Trying for son’s first deer, Menard downs 16-point hammer

Kendra Menard took down this 16-point Winn Parish trophy buck on Dec. 4 with her Tikka 7mm.08.
Kendra Menard took down this 16-point Winn Parish trophy buck on Dec. 4 with her Tikka 7mm.08.

Six-year-old Cooper Menard will just have to wait a bit longer to collect his first deer. His mom, Kendra, decided that the big buck that stepped out might be too much a challenge for her son, so she laid the hammer down on the 16-point Winn Parish trophy.

“We hunt on private land just east of Winnfield and on the afternoon of Dec. 4, I took my six-year-old son, Cooper, with me with the plan to let him take one of the several spikes we have been seeing in the area,” Menard said.

In the back of her mind, Menard had to have been thinking of a buster of a buck that had periodically shown up on trail cameras, one at which she was hoping to have a chance.

“We have had this particular buck on camera for the past three years,” she said. “He would usually show up a few times between Thanksgiving and the first week in December before disappearing. This season we got a single photo of him on Thanksgiving morning at 4:30 when he came out briefly to feed on rice bran. That’s the only photo we have had of him this season.”

Taking the shot

The trail cam photos of Kendra Menard's buck from 2020 (left) and 2021.
The trail cam photos of Kendra Menard’s buck from 2020 (left) and 2021.

Menard, who lives in Youngsville in Lafayette Parish works as an ultrasound technician and she and her family regularly come up to hunt the Winn Parish property. Interestingly, her husband does not hunt but stays at the camp and cooks for the group.

“On the afternoon of Dec. 4, I took my son, Cooper, to see if we could get him his first deer,” Menard said. “We hadn’t sat long before a spike came out. But before Cooper could get on him, he left the shooting lane. I told Cooper to sit tight; we still had about 10 more minutes of legal shooting hours to hunt and I had no sooner said that when I looked up and there was this big bodied deer stepping out of the thicket onto the food plot at 75 yards. When I saw his rack, I knew it was the elusive one we had occasionally seen on camera. I got my gun up and when he gave me a broadside angle, I shot. It all happened so fast I didn’t have time to get nervous.”

Calling her dad who was hunting on another stand with Menard’s other son, she waited until he got there, they went to the spot where the deer was standing and except for scuff marks where it ran, there was no blood nor any sign of a hit.

“We backed out, went back to the camp, ate supper to give the deer time to die,” she said. “My dad has a blood tracking dog, Boss, so we went to the site and turned the dog out. It took him 25 minutes but he found the buck, which didn’t bleed a drop.”

A love of hunting

The buck sported an impressive rack with long tines and stickers totaling 16 points. The inside spread was 16 5/8 inches, bases were over 5 inches each with main beams exceeding 22 inches each. The buck weighed 200 pounds. The rack was taken to Wildlife and Fisheries where measurements were taken for a gross score of 161 3/8 inches.

Menard wanted to give credit to her dad, Damian, for instilling in her the love for hunting.

“He started taking me with him when I was 3 years old,” she said, “and I owe him all the credit for teaching me patience and everything I know about hunting.”

About Glynn Harris 477 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.

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