Roshong’s buck has big 24-inch inside spread
Brandon Roshong lives near Pitkin in Vernon Parish, just a short drive from his favorite hunting spot: Fort Polk Wildlife Management Area.
Roshong, who operates his own truck for a variety of hauling needs, was returning from a trip to Florida to deliver poles to areas devastated by Hurricane Michael when he shared his story about an unusual buck he downed there Oct. 16.
“I usually hunt on Fort Polk because it’s near my home and is also public land,” he said. “I have killed several bucks on the area — but nothing that compares to the one I got last Tuesday.”
Roshong and his wife, who also loves to deer hunt, had parked on the edge of the area: He prefers to stalk hunt, while his wife likes to hunt from an elevated stand.
“I got my wife set up in a big pine next to an oak where I’ve killed deer before, and I set out just sneaking through the woods and keeping my eye out for a deer. The hour was getting late and I’d walked over a mile to an area I like to hunt,” he said. “There are some big pines with what I call ‘green heads’ — which are actually small little fingers of wetland that feed into the main creek.”
Walking around the end of one of the green heads, he spotted a deer. It was a small 8-point buck, but it eased off before he had a chance to shoot. Undeterred, Roshong continued sneaking and at about 30 yards, he saw a doe headed his way.
“I kneeled down next to a big pine and watched the doe. She eased on past me and never saw nor winded me. Then I walked another 10 steps or so when I saw another deer coming on the trail the doe had taken. That’s when this big buck came over a little hill and to tell the truth, I got a little case of buck fever when I saw his rack,” he said. “It was something else to see — I knelt down in some tall grass to give me some cover.”
The buck had its nose in the air and was stepping along the trail the doe had taken when Roshong made the decision not to let it get any closer — the deer appeared skittish.
“I wasn’t sure if he was winding the doe or me because he stopped to sniff the air,” Roshong said. “When he moved his head just a little, I had a good view of his neck so I put the scope on his neck at 65 yards, hit the trigger and the buck dropped in his tracks.”
He didn’t have a primitive firearm to use during this special season, so he borrowed his brother-in-law’s .444 Marlin primitive rifle.
“When I walked up to him I couldn’t believe his rack. It had seven points with lots of mass. I couldn’t wait to get it to the taxidermist, who measured the inside spread at an unbelievable 24 inches,” he said. “The buck weighed around 200 pounds and was determined to be 4 ½ years old, with a gross score of around 140 inches.”
Another unusual characteristic of the rack was its coloration: It was very dark, almost black.
“The taxidermist told me that he sometimes sees antlers this black, and he believes it’s from sap mixed with dirt when deer rub on pine saplings,” he said. “He also told me that he had never had a public land deer in his shop with an antler spread this wide.”
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