Mile-long walk puts Patterson in right spot for West Feliciana trophy

Gary Patterson of Central with the 147 4/8-inch buck he took with his bow on public land in West Feliciana Parish.

I started my one mile hike to my favorite spot to catch rutting bucks in the Cat Island area of West Feliciana Parish on Friday, Jan. 6. I have been hunting this particular area for a few years now and have had pretty good luck in it. I had high hopes.

My cousin was hunting with me and I dropped him off on the way in. I walked on to where I wanted to hunt and as soon as I got set up in the tree, a nice 8-point came by, chasing a doe. They came right where I needed them to. But he just wasn’t big enough to shoot a mile deep in there. I was looking for something bigger.

The woods were eerily quiet. I could hear squirrels just 80 yards away. That was the only sound.

Then, at 3:45, the silence was broken. I heard a big cluster of noise and it was close. I turned around and right there he stood at 50 yards. It was the buck I was hoping for. I knew as soon as I saw him he was a herd bull.

He took his time and was just easing through the thicket. I watched him for 15 long minutes. I even took some video with my phone. Then, he got to within 30 yards in the opening. I was shaking like a leaf. I grabbed my Matthews bow, aimed carefully and launched the Megameat arrow at him. I knew the shot was low. Thankfully, we found later, that broadhead did its job.

Recovering the buck

I stayed in the stand a while and let him go bed down, then I walked out. I told my friends what happened and we hiked back in and recovered him. The excitement was soon overcome by the reality of what lay ahead as the adventure of getting him out from a mile deep in the woods began. It was a muddy mess. But it was worth the effort.

The big buck scored 147 4/8. It was my best Louisiana buck ever and I had taken it with a bow on public land in West Feliciana Parish.