Ruston’s Scott Simmons, 59, has a friend who has given him access to a small plot of woods in Lincoln Parish. A mixture of pines and hardwoods grow on his hunting spot which adjoins a pasture.
Simmons, a machinist for Ruston Industrial, placed a feeder and a two-man ladder at the edge of the woods and also has an old ground blind giving him a couple of options for hunting the area.
“Opening day of gun season, I got there before daylight and began to climb my ladder, a stand I have draped a canopy around making into sort of an elevated box stand. I slipped on my back-pack and my rifle and starting climbing; I had my flashlight clinched between my teeth,” said Simmons. “As I was struggling to get all my gear and gun under the canopy and into the stand, I heard a loud and deep snort I assumed was made by a buck; he did it twice. When a doe snorts, it’s more of a higher pitched sound but this almost sounded like a bull bellowing.”
Tink’s does the trick
On that hunt he had four does come to his feeder, but the mysterious deer with the deep snort was nowhere to be seen. The following morning, Simmons was back on his stand hoping whatever made such an impressive snort would appear. He didn’t show up, however.
“I had to be at work Monday morning,” Simmons said. “After work, I went back out to the woods, but instead of climbing the ladder I crawled into the old ground blind. I spotted an old bottle of Tink’s Doe In Heat I had left in the blind, shook it and realized there was still some in there so I stuck it out the window and sprayed the last of it, emptying the bottle. Then I sat down to wait.
“In just a few minutes, I spied a buck coming across the hill toward my location and he was coming in a hurry. I really believe he had gotten a whiff of the Tink’s and was coming in to investigate. When he stopped in my shooting lane at 150 yards, I put my scope up and my first thought was ‘oh my, what is this?’ There was a big wad of antlers like nothing I had ever seen. I shoot a Remington 270 bolt action, hit the trigger and the buck didn’t run; he walked over to the edge of my shooting lane and just laid down.”
A mass of antlers
Deciding to remain in his stand while keeping his eye on the buck, Simmons looked up to see four does approaching the feeder.
“The four would take a few bites and then look over toward where the buck was lying; one even walked toward him as they were probably wondering why he was just lying there without moving,” Simmons said. “I slipped out of my stand and eased out of the woods giving him time so I could be sure he was down for good.”
Returning after dark with his son-in-law, they found the buck where he had laid down; he had expired.
The buck weighed some 180 pounds, but the most incredible feature was a mass of antlers that were growing up and out and bunched together making it difficult to get a measurement.
“We did the best we could to measure and came up with something over 143 inches. However,” said Simmons, “it’s probably a good bit more than that.
For sure, it’s the strangest looking buck Simmons has ever seen and he credits the few squirts of Tink’s as being the thing that brought him in.