Dustin Bellon warned some of the workers at his commercial construction company that he was going to be showing up late and leaving early during deer season – especially with the trail-camera photos he had of a big buck on land he was hunting in Beauregard Parish.
Bellon, who lives in Moss Bluff, said the big buck – a typical 5×5 with 24-inch main beams, tines as long as 12 inches and bases 5½ inches in circumference – started showing up in photos early on, but “at first, they were all at night.
“He looked pretty impressive on the trail cams. We don’t see a lot of bucks like that around here,” he said. “Then, I started to get a few in daylight. I told everybody, I was going to be late – and leaving work early – until we run out of season.”
But that didn’t always work out – and the times it didn’t, he just about freaked out.
“We have a construction job at a church, my church, and one morning, I was talking to the preacher at 7:30, and he showed up on the trail cam that morning at 7,” Bellon said. “I hunted three or four days right after that, and all I saw were small bucks and does. One afternoon that week, my wife had something planned, and I had to stay home with the kids, and he showed up that afternoon.
“I told everybody, ‘I’m done. I’m hunting every day.’”
Bellon gets his buck
Several days later, on Nov. 10, Bellon was in a box blind, overlooking a food plot one morning, when the big buck just appeared, running the does out of the greenery and starting to feed.
At 180 yards, the buck was dead moments later, a bullet from Bellon’s .308 through both shoulders.
“He fell right where he was standing,” Bellon said. “I have a trail-cam picture of him when he showed up, then I had a trail-cam picture of me showing up on my 4-wheeler. It was 7:16 a.m.”
What Bellon saw when he walked up was a buck with a huge, heavy, chocolate-colored, symmetrical rack with 12-inch tines, heavy bases and heavy, 24-inch beams. Bellon said he measured the buck the same day and came up with 176 inches. Simmons Sporting Goods scored it at 181 7/8.
“I’m going to say he was probably chasing those does,” Bellon said. “Where he came from, they all come from; everything comes from that direction. There are a lot of planted pines and water oaks.
“This is a family farm we have up there, 160 acres. I’ve always wanted food plots like you see on television. I’ve planted persimmon trees, cedars. They really like to rub cedars. I’ve planted them there for that reason, and they hit them pretty hard.
“The food plot was just a mix from the (feed) store. There was clover, rape, turnips, chickory, radishes, probably some rye. It’s probably about 200 yards from my box, and I had some rice bran out a little closer.”
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