Lee Sullivan came home for Thanksgiving to visit his family in Benton and do some deer hunting with his father, Kenny, and brother, Ty.
“It would have been special for us to kill two deer on the same hunt, even if they weren’t anything special,” said Lee Sullivan, a 27-year-old student who will graduate in a week or so from a Baptist seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
Well, they wound up being pretty special.
About two hours after getting off an airplane in Shreveport on Nov. 20, Lee and Kenny Sullivan were working on a real problem: how do you get two 250-pound trophy bucks in the back of a Ranger ATV in the wilds of Red River Parish.
At about 5 p.m., Kenny Sullivan dropped a 140-inch, 8-point buck with a 21 1/2-inch inside spread with his .308. Lee and Ty, hunting a mile away, heard the shot, and when they received a text photo of the huge deer, Lee Sullivan called and asked his father if he needed any help.
“He said, ‘Dad, that’s great, do you want me to come help you?’” Kenny Sullivan said. “I told him to keep hunting.”
Two for two
Within a minute or two, Lee Sullivan had a brief encounter with a big buck about 250 yards away in his shooting lane, but because the sun was at the deer’s back, there was too much glare in his scope to get a shot before the buck eased back into in the woods.
A few minutes later, at around 5:20, a doe walked into the lane at 80 yards, followed by a different, bigger buck.
“There was no doubt it was a shooter, and it was an easy shot. I dropped it in its tracks in the middle of the shooting lane,” said Lee Sullivan, whose buck carried 12 points on a 22 1/2-inch wide rack and also fell to a .308.
The three Sullivans met up a few minutes later, and the fun really began.
“I drove about five minutes to my dad on the Ranger, and we pulled up, and the deer was bigger than I thought from the picture,” Lee Sullivan said. “We could hardly get it in the back of the Ranger. Then, we went to my buck, and when we pulled up and got out, my dad freaked. We were all jumping up and down like a couple of kids who had scored a touchdown.”
Lee Sullivan recognized that it was a moment that few fathers and sons will ever experience. Almost 500 pounds of deer, almost 300 inches of horns.
“Lee said, ‘Dad, God has blessed us today,’ and we stopped, put our arms around each other and prayed right there,” Kenny Sullivan said. “Two bucks the same day, 15 or 20 minutes apart, a mile apart.”
A memorable moment
Kenny Sullivan’s buck was a huge, typical 8-pointer. Lee Sullivan’s buck was a little more interesting, a 150-inch, main-frame 4×5 with a sticker point on each beam and another unusual point protruding across the buck’s skull from the base of its right antler. Lee Sullivan called it his “unicorn point.”
“It was pretty unique,” Kenny Sullivan said. “My son has always been my hunting and fishing buddy, and he came in for Thanksgiving the Friday before last. I picked him up at the airport in Shreveport, and pulled the Ranger up with me. He was torn between going hunting right away or going home to see his mom, but his mom wanted him to go hunting, so we wound up going.
“I am just now believing that it really happened. it’s great to kill a buck of a lifetime yourself, but to kill one with your son, 15 minutes apart. We left the airport at 3 o’clock, got in our stands at 4:30, and we had them both down by 5:30.”