Refurbished rifle takes first buck for Suggs

A year ago, Steve Minton ordered some parts and put together a refurbished rifle for his son, Tommy Suggs. The remodeled Savage .308 proved to be just the ticket for 15-year-old Tommy, an 8th grade student at Sicily Island High School, who had taken a couple of does with the rifle but had not had a chance to down a buck. However on the afternoon of Jan. 15, the stars were aligned for Tommy as he was successful in downing his first buck with the gun, and a fine one it was.

Tommy and his dad hunt on 250 acres of family land in Catahoula Parish and there was particular interest in trail camera photos of a big buck, photos that began appearing around the beginning of bow season. But all the photos were at night.

“The last two photos we got of the buck showed him starting to come out in late afternoon,” Minton said. “The first one was just after legal shooting hours but the next one showed him on the food plot at 5:30. I told Tommy we had better get on our stands as it looked like he was starting to come out in time to see him before dark.”

There were two cameras out in front of two different stands so Minton elected to get on one stand while Tommy got settled in the other.

“Not long after I got on my stand,” Tommy said, “a total of 11 deer, 10 does and a small buck, came out to feed. I was just messing around with my phone when at 5:00, I looked up and there was this big buck standing at 256 yards; I ranged him at that distance.”

The moment of truth

You might imagine what was going through his young mind as he tried to get prepared for a shot at the biggest buck he had seen.

“I started to get nervous; my heart was pounding and thankfully I had sand bags on the shooting rail to help steady my rifle,” he said. “I got him in the scope but he wasn’t turned right and it took him a good five minutes, which felt much longer, to turn so I could take a shot. When he got to 225 yards next to our food trough, I hit the trigger and the buck fell between the trough and the camera we had there.”

The first thing he did was to call his dad to tell him what he had done. After Minton came, the pair walked down to the fallen buck.

“I was still hollering and screaming from the time I called him until we walked up on the downed buck,” Tommy said.

The buck was a dandy sporting a rack of 10 points, a main frame 9 point with a kicker off one of the main beams. Inside spread was 18 inches with 24-inch main beams and impressive 6-inch bases. The buck weighed 220 pounds and was estimated to be 5 ½ years old.

Taking the buck to Simmons Sporting Goods to be measured and entered in the store’s Big Buck Contest, the rack measured 151 inches. That put the buck just out of the top five in the Youth category.

“We haven’t checked the camera next to the food trough yet,” Minton said, “but I’ll bet it has photos of the whole thing. That will just add more excitement to the story.”

About Glynn Harris 508 Articles
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.