Billy Gunther, 49, who lives in Metairie and is in the oil and gas business, had a decision to make on Dec. 17. A big buck he had been watching chase a doe around his food plot offered a fleeting chance for a shot with his bow. However, the buck had other plans as it chased a smaller buck from the plot. Laying aside his bow and picking up his Sako 7mm.08 instead, he downed the 12-point.
“This was a buck I had seen both on camera and in real life several times over the past three seasons, and he just seemed to keep getting bigger,” Gunther said. “Last year, I had a good chance at him but decided to give him another year, and I’m glad I did. He gained 15 inches of mass between last year and this season.”
Gunther hunts on a plot of land on private property near St. Francisville in West Feliciana Parish. He had seen the buck earlier this season but marital plans delayed his getting to be in his woods.
“I had been watching him on camera in November and I got married that month so I was out of town and couldn’t give him a try until December,” he said.
A back-up plan
Gunther had planned to take the big buck with his bow but on the afternoon of Dec. 17, he decided this was the year to try and down the buck. To improve his chances, he brought both his bow and his rifle to the stand.
“I hunt on a lock-on stand and climbed aboard around 3:30 that afternoon,” he said. “Before I had time to haul up my bow, I had deer already out feeding on the food plot behind my stand. I could hardly move for half an hour before I was finally able to get my bow up in my stand. I watched small bucks chase does all around the stand, and then around 5:00 this big one came out in full sprint chasing a doe.
“I watched him for half an hour as he would chase the doe into the woods, come running out again and then back in the wood several times.”
Finally, the buck slowed his chase somewhat and began walking toward the stand where Gunther sat, and he envisioned finally getting a chance at him with his bow.
“There was an 8-point buck on the plot and just before he got close enough for a bow shot, he decided to chase the 8-point from the plot,” Gunther said. “I laid my bow aside and picked up my rifle. It was starting to get late so I got on him as he walked across the plot at 80 yards. I shot and he ran about 25 yards before collapsing on the food plot.”
The buck was a genuine trophy, sporting a heavy massive rack of 12 symmetrical points with an inside spread of 18 inches. The buck, estimated to be either 5 or 6 years old, was a heavyweight, tipping the scales at 250 pounds. His rack measured an impressive 174 inches.
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