By Greg Hicks
Any experienced deer hunter will tell you that whitetails can be some of the most elusive big game animals on the planet.
Almost appearing out of no where, these creatures can slip through some of the most dense cover undetected and catch an unprepared hunter by surprise.
But not DeWayne Richardson.
The West Monroe, La., native prepares for unusual situations and was not only ready for the opportunity on Oct. 2, it almost looked as if he had planned for it.
Last season, Richardson and some of his friends had seen a magnificent deer they estimated to be 3 1/2 years old at their lease on Ashbrook Island, a 6,000-acre private hunting club in the Mississippi River that bumps up against Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.
And even though he was easy on the eyes then, they could tell he had potential. So as a group, they decided to let him walk to see what he would be like this season.
Fast forward to the summer of 2014, and Richardson was ready with his trail cameras.
“I started putting out trail cameras in late July hoping that he’d be what we hoped he would be and sure enough in September, I got some pictures of him full grown in the mid-to-low 150s,” Richardson said.
Fortunately, he had a stand not far from where he’d been getting pictures of the deer and when a small storm front pushed through on Oct. 2, Richardson had a feeling it would be a prime opportunity to catch the large buck moving.
He eased into his stand around 2 that afternoon, and bumped several deer going in.
He saw every deer he’d had on camera except the huge 8-point he was waiting on, but as thunder rolled in the distance, the stage was set for the two to finally meet.
As the sun began to set, Richardson started began to wonder if the buck would show at all, and with absolutely no warning, he suddenly appeared.
“Imagine this, I’m hunting in a cutover and he just appeared at 10 feet. There’s only one spot where I can see about 100 yards out, but other than that I can only see about 50 yards so you can just imagine how surprised I was,” he said.
With it being unusually quiet and the deer right on top of him, Richardson slowly drew his bow and took aim.
“I’ve never shot one directly in front of me before, but I have practiced in that position and with the deer being so close, I felt confident with the shot,” he said.
With the deer standing like a statue, Richardson drew his Hoyt Element, set his pin and let the arrow fly. He watched as the arrow hit behind the deer’s front shoulder and then listened as the buck crumpled in the distance.
“I slowly slipped out and gave him a few hours to make sure he expired. I went back in with a friend of mine and there he was, much bigger than I had imagined,” Richardson laughed.
The mainframe 8-point ended up green-scoring 157 2/8 inches Pope and Young at TP Outdoors in Monroe and weighed-in at 196 pounds. The buck's antlers were very symmetrical, and only showed a 2-inch difference on each side of his rack.
“This is a dream deer to me,” Richardson said. “We estimated him to be around 4 1/2 years old.”
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Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.