Chris Williams, LABH Contributor, was hunting Sunday evening during the lotto rifle hunt on the refuge. Upon climbing in his stand he noticed a buck laying on the ground a few yards away. He snapped a shot of it through his scope and sent us this message:
"So I climb up my tree on the lottery hunt in Tensas this evening get situated and look down... this dude is laying dead under my tree. Haven't climbed down to check but doesn't look like he has been dead long. It has been really cold since Friday so the deer probably isn't even spoiled. When I get done hunting gonna check him out. Don't know for sure if he has been shot but probably so. I can't see any blood or wounds on him. Crazy stuff! Been hoping he was just sleeping! Lol"
After climbing down that evening sure enough the buck had been shot and Chris began his inspection. The cold weather over the weekend had preserved it perfectly and the meat appeared to still be good. He called the game wardens who had him tag the buck. After the drag out he brought it home to gut it, then took it straight to the meat processor.
After making the initial post this morning about the lost deer we began receiving a number of comments and messages asking about the unclaimed buck. There were apparently over a dozen bucks wounded and lost this weekend which was quite disturbing to learn. One hunter that I spoke with was in the area but couldn't describe the buck. Another hunter knew of a woman that had lost a buck in that area, which was even closer to where Chris located it. Through a few Facebook searches we were able to speak with Danielle McKeithen. She was very close to the spot and described the general makeup of the buck. But more importantly she described perfectly where the entry and exit should be. She described one side of the rack as "wonky" to which I had to ask for a definition. She knew one side was tall and the other shorter. After all the details she gave and given her location we showed her the picture. I could hear the shakiness and excitement in her voice. I passed Chris' phone number to her husband and they arranged a meeting this evening to retrieve her lost buck.
Doing the right thing is always best. Especially when it comes to helping another hunter. What goes around comes around and we must continue to play as a team and help each other out when we can. This story ends with a deserving hunter bringing her rack, and all of her meat home because Chris Williams, the hero of the day, did the unselfish thing and reached out to find who earned this buck. Congrats Chris on your finely tuned moral compass and congrats to Danielle on your great Madison Parish Buck!