Youth hunter kills 163-inch monster in Ouachita Parish

Big 13-point buck nicknamed ‘Christmas Tree’ finally goes down

There are very few things in the world that trump the feeling of taking a monster buck that you’ve had your eye on for a long time.

From the first time you see it on a trail camera and give it a name, that one deer consumes your every thought, especially when you hit the stand.

Ten-year-old John David Richardson of West Monroe enjoyed that special feeling Saturday morning when he pulled the trigger on his new Remington Model 700 and sealed the deal on a big buck that his family had dubbed ‘Christmas Tree.”

The Richardsons owns land in Area 2 that isn’t known for growing big deer, but John David’s father, Dewayne, took a page out of the management practices from his hunting club at Ashbrook Island and transformed the spot into one that his wife and kids really enjoy.

“This is my hobby. I don’t do much else with my free time. I run trail cameras all year long. We mainly just don’t shoot them when they’re young, put in a food plot system, sock the corn to them and monitor them with my trail cameras. Then I’ll pick out the biggest ones and let my boys or wife shoot them,” the elder Richardson said.

The first opportunity the family had at the large buck actually came last hunting season when John David’s younger brother, Dalton, shot at, but missed the deer.

That event became the hot topic of the household, and all summer long big brother John David laid claim to the deer.

But there was one slight problem; it was nowhere to be found.

“I’ve had trail cameras out all year long, through the summer and into October and didn’t have a picture of him until the night of the 16th,” Richardson said.

So with high hopes, John David and his dad set out early Saturday morning to bring “Christmas Tree” home.

Not long after daybreak, Richardson noticed a big-bodied deer standing in the food plot they were hunting, and after a quick inspection with his binoculars he could tell it was the buck that they were waiting on.

He quickly passed the news on to John David.

“He was on my left and when he got the gun out of the window of the stand, he said, ‘Daddy, I’m shaking so bad that you’re going to have to help me’. So I put my arm around him and helped to firm up the back of the stock because he was shaking so bad,” Richardson said.

As the young man tried to get the sights on the deer, it continued on its way directly away from them and through the food plot, towards some does that were already feeding.

Finally the buck stopped just before leaving the food plot, with his body slightly quartered away from the hunters, and that’s when Richardson advised his son it was now or never.

“I said, ‘Son can you hold it on his ribs,’ and he said that he could. That’s when I told him to just squeeze the trigger.”

The first shot John David ever fired from his brand new Remington Model 700 .243 brought the big buck down instantly.

With the deer on the ground, father and son shared a moment that will live with both of them forever.

“We had a father-son moment that was extremely emotional.  I realized what he’d killed and he realized that this was the deer we were after. The Lord has extremely blessed me and my family,” Richardson said.

The big 13-pointer green-scored 163 7/8 inches Boone & Crocket at Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop, and featured a left brow tine with three scorable points. The deer weighed 240 pounds, and had an inside spread of 19 4/8 inches.

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.