St. Landry Parish hunter downs 204-inch typical buck on hot, humid afternoon
Everyone knows the only way to kill a deer is to be in the woods, but when 20-year-old Alex LeBlanc announced he was going to sit a stand yesterday afternoon, his buddies scoffed. After all, it was too windy, warm and humid.
“Everybody told me I was crazy going out there,” LeBlanc said.
But the Opelousas hunter shrugged off the naysaying and clambered into a box stand overlooking a planted shooting lane about 2:45 p.m.
By 4 p.m. a buck was on the ground — and it was a monster packing around a typical rack that has been rough scored at a tad more than 204 inches.
If that score holds, it would top the current 184 6/8-inch typical state-record typical buck killed in 1943.
Whether LeBlanc’s deer is the new state record would then depend on the final score of another pending state-record buck killed earlier this season. Click here to read about that deer, which has been green scored at 210 inches.
LeBlanc said his afternoon hunt was predictably slow, with nary a deer moving around.
“I was propped up in the stand,” he said. “I kicked my boots off.”
The stand he was hunting stood near the boundary of the Garland property he hunts, and he was basically watching shooting lanes that jutted to the right and left.
The property isn’t necessarily under any major antler restrictions, but St. Landry Parish is in the corridor that produces some huge bucks. And management of most of the property around the lease encourages that development of mature deer.
“Everyone around us shoots big bucks,” LeBlanc said.
But LeBlanc hadn’t had any of that luck, with his best deer to that point being a 7-point with a 12- to 13-inch inside spread he shot last season.
That all changed at 4 p.m. when he glanced out the window of the box stand and saw a buck with what he instantly knew was a big rack standing a mere 50 yards away.
“I said, ‘Oh, my goodness,’” LeBlanc said. “I didn’t think he was as big as he was; I just knew he was a big deer.”
The buck was just walking across the shooting lane, in no big hurry. In the box stand, LeBlanc was about to fall to pieces.
“I was shaking trying to get my gun out the window,” he said.
The crosshairs of his .270 were quickly placed on the near shoulder of the big-bodied deer, and LeBlanc squeezed off a shot.
“His chest hit the ground, and he ran back into the weeds,” LeBlanc said.
The shaking hunter quickly pulled out his cell phone and called his uncle, who had just settled into another stand on the property for a hunt with LeBlanc’s brother.
“I told him I had just shot a monster buck, and he said they were on the way,” LeBlanc said. “I paced around the stand for 10 minutes waiting on them.”
It didn’t take long to find the deer. There was a bit of hair on the ground where the buck was standing when the bullet made impact, and then a clear blood trail led right to the bruiser that had run only about 50 to 60 yards.
“I looked up, and I could see the antlers sticking up,” LeBlanc said. “When I saw it I just took off.
“When I put my hands on it, I said, ‘I’ve never seen a deer this big before.’”
A bit of an understatement.
The 220-pound buck’s head was topped with incredibly thick calcium built on 6 ½-inch bases and sprouting a total of 16 points.
“It’s a mainframe 15-point with two drops,” LeBlanc said. “But one drop tine was either broken or didn’t develop.”
And the main beams, which enclosed 20 inches of air, didn’t lose much on the way to the tips.
“It’s huge,” LeBlanc said. “There’s mass everywhere.”
Amazingly, the buck that is estimated to be about 6 ½ years old had never been captured on any trail cameras.
“We didn’t have any pictures of it; it just showed up,” LeBlanc said.
Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.