After trail camera photos revealed a big buck moving in response to the rut during daylight hours, 31-year-old Levi Madden of Minden crawled into his Double Bull ground blind just after noon on Nov. 29.
“The wind was out of the northeast, which would not be favorable for my blind set-up, but around noon that day it changed to the northwest, which would work best for where my blind was located,” Madden said.
The family, owners of Madden Construction Co. in Minden, owns some 2000 acres in Tensas as well as 500 in Madison Parish. Madden had set his blind up in Madison because of the cover in the area where deer could feel more comfortable.
A plan in motion
The property where Madden and his family hunts is in a rather unique situation, especially in spring when rains cause the adjoining property to flood.
“We’re sitting across the river from Davis Island, and when it floods a ton of deer move from that area onto us and they can really devastate our property,” Madden said. “We take out as many does as we possibly can to try and reduce the competition on our place. When it comes to bucks, our policy is to only shoot bucks that are at least four to five years old.
“A good portion of the Madison tract is in a 15 to 20 year old CRP that is quite thick and offering some great cover for deer. After finding his picture on my cameras, I felt I had set up in a likely spot for him to show up once the rut kicked in.”
Photos also revealed some does coming through shortly after noon so Madden decided he needed to get in his blind earlier than normal.
“I got in my blind around 12:30 or so,” he said. “Even before I got settled in some does came out, so I knew I had made the right decision to come earlier because had the does been there when I got to the blind, I’d have spooked them and probably messed up my hunt.”
Buck goes down
Things were fairly quiet in the area until about 4:30 when Madden began hearing a buck grunt not far from where he was sitting.
“The grunting I was hearing was probably no more and 100 to 150 yards from me, and at 4:45 a buck came walking out of the thicket down a little rise,” he said. “I knew it was the one I was after, a buck I think I passed on last season as a 3 ½-year-old, that would have scored in the 130s then.”
When the buck got to within 18 to 20 yards from Madden, he released an arrow. Madden shoots a Hoyt RX-4 bow, Easton Axis arrows with a rage broadhead. Although the buck took off at the shot, Madden felt he had made a good shot on the buck.
“He ran out in front of me, stopped and just stood there for a few seconds,” he said. “Then he darted to my left and I watched him fall at 40 yards.”
The buck was a heavy-weight, typical for bucks in this area with rich soils and plenty to eat. Tipping the scales at 235 pounds, the rack carried 11 points with a 19-inch inside spread. Main beams were 23 inches with 4 ½-inch bases that carried throughout the rack. His rack was measured at 152 6/8 inches.
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