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No Deer Here?

PhotoBy Dane St. Cyr

-- I consider myself to be a bit more than an avid deer hunter. I hunt nearly every day of the deer season, which begins Sept. 15, and ends during the middle of February. I have three boys who almost always tag along. My oldest son, Andrew, who was 15 when this story took place, tended to complain a bit more than my other boys.

Andrew and I set off early one afternoon in late November to the lease I belong to called Bayou Jack Hunting Club. It was cold and overcast that day. Andrew was complaining that there were no nice bucks left in our deer woods. I didn't say much as I had heard this from him on more than one occasion.

We made it to the club around 2 p.m. with a few hours of daylight left. Andrew was still complaining about not having any decent deer on our lease and how we needed to find a better place to hunt.

His rant finally stopped because I was letting him use one of my favorite rifles - a Ruger 77 chambered in .308. I made sure he was secure in his stand, told him to be careful and to make sure of his target. He was hunting in an area that had a lot of deer activity, which was evident by the deer trails.

As I drove away, I was hoping he would at least see a buck worthy of harvesting. I had to drive about 1,000 yards and park the ATV. From there, I had to walk 500 yards to my stand. It takes about 15 minutes to travel this distance, and it's quite a chore because this area is filled with water. Needless to say, we love to hunt no matter the adversity we face.

I was nearing the spot where I park the ATV when I heard a shot. Andrew hollered, "Daddy!" I think people in the next parish heard my son's voice. I couldn't tell whether the holler was brought on by excitement or pain. My mind was racing. I started the ATV and turned it into an amphibious machine. I made record time getting to his stand.

Andrew was still shaking almost uncontrollably when I arrived. I made him unload the rifle and sit down. He explained the whole situation to me. I had him show me about where the deer was when he shot. I walked to the area he pointed out and looked around a bit. Then, I saw the nice 8-point buck lying about 20 yards in front of me. I called to him to get down and come help me because I couldn't find the deer.

He started toward me looking down and around and the last place he looked was at my feet. I thought I was going to have to catch him when he finally noticed the deer. He was so excited that it was difficult for him to speak.

Andrew is now 22 years old and has taken bigger deer since this story took place. He'll never forget this hunt and this is the deer I always remind him about when he starts to complain about our club.

Dane and Andrew St. Cyr
Opelousas, Louisiana

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