These weeks we’re living in right now are some of my favorite times of the year. Several years ago I was asked to write stories for LA Sportsman magazine about big bucks taken around the state. I have written stories on well over 100 such events over the years, highlighting successful hunts from one end of the state to the other.
This year has been especially rewarding because of the two dozen or so accounts I have chronicled for the magazine so far, six have been taken right here at home in Lincoln Parish. Following are some of these success stories.
MIKE CHANDLER – On October 2, retired Lincoln Parish school bus driver, Chandler was sitting on his leanto stand armed with a crossbow when a big 8-point buck, one he had been seeing on his trail camera, walked out at 43 yards and Chandler dropped him.
“When he hit the ground and after all these years of seeing him on camera and finally seeing him in person, I can’t explain how it felt to finally see him in the flesh and seeing him go down, knowing I’ve got him,” said Chandler.
The buck was estimated to have at least 140 inches of antler mass.
JAY SMITH – Hunting a tiny 5-acre tract owned by his family on the outskirts of Ruston, Smith was sitting in a homemade ground blind on November 13 when he got the surprise of his life when a really big buck stepped out at 75 yards and Smith was able to get the crosshairs of his scope of his primitive firearm and downed the big 14-point trophy.
“I was supposed to get a haircut that afternoon but something told me I needed to be on my stand and I’m glad I decided the haircut could wait,” Smith recalled. Antlers on this genuine trophy measured 166 2/8.
BRETT NOBLES – On November 15, Nobles decided to walk out behind his house in north Lincoln Parish around Hilly to see if a buck he had gotten a glimpse of the day before might make another appearance.
Propping his rifle on a gate near where he had seen the deer earlier, he was surprised when a buck with a tangle of antler points stepped out and he dropped him. The buck had 14 points and because of the profusion of points, it was difficult to get an exact measurement of the rack which was estimated to score in the mid-40s.
“At first I was planning to just cut off the rack but was talked into caping it out because the rack was so unique,” said Nobles.
SCOTT SIMMONS – Having a chance at a buck with a weird set of antlers not unlike those of Nobles’ buck, on November 2, Simmons sat in an old ground blind on land he has permission to hunt that is located just east of Ruston. He picked up a bottle of Tink’s estrous doe scent and sprayed it into the wind. Within moments, the buck came running into an opening and Simmons dropped him. The buck scored 143 5/8 of antler mass.
CHRIS LEWIS – On the afternoon of November 1, Lewis was hunting a tract of land on his hunting club east of Ruston when a buck he had been after finally stepped out to feed on a pile of Mo-Bucks blend. He downed the big 17 point buck that scored 166 7/8 inches.
MELISSA MADDOX – Maddox and her dad hunt a tract of mixed pines and hardwoods across the road from their rural Lincoln Parish home. On the afternoon of November 23, an impressive buck walked out and she dropped him. The buck with a 10-point rack, scored just over 155 inches.
There is still more than a month left in deer season. Who knows but what more big Lincoln Parish bucks could be making the news.