Webster Parish youth drops elusive 174-inch buck

Burns’ big 15-pointer features drop tine on right side of rack

It’s commonly said in Louisiana if you don’t like the weather just wait a while, and it’ll change.

The same can be said of hunting whitetails in the Bayou State — hours of monotony can end suddenly and be followed up instantly by adrenalin-pumping action.

That’s exactly what happened to Austin Burns of Shongaloo on Sunday, Oct. 12.

The North Webster High School 15-year-old is focused solely on hunting, and when youth season arrived for Area 2, Burns simply couldn’t wait to get in the stand.

Both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend found him on-point and ready to fire a shot, but most of his time was spent watching does and small bucks.

He hoped a special buck his family had been trying to lure out in the open during shooting hours for years would finally make an appearance.

“We’d been feeding this deer for about three years, but we just never could get it to come out just right,” Burns said.

After church that Sunday, a persistent Burns again climbed into his box stand about 4:30 p.m. ready and waiting for action.

But what the boy experienced was two hours of nothing but boredom and frustration – until the moment he’d been hoping for actually happened.

“I guess around 6:30 in the afternoon, I’d gotten tired of waiting,” he said. “And all of a sudden, he just walked out.”

Startled by what he witnessed, Burns instinctively reached for his gun while watching the mature buck make its way across the shooting lane. By the time he finally got his gun out of the window, the deer had cleared more than half the lane, with no sign of stopping.

Things were happening so fast Burns barely had time to identify the rack on the buck, and by then the animal was right at the edge of the wood line.  With several trees between him and the buck, finding a clear shot proved difficult, but the young man showed the patience of a seasoned hunter.

Finally able to make a confident shot with his .30-06, Burns pulled the trigger and sent his bullet screaming through the buck’s lungs, ending the three-year wait to put his hands on that amazing rack.

His biggest buck ever didn’t disappoint when he walked up on the deer.

“It felt amazing,” he said.

The 200-pound buck had 15 scorable points, including a large drop tine on the right side of its rack, and green-scored a whopping 174 6/8 inches Boone & Crocket at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop.

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.