Kelsie Dobernig of Dry Prong, who works as a traveling nurse, hunts on a 125 acre plot of family owned land in Grant Parish. The club they have formed, the WKK Club, carries the names of Kelsie and her siblings, Wyatt and Kate.
There was an impressive buck that had been hanging out on the club and Dobernig had trail cam photos of it, starting last year.
“I got one photo of him last year near the end of season but that was it,” she said. “Then I started getting him on camera consistently this year beginning in June. I watched him all summer and have photos of him in velvet.”
As primitive firearms season began, the buck showed up on her photos and he was coming out either in the middle of the night, right before daylight or right after sunset.
“I started studying his pattern and kept notes on him, when he was coming out, where he was moving and what deer he was running with,” Dobernig said. “I had done the work on patterning this buck and felt I was ready when he decided to make his move. He was by far the biggest buck I was getting photos of and his rack definitely stood out.”
On the afternoon of Nov. 7, Dobernig was in her box stand which sits overlooking a food plot where she has scattered corn and rice bran. The lane is surrounded on both sides by stands of pines.
“I had gotten on my stand around 3:30 that afternoon and for the first hour and a half, I had seen nothing,” she said. “Then just before sunset, I looked up and there he was. There was no doubt it was the big one I had been after and my heart started racing.”
A good shot
Dobernig was immediately concerned because when the buck came onto the lane, he turned and looked directly at her stand.
“That’s when I really got the shakes and I had to talk to myself and try to calm down because this was the chance I had been waiting for,” she said. “He finally looked down and I was able to get my gun on the window ledge. I shoot a .300 Winchester short mag BAR, a gun my dad had passed down to me, one I had never missed a deer with; we call it my ‘meat gun.’ I was praying that that string would remain intact as I put it on him, took a couple of deep breaths, held it and then slowly let it out and pulled the trigger.”
At the shot, the buck flipped and fell and then got up and ran back into the woods. She was certain she had made a good shot on him by the way he acted after the shot.
“My ears were ringing after I shot, but I could hear his antlers clanging against the trees,” she said. “I stayed in my stand until my dad, who was hunting nearby, came to help me look. He had texted me after I shot saying that from the sound of the shot, it sounded like a good hit.
“I kept my eyes on the other two lanes just to be sure to see him if he passed through but he never did.”
Time for celebration
Once her dad got there they walked down to the spot where the deer was standing when she shot, found good blood along a trail that led them straight to the buck that only ran 20 yards off the lane before falling.
The buck sported a heavy rack containing 9 points with an inside spread of 19 7/8 inches. Main beams were 25 and 26 inches with bases five inches each. The buck was estimated to be 4 ½ years old and weighed in at around 200 pounds. It scored 156 2/8.