Seldom do you read a story about a hunter killing a monster buck just by grabbing a bow or a gun, climbing up a random stand, and a big deer just walks out in easy shooting range in broad daylight.
It takes a lot of time, effort and patience to bag a big buck. But even at that, very seldom do you read a story about a hunter who put in the concentrated effort that Louisiana Tech student Cade Clemons of Minden did this season. But it paid off at first light on Friday morning, Nov. 12. He killed a monster 15-point that scored 167 1/8 with his Mathews VXR bow after hunting that specific deer 53 times since the season opened this year.
A very determined hunter
Clemons, a biology major at Louisiana Tech, scheduled classes this quarter to allow maximum hunting for the big buck he nicknamed “Old Nasty” because of all the kickers on the deer’s rack. He saw the deer last year one time as a 10-point, but passed on the shot. It just blew up in the offseason and when it started showing up on trail camera pictures, Clemons made it his goal for the season at his East Carroll Parish hunting club near Transylvania.
“It’s a crazy story,” he said. “That deer started showing up at the corn pile at 4:30 a.m. just like clockwork the last few days before I got him. And he didn’t stay long after daylight. I actually jumped him and ran him off a couple of times earlier this year going into the stand. So I knew I was going to have to beat him there. Here’s the craziest part of all. I got up at 3 a.m. and got ready. It was so cold and foggy that morning. I got in my side by side and went to the building where we sign in and I almost ran over the deer crossing the parking lot at the camp. I kid you not, I got within a few yards of him when he came barreling out across in front of me. I didn’t really expect to kill him that morning after that happened.”
Getting the shot
But Clemons didn’t give up. He eased down the road and got close to his ground blind, a temporary shooting spot he set up a few weeks ago after he partially tore a tendon in his ankle.
“When I was walking in, I ran off a big 9-point from the corn,” he said. “I got settled in quickly and it wasn’t long until I heard big deer walking through the woods and munching on the corn. It finally got light enough to see through my binoculars and there were four good bucks and one huge buck in the corn. But it was too dark to see through my bow’s peep sight. I kept watching and I actually drew back three times, but couldn’t get a shot. I was shocked that he had gotten there as quickly as he did, but he was there at 4:30 just like the days before.
“Finally it got light enough and I drew on him, but one of the other bucks was standing in the way. When he walked away, the big one started heading for the edge of the thicket, too. I grunted three times with no result then I think I just yelled. He stopped for a split second and I took the shot. I had been so panicky. I knew if he walked in that thicket I might actually cry. I might have never seen him again.”
Personal best buck
There was no sadness, though. Only excitement. He waited a long time before checking the spot where the deer was hit, but he didn’t find much blood. He was discouraged, but felt like it was a good shot, so he waited almost three hours before going on the blood trail. He found the deer in a bedding area about 100 yards away.
“I can’t tell you how excited I was,” he said. “That was great. It’s the biggest deer I’ve ever killed or even seen in the woods,” he said. “There were a lot of other people hunting him, too, so that made it even more exciting. And on those other 52 hunts, I’ve seen all kinds of big deer, but I was determined to wait on him.”
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