The East Feliciana buck was driving Michael Nicolosi crazy. It’s not that the hunter had seen the deer repeatedly, but the trail cam photo captured just after bow season opened was just eating him up.
“The first picture I got is this big, heavy-horned buck,” said Nicolosi, aka 24604edd on the Web site. “That’s what made me go back every day.”
But, oddly, the Plaquemine hunter soon was ready to just stick a doe when he hurried from work to his stand on Oct. 19.
“I was not really thinking I’d every see him,” Nicolosi said. “Sure, I’m hunting him, but I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to shoot a doe for some meat.’
“I mean, what are the odds of me seeing this deer? Slim and none.”
And then a rack buck walked out to feed in the corn pile Nicolosi had set up. Well, to be honest, it wasn’t much of a buck.
“It had 8 points, but it was a little deer,” Nicolosi admitted. “It didn’t weigh 100 pounds.
“This little, bitty 8-point was dead under me.”
Just the thought of a buck standing was all it took for Nicolosi to get excited.
“I’m shaking; I’ve got buck fever,” he laughed.
But he never really considered shooting it, as he figured he had plenty of time to put meat in the freezer.
That patience paid off 20 minutes later, when the young buck got nervous.
“He turned and looked behind me, and kind of drops 3 or 4 inches,” Nicolosi said. “I thought maybe some does were coming in.
“He then turns completely around and looks dead away from me.”
Nicolosi stole a quick glance over his shoulder, and almost fell out of his tree.
“I looked back and that big son of a gun was standing 15 yards behind me,” he said. “He’s slipping to my right, and I don’t have a shot.”
However, the deer soon turns and heads straight into the feed station.
The now-frantic hunter turns as much as he can, and then fumbles to get his release attached to his string.
“I had a hole in my glove that I’ve been needing to fix, and my trigger got caught in that hole,” Nicolosi said. “Every time I put the release on the string, click, it would open up.”
Finally, Nicolosi frees his trigger and gets ready for the shot – just as the buck walks behind a tree and provides time for the hunter to draw.
“Then I’m telling myself, ‘Think of the pin, think of the pin, don’t think about the horns,’” Nicolosi said.
When the buck’s ribcage cleared the tree, an arrow streaked toward it. Nicolosi said he could see the arrow’s path because he was using a Lumenock.
“When it hit him, it disappeared,” Nicolosi said.
The buck sprinted away, and Nicolosi sat in his tree shaking. However, he still wasn’t sure what he had shot.
“All I knew was that he was a big deer,” Nicolosi said. “When I first saw him, I said, ‘Don’t look at his horns.’”
When he finally climbed down, Nicolosi was stunned that the arrow was nowhere to be found. And there was not a drop of blood.
He returned with uncle Bob Peden, and the search continued without success.
“We couldn’t find any blood,” Nicolosi said. “I went from mega high to mega low. I’m saying Hail Marys: ‘Just let me see one drop (of blood).’”
Finally, Peden just started walking in the direction the buck ran – and a few minutes later, Nicolosi heard a distant call.
“He yelled, ‘Hey, I’ve got him!’” Nicolosi said. “You could have knocked me over with a feather.”
As adrenaline spiked once again, Nicolosi tried to run straight to his trophy, but was forced to crawl because of thorn trees in his path.
When he finally reached the buck, he couldn’t believe what he found: It was the very deer he had hoped to ambush. And it was monstrous.
The buck had 10 main-frame points with an extra, small sticker. “I guess you could call it an 11-point, but I call it a 10,” Nicolosi said.
The inside spread was a not-too-impressive 14 ½ inches wide, but the mass was incredible.
“The bases measured 6 ½ inches,” he explained. “But to show you how much mass it had, the H2 measurements were 5 inches, the H3 measurement were 4 5/8 and the H4s measured about 4 inches.”
It was green scored by Spillway Sportsman at 151 7/8 Pope & Young.
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