Why can’t I have that kind of luck?
Deer hunters spend untold hours scouting out their hunting leases, doing everything they can to up their odds of killing big bucks.
After all, every man heading into the woods with rifle in hand secretly dreams of calling his wife to break the news that a state-record deer head will be gracing the living room wall.
There are entire cable channels devoted to the pursuit of wily bucks, along with a massive industry selling all manner of tools, gear and gadgets marketed to fool even the wisest of deer.
I’m not as mad at deer as I once was, but I would hate to know how much time I’ve spent on prime big-buck territory just hoping to get a shot at a real trophy. Only to see some does and nice bucks — but never a true bruiser.
Well, I did shoot at a really fine buck on Tunica Hills WMA back in the budding days of my deer-hunting career. Note that phrase “shoot at.” In my mind’s eye, I can still see the buck disappear in the smoke from my muzzleloader only to hear another hunter up the hill shoot moments later.
Neither of us cut a hair.
And then there was that deer that kept its hefty rack concealed until it ran away, sweeping antlers shining in the sun.
So it’s not easy to kill a mature buck.
But every now and then you hear a story that makes you wonder why you’re sneaking through the woods, washing your clothes in scent-free soap and spraying down your stand site with something that smells like an entire troop of coons with overactive bladders.
As we were putting the finishing touches on this issue of Louisiana Sportsman, web editor Patrick Bonin posted just such a maddening example, detailing how Kenner’s Charlie Lusco knocked down what could be the state’s largest typical buck on record.
Did Lusco watch the wind until it was just right? Or creep ever so carefully into range of the massive deer’s bedding area? Or expertly rattle and grunt the buck into range?
Nope. He tromped around the woods setting up trail cameras before picking a stand pretty much at random, based solely on where he wouldn’t disturb other hunters already hunting.
An hour later the monstrous 11-pointer stepped out. And just stood there while Lusco leisurely checked it out with binoculars, aimed his rifle, put down the gun for a second inspection and — finally — pulled the trigger.
Even Lusco chalked up the kill to providence instead of skill.
I can only shake my head, wondering why I never had that kind of luck.
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