To kill any deer over 200 pounds in Louisiana is a feat not many can say they have accomplished. But to take a buck with a bow that has a 21 3/4" inside spread, 24" main beams, is 5 1/2 years old, AND is over 200 pounds is a whole other level of trophy!
Wednesday morning , December 2, Cameron Bunting was getting off of his last night shift for the week. As is his tradition, he headed straight to the woods.
"I always head to the duck blind or the deer stand after my last night hitch."
He got off at 6 am that morning, and if you know your sunrise times, you know that's a little late to head to the stand. "I hate running late in the mornings, especially on public land. I was walking as fast as I could and decided to stop about 50 yards short of my usual tree since the sun was starting to peak over the horizon," he expressed.
"I thought I could hear something walking while I was climbing the tree. I tried to climb as fast and as quiet as I could."
After a short 15 minutes had passed, barely being settled in and comfortable he spotted the buck trotting up the ridge in his direction. He grabbed his Mathews Z7 Extreme loaded with Easton Light-Speeds and NAP Killzone heads.
"He was crossing behind two big oak trees and I saw my opportunity to draw. But he stepped out before I was at full draw and he spotted me. "NOW or NEVER,'" he thought to himself.
At 23 yards the buck took the arrow. But not quite where it was intended. The arrow clipped a branch and veered off a touch to the right, clipping the bucks liver and into his guts.
"First thing I did after the shot was call my Dad. I was hyperventilating! Dad, told me to take deep breathes and wait about an hour. Then ease down, and head to my Uncle John's house who lived close by and wait for 3-4 hours. My Grandpa and Uncle Brian came over and wanted to help also. So after a few hours we headed back in."
They found good blood immediately, which was a relief. But that trail lead them over a half a mile into the woods until it eventually ran dry.
"The blood just stopped. So we starter walking in circles until we found more."
The blood got better once it started again and led them into a creek bottom, but they couldn't see where the massive buck had crossed.
"We walked up and down the creek in the water trying to find where he came out. He walked in the water about 15 yards then went into what has to be the thickest thicket in the area. You cant see 5 feet in there."
After fighting through the briers and vines, Cameron caught a glimpse of the white hair in the bucks ears. He ran up to him to find there was no such thing as ground shrinkage on this buck. He was huge!
"He's the biggest buck I've killed in Louisiana by far. It was so cool having my uncles and Grandpa there to experience this roller coaster of emotion with me. Sharing this whole experience with my family and tracking him as a team is what really made this special."
Cameron had been hunting this same spot for 2 years. He described it as a "Deer Highway Intersection." 5 different trails all intersect on top of a ridge covered in white oaks. Congrats Cameron on an amazing buck and a successful track!