French gets help from rain, coyotes to nab Marthaville buck

Ricky French, a Drilling Superintendent for Exxon Mobile, lives in Marthaville and is a member of Lazy 8 Hunting Club, a huge 5,500 acre plot near Marthaville in Natchitoches Parish.

On the morning of Oct. 30, the Good Lord was sending something north Louisiana has not seen for months; it was raining.

French headed for his stand on the club, but stopped where the road to his stand crossed an old dirt road.

“Since it was raining, I decided that rather than getting wet walking to my stand, I would just sit in my truck and watch the old road while I waited for the rain to stop,” French said. “My hunting buddy pulled up beside me and I told him I was going to just wait for the rain to stop while he continued on to his nearby stand.”

Watching coyotes

Along about 8:30 with the rain still falling, French watched as three coyotes ran across the road at about 150 yards.

“I thought about trying to shoot one of them but they were too fast for me,” he said. “They entered the woods and were gone, so I just continued to sit and wait out the rain.”

There had been a huge buck that club members had been finding on their cameras for at least the previous five years and, according to French, “He was the talk of the town because he was so big.” French had only found two pictures of the buck on his camera last year.

Ten minutes or so after the coyotes entered the woods, French looked through the rain down the road and what he saw caused him to almost lose his breath.

“When I looked up, the road was full of horns. I believe that the coyotes pushed him out because he came out where they went in,” French said. “I realized it was the big one everybody had been after and there he was, standing in the road looking back down the road and not in my direction. I got my scope on him – I shoot a 6.5 Creedmore – and hit the trigger. When I did, it was like he was shot out of a cannon as he took off across the road as fast as lightning.”

The search is on

Crawling out of his truck, French walked down to where the deer was standing when he shot and he found no blood, nor hair, nor anything to indicate he had hit the deer.

“Then I saw where the leaves were kicked up and began following the upturned leaves until I looked up and there he laid; he had only run about 50 yards,” French said.

“The first thing I did was hit my knees and thank the Good Lord that I had been the one who happened to get this huge buck everybody had been after.”

The 233-pound buck had a rack that was eye-popping indeed. Sporting 10 points, the wide rack measured 22 3/8 inside. Main beams were 27 and 28 inches and bases were over 5 inches each. The buck was judged to be at least 6 ½ years old. French took the buck to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop to be entered in the store’s Big Buck contest. The rack was measured with a total score of 171 2/8 inches.

The rain that fell on north Louisiana was a blessing indeed. It served as a double blessing for Ricky French because it kept him in his truck and with the aid of a trio of coyotes, he was able to down a magnificent buck.

About Glynn Harris 508 Articles
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.