Jena’s Jay Broadwell admits that he’s not really a trophy hunter. He’s shot enough deer that he doesn’t even get excited any more when he pops one. So he wasn’t all that pumped on Dec. 19 when he saw some trail cam photos of a huge buck on the 1,500-acre piece of property he hunts in Catahoula Parish.
“I actually took one of the land owners duck hunting (on Catahoula Lake), and on the way back he asked me, ‘Have I shown you the pictures of a deer we took on that place?’” Broadwell said.
The landowner, Dr. Jeffery Seiler, was rightly proud of the deer, which had antlers growing all over the place. In fact, it was impossible to get a real estimate of how many points the buck carried.
Broadwell acknowledged the size of the deer, but really didn’t think much of it. In fact, when he climbed into his stand that afternoon about 1/3 of a mile from where the photos were taken, the hunter wasn’t even worried about killing a deer.
“The only reason I was sitting in that stand was I’ve killed five hogs out of it,” Broadwell said. “They’re tearing the place up, and I’m tired of it.”
After settling into the box stand about 2:30 p.m., the 60-year-old spent the next 2 ½ hours looking at nothing. The stand was set up in the middle of the thicket overlooking a funnel between planted pines and the edge of a duck-hunting area.
“I can see two duck blinds from my stand, and the deer walk the edge of that water,” Broadwell said. “Well, it’s dry now, but the deer are still walking that trail.”
Just after 5 p.m., he saw a deer step out of the pine thicket to his right.
“I saw it was a big deer, and when I opened the (stand’s) window I said, ‘That’s a really good deer,’” Broadwell said.
But he didn’t spend too much time looking at the rack; he only knew it would meet the 8-point-or-better criteria Seiler and property co-owner Paul Squires have set.
“I saw he had five points on one side, so I figured he’d have antlers on the other side,” Broadwell said.
The hunter quickly put his 7 mm rifle into position, and placed the cross hairs on the deer’s vitals for the roughly 125-yard shot.
“I put the cross hairs on the shoulder, and then I said, ‘No, I’m going to shoot him in the neck,’” Broadwell said.
When he squeezed the trigger, the buck dropped in its tracks.
All Broadwell could see at that point was the five points he had already seen, and he still wasn’t all that excited. In fact, he calmly packed everything up and walked to his truck without ever checking on the deer.
“I drove to within 5 feet of the deer,” he said. “I was just thinking, ‘How am I going to get this deer in the truck: It’s a big deer.’”
Still, he had no clue what was on the ground.
Broadwell climbed out of the truck, and walked to the deer. And immediately recognized the rack.
“I called Dr. Seiler and said, ‘Do you want to know how many points the deer in that picture has?’” Broadwell chuckled. “He said, ‘No. You didn’t.’
“I said, ‘Hold on, he’s on the ground. Let me count the points.’”
The count tallied the five points Broadwell initially saw on the deer’s left side – plus a bonus point growing out of the deer’s head on that side. On the right side was another eight points.
The inside spread later taped to only 15 ½ inches and the main beams weren’t exceptionally long – 20 ¼ and 18 7/8 inches. But everything else about the 14-point rack was just huge.
“One side (of the rack) is plamated, and the other side is much bigger than my fist – and I’m a big man,” Broadwell explained. “They’re massive horns.”
A Columbia sporting goods store taped the deer out at 205 5/8 inches.
In typical Broadwell fashion, however, he wasn’t overly excited.
“I was just going to cut the antlers off and leave them at the camp,” he laughed.
Other camp members, including one who is a taxidermist, couldn’t believe that. And, fortunately, Broadwell reconsidered.
“I got to looking at the deer and said, ‘I’ll never see another deer like that. It’s a 14-pointer,’” he said. “So I decided to mount it.”
Visit the Nikon Deer of the Year contest to see other bucks killed this season and post your own kills. But remember: You must be a registered member of this site to be eligible for prizes. If you aren’t already registered, click here to get started today!
JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month
Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Louisiana Sportsman Magazine and LouisianaSportsman.com.