woods to follow the doe, I had my scope on him and got off a shot. I saw him run off and was pretty sure I heard him crash.”
A real giant
Climbing down from his stand, Thompson walked over to where he last saw the buck, took one step into the woods and saw the buck lying there less than 20 yards from where he was shot.
“I called my wife as I was trying to drag the buck out to the food plot and my wife asked me if I was okay. I was puffing and panting so hard she thought I was having a heart attack,” he laughed.
Actually, Thompson had to call a neighbor to help him load the buck that weighed at least 300 pounds. The massive rack carried 18 points with inside spread of 20 2/8 inches, main beams of 26 and 24 inches. The buck was determined to be 7 ½ years old with a rack that carried a gross score of 180 2/8 inches.