By Galvey Vincent
-- I was hunting back in the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana. I had harvested a spike and another buck during rifle season. As I was dragging the second deer out of the woods, I came across a 12-inch wide tree that a buck was rubbing and small trees that were broken in half and thrown about 10 yards in every direction.
I thought to myself, "This has got to be a monster buck!"
Well, needless to say, I started scouting and trying to hunt for that deer. A couple of times when I would walk to my stand, I could hear the deer running off. I was so determined to get that poppa buck that I stayed in the woods the entire day.
One afternoon, when I was leaving the boat landing after hunting all day, I had left my backpack with all of my gear in my boat. It had everything in it. When I got home, I noticed that all of my hunting gear was gone.
About a week later, a man called and said he'd found my hunting bag at the landing, and he'd brought my camera to get the film developed. It was pictures of me and the deer I killed that season. So he brought the pictures to the local taxidermist and asked him if he knew me.
Fortunately, I have had all of my bucks mounted by this taxidermist, so he told the man who I was and gave him my number.
I went to meet him and pick up my stuff, insulators and all. I offered him money, but he would not take any.
Well, that morning, Jan, 1, 2000, I brought my younger brother with me hunting, I told him about the trees I found thrown everywhere and the buck rub on the bigger tree. I decided to drop him off in my stand where I kept jumping the deer before I started down the ditch. Shortly thereafter, I spotted a fresh scrape on the ground. I poured the whole bottle of Tink's in the scrape and on my boots and took off walking to my stand.
Right at daylight, I could hear a deer coming down the same ditch I had just walked. When I could see the deer, all I could make out were these big horns in the air. I waited for the first opening that I saw then I shot. The deer was about 75 yards away, and the buck ran straight toward me, right under my stand.
I was in shock! I thought to myself, "There is no way that I missed him!" Then I looked under my stand, and I saw a spot of blood. I waited a little bit before getting out of my stand and following the blood trail.
He was about 50 yards away in thick briars. I was in total disbelief. The deer was an 8-point buck with an 18-inch spread. It weighed 240 pounds. Its neck was so big that when I lifted his head, his entire body moved.
I went back to get my brother, and he told me that not long after I dropped him off, he heard the buck get up and start to go toward his stand. Then he heard it turn around and go in my direction.
That buck was my largest buck that was harvested from the Atchafalaya Basin that year. Since then I have harvested plenty of bucks, learning their behavior, but that buck is still my biggest to this day. Only one has come close to that size, and I saw it scouting one day sitting under a tree not far from a scrape.
I counted 10 points on its head as I stared. We stared at each other for about 30 seconds, and then the buck took off. That one should still be out there somewhere, but it is hard to outsmart the master of the woods.
Breaux Bridge, Louisiana