Louisiana hunter Jimmy Giacone was enjoying a morning hunt at a buddy's lease near Liberty Sunday (Nov. 20) when three deer stepped out.
"It was about 8:30, and I stood up and was getting down out of the stand when a spike, a doe and this deer stepped out," Giacone said.
"This deer" wore a crown of calcium on its head. A huge crown.
What Giacone didn't know, however, was that the deer wasn't a buck.
"I said, 'Well, that's big enough to shoot. I'll shoot that instead of a doe,'" he said.
So he lined up the sights of his Thompson/Center Encore .300 mag and touched off the shot.
"It dropped right there at about 80 yards," Giacone said.
He said the deer looked a little strange — with the long, thin neck typical of a doe — but he found something he never esxpected when he got to the 185-pound deer.
Or rather, he didn't find something when he walked up to it.
The rack was impressive, with 16 points sprouting all over the place.
"It's got tines coming off the back of the horns," Giacone said. "It's got drop tines. The horns coming out of thehead don't look real. I can't put my fingers around (the bases) and make them touch."
But the velvet was an indication of the coming surprise.
"I said, 'Hell, this thing's in velvet. Something's wrong,'" Giacone said. "I lifted its leg, and I looked and I looked, but there wasn't anything."
The "buck" wasn't a buck. It was a doe.
"I called my buddy and I told him, 'I killed a doe. It has horns,'" Giacone said. "He said, 'Yeah, I know you did.' He didn't believe me."
In fact, none of his buddies believed him.
"They were like, 'Yeah, sure you did. Send me a picture,'" Giacone said with a laugh.
The antlered doe was a shock to every one of the club members.
"They had never seen (the deer) before, and they have seven or eight (trail) cameras," Giacone said.
The hunter said he plans to get the deer shoulder mounted so he can relive the hunt and tell the story for years to come.
"I was going to get a full mount, but then they told me it would cost $3,000," Giacone said. "That put an end to that."