158-inch Boone & Crockett buck is duck hunter’s first deer
Call it beginner’s luck or call it fate.
Whatever you call it, James Faulk experienced it on the morning of Dec. 7 in a deer stand near Toledo Bend. Faulk, a 30-year old Erath resident, was hunting that day on his brother Clint’s Vernon Parish lease. James Faulk had been on a few of these hunts before, but he spends most of his outdoors time in a duck blind. In fact, he had never killed a deer.
That changed just after 7 a.m. when from out of a soupy fog, a 12-point buck emerged from the mist. It was about 100 yards away, however.
“It was right about the point where you could see,” Faulk said. “I looked to my right toward the feeder and I saw him out of the corner of my eye. It popped out of nowhere. I saw the silhouette, really. All I could make out was the deer and the horns.”
Though he had bought his .270 only two weeks before and had yet to fire the rifle, Faulk didn’t hesitate when he saw his quarry. He shouldered the gun, squeezed the trigger and the shot was true.
“I wasn’t nervous at all,” he said of the time leading up to killing his first buck. “The first time I got nervous was after I shot. When I got down there, I didn’t see any blood. So I walked into the woods where he went in. After about 40 yards, there he was.”
That’s when the hard part of the day began. Faulk texted his brother for assistance, but because service in the area is spotty, he didn’t get the message right away. So Faulk toted the giant buck himself from the woods to their truck. He estimated he dragged the deer about 70 or so yards, which might not be that big a deal, had the giant not weighed in at 180 pounds.
“I got so excited, I started to drag him out of the woods and I didn’t count how many points he had,” Faulk said. “Then I said ‘Wait a minute! Let me count these things.’ The pictures don’t do it justice. The mast on the buck is just huge. I think he measured 18 inches on the outer spread. Dragging him out of there was definitely a workout.”
The buck had a rough score of 158. Faulk realizes that many hunters go a lifetime without a killing a buck as big as his first.
“I’ve had a lot of people tell me they’ve been hunting for years, and they haven’t had one like this,” he said. “It’s pretty special, I know.”
That hasn’t stopped him from giving brother Clint a little good-natured ribbing, though. Nothing like a little sibling rivalry, James said.
“He’s been hunting deer about 10 years or so I guess. So since I got this one, he’s been getting it pretty rough from me,” James joked.
And of course, the entire experience will definitely mean one thing for James.
“Duck hunting is still my first love,” he said. “But I’ll be doing a lot more deer hunting. That’s a definite.”