Thirty-four-year-old Kenny Slocum, a Simsboro landscape contractor, had a big buck messing with his mind on Sunday, Dec. 15. Late that afternoon, between mandatory church activities, Slocum was able to squeeze in a quick hunt that resulted in an encounter with a big 10-point buck.
“I hunt on a lease in Bienville Parish that is part of the former Jackson Bienville Wildlife Management area,” Slocum said. “Last year, a friend and I each had cameras out and both found photos of a big buck we felt had lots of potential. He and I agreed to let him go last season to see what he might be this season. This year’s photos revealed that the buck had really blown up and whichever one of us got the chance, we’d take him this season.”
The area Slocum hunts is on the edge of an area protected as Red Cockaded Woodpecker habitat. The big pines and mixed hardwoods are left and underbrush cleared and burned, creating a park-like area.
“I have a camera out that activates my phone when the shutter is snapped,” Slocum said. “I was getting ready to head to church — I teach a Sunday School class and had my lesson all prepared for that morning. Then my phone beeps and there is a photo of the big buck out in front of my stand. My first thought was maybe I can sneak out and make a quick hunt before church but I reluctantly had to give up that idea because there wouldn’t be enough time.”
A prior commitment
According to Slocum, he had trouble concentrating on his job as Sunday School teacher because his phone kept going off and the buck was hanging around the area in the company of a doe off and on for two hours.
“I even got a photo of him around 1:30 so he and the doe were staying in and out of the area nearly all day,” he said.
No problem, right? He could sneak out after church and get on his stand knowing the big buck was in the area. His wife, however, had other ideas.
“My wife is in the children’s ministry at church and she was involved in a children’s musical that night,” Slocum said. “She reminded me that I had agreed to go pick up some children for the musical program, so I figured my chance at going to my stand was gone for the day. Then the mother of the children called and said her kids would not be able to make it. This gave me a chance to head for the woods but my wife cautioned me I needed to be back in time to make church that night. I assured her I would and I headed out to my stand.”
He climbed into his box stand and at 5:10, the buck stepped out at 135 yards and stood facing Slocum.
“I considered a neck shot but felt that was too risky and then the deer stepped behind a big pine and just stood there as all I could do was wait him out and the longer I had to wait, the more nervous I became,” he continued.
The moment of truth
Finally, the buck stepped out giving him a slight quartering shot, he hit the trigger on his Ruger bolt action .270, and the buck dropped in its tracks.
The big buck sported a main frame 8-point rack with two kickers giving the rack a total of 10 points. Aged at 5 ½ years, inside spread was 18 ¾ inches with 26 inch main beams and 6 inch bases. The buck was rutted down but still weighed 198 pounds and was measured with 158 ½ inches of antler bone.
By the way, Slocum walked into church that night a bit late but keeping his promise to his wife, he made it.