Russ Guilliams, of Nachitoches, started his opening morning the same way he had every other year, with a sense of accomplishment after a long summer of checking cameras, surveying bucks on the property, and hanging sets to make sure every detail was just right. Managing a piece of property to maintain a healthy herd takes time and dedication. "I had never seen this buck before. I have pictures of a bunch of other good ones, but he was a surprise." In his stand well before daylight on opening day he knew he'd have some action when 2 bucks came in just before shooting light; presumably the big 10 and a smaller one. "They got spooked by something, but came back maybe 20 minutes after daylight." To have this kind of opportunity 20 minutes into a hunt, on opening day is crazy, if you're relying on luck. But when you manage your herd like the Guilliam's do, luck turns into opportunity, and opportunity into a healthy herd with plenty of heavy does and old bucks. "My 3 blade Rage, and Mathews No-Cam did the trick. Come to find out, Dad had pics of this buck the whole time but never showed them to me," he laughed. "We do a lot on our property and have been practicing QDM for 22 years. The bucks must be 8 points or better, and we all try to limit out on does every year. 135-140 is the assumed preliminary score of the buck. He is headed to the taxiderminst this weekend for a final count of bone inches. "Our property has produced multiple 140's, and my dad killed several in the 160's and 170's." I'll leave it up to you to decide but the biggest bucks killed in Louisiana this year have not been accidents. They have been allowed to grow old. When asked what else Russ would like to say he quoted, "PS- Thanks for all the hard work Dad."
To learn more about QDM and the benefits it will have on your hunting experience, or to join the QDMA go to Quality Deer Management Association