Hunter’s first-ever buck is 18-point non-typical in St. Helena Parish

Pradat drops bag of peanuts and hits gun on stand, but still gets the job done

Brian Pradat picked the wrong time to eat a bag of peanuts in his box stand in St. Helena Parish on Dec. 15, but the big buck heading straight for him didn’t seem to mind one bit.

“At 8:30 I was hungry, so I reached in my bag to grab a bag of peanuts,” said Pradat, 40, of Hahnville. “I saw the deer coming and dropped by bag of peanuts. He was about 60 yards out and heard the noise, and lifted his head up and looked in the direction of the stand but just continued walking straight to me.

“So he heard me drop the peanuts, but it didn’t phase him. Planters definitely needs to hear that one.”

The weather was cold and the wind was blowing that morning, and Pradat had been in his stand that overlooked a small, lightly-wooded clearing since about 5:45 a.m.

“I was texting my brother asking him when we were getting out the stand because it was 8:30 and the wind chill was probably in the upper 20s or low, low 30s,” he said.

Thankfully, that was just about when the non-typical buck that sported 18-points on his rack decided to make a rare appearance. He made his way just 20 yards from Pradat’s box stand before the hunter fired his .270.

“My twin brother had been blowing his grunt call 60 yards away from me all morning,” he said. “I’m sure between the grunt call and the doe pee everywhere, we ruined that buck’s day.

“We’ve been hunting out there for years and we’ve seen him on camera, but it’s few and far between,” Pradat said. “We’ve always said it’s been a ghost. That Sunday morning I guess he slipped up.”

The buck never wavered from a path that was leading him straight towards some doe urine Pradat had put out about 15 yards from his stand earlier that morning.

“I knocked my gun on the stand when I was grabbing my gun,” Pradat said with a laugh. “He heard that, too.”

The big buck sported 18 points, including 11 on his left side, with a 19 ¼-inch inside spread. The deer has not been scored yet, he said.

With 25 years of hunting experience under his belt, it was the first time Pradat had ever shot a buck.

“I’ve been hunting since I was 13 or 14, and I’ve passed on quite a few does,” he said. “That was the first buck I ever shot.

“I told my dad and them after I got out the woods I think I’m selling my rifle. I don’t need to hunt anymore after that bad boy.”

Don’t forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways and the random drawing for Nikon Monarch binoculars at the end of the contest.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.

About Patrick Bonin 1315 Articles
Patrick Bonin is the former editor of Louisiana Sportsman magazine and