The big one that got away

I missed the last three weeks of bow season due to an old ruptured disc in my neck and the pain it has been giving me. But I was finally able to get out a last week and almost had good one.

My buddy Randy and I went down to the Atchafalaya Delta WMA together, and I had a deer walk by the stand as soon as I got up in the tree. Too dark to see what it was. Another came by right before I could see good enough to shoot. I saw the silhouette only at 30 yards.

At 6:50, I heard a deer slowly walking towards me in the myrtles at my back. I turned and got ready, and then I could hear a sound that I could not figure what it was. I looked up and an entire tree was shaking back and forth being rubbed by a buck.

My heart started pounding big time!

The buck was coming down a trail that would take it 15 yards from my ladder stand. Before I could actually see it, one of the guys from the dredge boat that has been out there the last two months, spoke over the loud speaker, and the buck ran back a few steps.

I continued to grunt, and the deer circled back this time at 25 yards. I finally got to see him, and he took my breath away.

I could see four thick, tall tines on his right side, but that wasn’t what took my breath away – it was the size of his body. It sounds funny now, but my first thought was that it was like I was looking through a magnifying lens at this buck.

I was already at full draw and there was a 1-foot-high by 2-foot-wide hole in the bush for me to hit his vitals. I shot and immediately knew something went wrong from the awful noise of the shot.

While concentrating on the hole in the bush and his vitals, I did not see that I was shooting through some small branches in a tree 10 feet in front of me. The arrow caught the branch and apparently went sideways into the hole, never reaching the buck. He ran back about 20 yards and started blowing.

I was grunting and reloading another arrow when I heard something from behind me.

I turned to see another big buck sneaking up to see why this one was blowing. It was only a 4-point but probably 140 pounds.

It stops at 12 yards in 2 inches of water and watched the other buck for 30 long seconds.

Well, I didn’t want to spook this buck because it would surely spook the big one, so I slowly tuned back to the first buck and grunted. The smaller buck did not seem to like that and simply turned and walked a way.

Unfortunately the big buck never came back.

Guys, this one is going to haunt me. This buck in my estimation was maybe 220 pounds or more with a rack that was totally in proportion with his body size. It is like the big bass that got away.

Until I get him or somebody else sees him, I have no proof – but I believe this buck would be one of the biggest ever taken at the Delta and surely my biggest.

The good thing is I did not hit him and all he heard was the sound of the shot, so maybe I will get another chance. He has the whole area rubbed up, so I think I am in the right area to get another crack at him.

After all of that, around 10 a.m., I walked over to pick up Randy and chased up a bunch of hogs that ran by his stand. He missed as they ran by on the first shot, but he did stick one on his second try. There were 14 total in two groups.

We tracked the one he shot for about 300 yards but did not recover him. He was about 50 pounds. Those were the first hogs we saw this season.

So that was my big adventure on my first day back. It was a very exciting hunt to say the least.

I’ll let you guys know if I get to see this big boy again.