‘Work weekend’ traded in for 145-inch Tunica Hills trophy

Cool front was too much for New Orleans hunter.

We all should have camp work weekends like Justin Moran.

That’s how the 27-year old law enforcement officer from New Orleans planned to spend his time at “Bosses Hideout” — a 165-acre privately owned spread near Tunica Hills in West Feliciana Parish where he and some lifelong friends were meeting to do some planting, spread a little corn and ready the property for the rifle season for deer.

They were going to work now, with the payoff coming later.But once Moran arrived and he sensed the cool temperatures that dropped below 50 degrees on Saturday (Oct. 27), he got the fever. In short, his work weekend quickly turned into a hunting trip.

And boy, is he happy that it did.

Moran, hunting in borrowed camouflage with a borrowed crossbow, downed a buck with a rack he measured at 145 inches. The 13-point beast wasn’t weighed, but Moran estimated the animal charted at more than 200 pounds.

It was the biggest deer Moran had ever killed, and also was a record for the Bosses Hideout property, which is owned by friend Butch Ventura.

“A cold front had blown through on Friday night, and on Saturday we were putting out corn, doing some planting,” Moran said. “I stopped about 2:30 in the afternoon because it was just too pretty of a day to pass up. We figured with all the noise we had been making, we might not see anything, but it would be a nice day at least to sit in the woods.”

They couldn’t have been more wrong.

“At about 6 o’clock, the wind just died,” Moran said. “And about 60 yards away, a buck that was probably a 130 class came out. It was too far away then, so I didn’t take a shot. But he kept getting closer.

“Then. just a minute later, the bigger one came out. And he looked a hell of a lot bigger.”

Moran waited until the bigger of the bucks came within 25 yards of his ladder stand. At that point, he let fly with the rented crossbow and struck the buck behind its shoulder.

He said it ran about 50 yards into the woods before dropping.

“We’ve had a bunch of 8-points before, and I think last year a 10-point came from the property,” Moran said. “But this is the biggest one yet.”

He said the tremendous deer will have a special place on the trophy room wall at Bosses Hideout.

“There are about 14 or 15 in there now, I guess,” Moran said. “But this one, well, he’s going on the center post.”

Ironically, Moran said his kill came approximately 150 yards from the spot that Heather White arrowed a 160-inch, 11 point buck only days before. He said the property where White killed her buck abuts Bosses Hideout.

Moran is thrilled by the prospects of a great rifle season, but after the big buck he bagged during bow season, he’s raring for more action now.

“It was just unbelievable,” he said. “To have not just one but two huge deer at once in front of you is amazing. It makes you want to get out into the woods and find a bigger one right away.”

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