Forty-six-year-old Randy Fuller from Haughton is fortunate that Red Oak Timber Company from which he leases a 100-acre plot of mixed pines and hardwoods hasn’t gotten around to cutting all the big pines on the property.
Fuller likes to climb big, mature pines to nose-bleed heights, which gives him a decided advantage over the deer on the property. He has his climbing stand secured to one of those big pines, and on the morning of Dec. 11 he shinnied up to a dizzying height of 50 feet to settle in for a deer hunt.
“I like to climb high because I can see down into thick stuff where if I’d spent time on the ground cutting and trimming, there’s the chance a buck would get suspicious,” Fuller explained.
That strategy paid off that day when he bagged a 190-inch trophy buck from his high perch.
Click here to see another photo of the big animal.
“I was running a little later than I like to get on my stand,” Fuller said. “It was already starting to break daylight as I got settled in, made sure my safety harness was secure and I was using my range finder to get a read on distances when I heard something about 25 yards behind my tree.
“Looking down, I saw what I could tell was a shooter buck – couldn’t really tell how big because he was walking along through some thick brush.”
There are no food plots on the property, nor had Fuller cut shooting lanes. His vantage point from high in the Bossier Parish pine gave him a good view of an abandoned log set and an old road that led to it.
“I had to turn around to get a look at the deer I was hearing and really couldn’t tell too much about his rack,” Fuller said. “I saw some mass and felt it for sure was a shooter.”
Getting a shot required some adjustment, however.
“I shoot from my right shoulder, but because of the location of the buck I had to shoot from the left side,” Fuller said. “The buck was in some really thick stuff, but when I saw his head go through a little 6-inch opening, I grunted with my voice just as his shoulder slipped into the opening.
“He stopped, I fired and the deer flipped over and fell not 5 feet from where he was standing when I shot.”
Fuller could see the buck lying in the thick brush, but his feathers fell when he could only make out three tines.
“I was afraid the buck wasn’t nearly as big as I first thought, and I was starting to feel really bad,” he said. “When I got down from the tree, I had to walk around to the other side of where he was lying, and it was only then I was able to see what I’d shot.”
That sight stopped him cold.
“I just leaned up against a tree, my heart throbbing out of my shirt,” Fuller said. “I couldn’t believe what a rack the buck was carrying; it looked like one of those bucks you see on TV shows.”
The rack sported heavy mass, 15 points, including a drop tine, with an inside spread of 18 ½ inches. The deer, estimated to have weighed 220 pounds before the rut, tipped the scales at 189 pounds.
Fuller took the buck to a reputable scorer in the area who measured the rack at 198 4/8 inches. He later took the deer to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop for entry in the store’s big buck contest, and there it was scored at 191 inches.
Even though Fuller’s trophy buck is not likely to be in the winner’s circle when awards are given out at Simmons in March, he’ll be rewarded for years to come when he shows off the mount of his “tree topper” buck.
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