Sterlington hunter blasts 160-class Ouachita Parish 12-pointer

No phone call necessary for Winkler to shoot this time

Four deer seasons ago — on January 2, 2012 to be exact — Melissa Winkler was alone in her box stand in Ouachita Parish when a big buck stepped out.

She called her husband on her cell phone, describing the characteristics of the buck and asking his advice and permission to shoot.

After determining the buck she was looking at was indeed a shooter and with her husband’s OK, she lowered the boom on a 12-point buck that ultimately scored 161 6/8 inches. (That buck, incidentally, won first place for Winkler in the women’s division at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop that year.)

Fast forward to this season.

Winkler, a retired first grade teacher from Sterlington, was sitting in the same stand on the afternoon of Dec. 5, but she didn’t need her phone this time when an even bigger buck than the one she encountered three years ago ventured out.

“My husband and I were in the box stand together because it was getting late in the afternoon, about 4:45, and there wasn’t time for us to each get in our own stands.

“The rut was going on and we felt like we had a good chance to see some activity,” Winkler said.

Soon after the pair got settled in, Winkler happened to look up and saw a big deer dart across the lane. She told her husband, who was looking away at the time, and he told her to get her gun out the window because there was a chance it was a buck chasing a doe and that it would likely show up again.

“Almost immediately after getting my gun out the window, a doe came out at 140 yards, and right behind her came the buck,” she said.

There was no question as to whether this buck was a shooter, and her husband gave her a concise one-word command.

“Shoot,” he said.

Winkler did, and the buck only ran about 30 yards before collapsing.

The big deer was a dandy, sporting 12 points and weighing 210 pounds, with big bases and a 22 ½-inch inside spread and main beams measuring just more than 24 inches each.

Even though this buck scored higher – 165 6/8 inches compared to the buck she got four seasons ago that won first place at Simmons with 161 6/8 inches – she currently sits in fourth place in the women’s division.

“I guess that is a special deer stand for me,” Winkler said. “I’m just glad my husband was there with me and I didn’t have to give him a call to see if it was OK to shoot.”

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 optics at the end of the contest.

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

About Glynn Harris 461 Articles
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.