Michael McGehee had just about given up on seeing a shooter buck late on the afternoon of Dec. 4. He was seeing plenty of deer but none he wanted to shoot and was preparing to depart the stand when a herd of does he had been watching feeding in the pasture all seemed to focus attention on the woods.
“They knew something was about to step out and sure enough he did; a big buck with a decided limp stepped out of the woods,” McGehee said.
McGehee, 48, lives in Pineville and is employed as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in Alexandria. He hunts on a friend’s property, a 3000 acre tract of farm land, CRP and woods in Concordia Parish.
McGehee had seen a single trail camera photo of a particular buck in October, a buck still in velvet with a tall rack.
“This buck wasn’t really on my radar because I couldn’t tell what he might score because tine length wasn’t impressive. However,” he added, “the rack was tall going straight up and the mass was impressive.”
McGehee got in a box stand around 1:30 that afternoon. From the vantage point of the stand, he could see a pasture out in front of the stand, a pasture surrounded by woods. He had placed a trough for corn as well as a log where rice bran was placed some 180 yards in front. In back of the stand was a small hanging corn feeder.
“Soon after climbing into the stand, I started seeing deer as a whole herd of does, as many as 25 or 30, came out to begin feeding on what was growing in the pasture,” he said. “Around 5:00, I watched two small bucks come to the hanging feeder behind my stand.”
One last look
McGehee takes two firearms to the stand with him, one equipped with a thermal scope, video camera and suppressor designed to shoot feral hogs; he added that the area he hunts has a huge hog population.
“The hour was getting late, about 5:20, and I was enjoying videoing the two bucks behind my stand and was just about ready to call it a day and climb down,” McGehee said. “I turned back to give a last look at the herd of does in front of the stand when I saw they were all focused on the woods just off the pasture. I felt like something that had their attention was about to step out.”
A big buck stepped out, one with an unusually tall rack and McGehee immediately identified it as the one he had seen on camera in velvet in October.
“I picked up my rifle; I shoot a Bergara 300, and noticed the deer was limping,” McGehee said. “He could hardly place his right front foot on the ground as he limped out toward the does. I got my scope on him and just before pressing the trigger, he’d take another step. Then he stopped but he had his rear end toward me.
“Another buck came out in the field and walked up beside the limping buck. It was getting late, only a few minutes left in legal shooting time and I couldn’t see them that well. I had a bead on the wrong buck for a few seconds until it moved and the buck I wanted gave me a bit of an angle so I shot. After I shot, the buck didn’t run; he just slowly limped off the field the same way he had walked in. I was afraid I had shot over him.”
Finding the buck
Calling the property owner who came on his side-by-side, the pair drove down to where the buck was standing, followed his path as he left and found him piled up at 40 yards.
“The buck had been shot a week before,” McGehee said. “I found a bullet hole behind his right shoulder that exited through the brisket, never hitting anything vital.”
The buck weighed 240 pounds, sported a rack of 10 points and had an 18 6/8 inch inside spread. Main beams were impressive scanning 26 and 27 inches with six inch bases. The rack was measured at 153 6/8 inches.
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