Reader Report: Finding trophy buck completed father-daughter dream hunt

As a freshman at Ole Miss from Mandeville, I had been hunt-deprived while being away in Oxford, Miss. School kept me away from my family’s hunting property in the Mississippi Delta for the first half of the 2022 season. The first day home from school’s winter break, I urged my father, Pierre Adams, to take me to the “hunting camp.” Since I only had time to stay for one night, the thought of making the four-hour drive felt silly, but to make me happy and knowing the rut was at its peak made it seem worth the trip. Dad has taken me deer hunting since I was a young child. We arrived mid-day on Dec. 18. All odds were in our favor. It was a perfect, chilly, sunny day and the wind was ideal for dad’s favorite stand that I had never hunted before.

Upon our arrival, we quickly ate lunch, zeroed in my 30-06, and headed out for an evening on the food plot. After spooking a number of deer on our way in, we finally got settled in the tower stand around 3 p.m. Within an hour, the spooked deer came back and continued to move into the field. After seeing nothing but does and young bucks, we became distracted looking at our phones. We caught ourselves hysterically laughing at a video and thought, thank God the windows of the stand were closed! I looked up to check the field and noticed a huge buck had slipped in while dad and I were goofing off. I pointed the buck out to my dad and he quickly grabbed his binoculars to get a closer look. It didn’t take but a second to confirm that he was a shooter. As I raised my gun I waited for a doe to clear from behind so that I could take a clean shot.

Emily Adams of Mandeville, a freshman at Ole Miss, was at her family’s hunting property with her father when she got this 10-point buck.

Perfect shot?

At 150 yards, I delivered what we thought was a perfect hit, only to watch the buck run out the field. After waiting an hour and losing daylight, we got out to look for a blood trail.

A sparse blood trail was found which unfortunately led to a water-filled bottom. Darkness set in so my father and I went back to the camp to get lights and continue the search. We found more blood but nothing meaningful. After giving up for the night, we heard coyotes in the direction of the search and saw rain in the morning’s forecast. This put a pit in both of our stomachs. We continued the search at daybreak and decided to scan the woods instead of following the blood trail. Shortly after, I found my buck! I saw his antlers from a distance thinking it was a fallen tree, but as I got closer, realized my prayers were answered. I sprinted to the deer with tears of joy while screaming for my dad. My uncles, Dr.’s Jim and Jeffrey Lusk, came over to help lug this beast out of the woods. This buck had been hunted hard all season by other club members, but due to the rut, he wandered about a half mile from his home range. I was considered lucky to have scored a trophy buck on my strike mission to the camp. The 10-point’s gross B & C score came to 158 ½, which was the best Christmas gift I could’ve imagined, and a memory my dad and I  will have forever.

Emily Adams

Mandeville, Louisiana

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