Marni Demelo heard it before she saw the buck approaching the food plot she was overlooking on Saturday (Jan. 7), a benefit on one of the coldest days the New Orleans woman had sat in a Mississippi deer stand.

“Friday was actually a little colder, but it was sleeting and snowing and there was ice,” said Demelo, 29. “Because of the ice on the ground, I was able to hear the deer’s every move as it walked through the woods,” said Demelo. “I was ready.”

That was a critical part of the killing of the big buck, in that light was fading fast. Demelo was able to get her Remington 7mm-08 up and the buck in the scope as soon as it cleared the edge of the woods.

“I know enough that when it starts getting late, I get my gun up and laying on my lap,” she said. “That way, no matter what, I’m ready and can make a move. But hearing it coming was so neat, and it helped. I mean it was a full minute between when I heard him crunching on the ice and when he stepped out. I had my binocular up and was waiting on whatever it was.

“Where he stepped out was 40 yards to my right and as soon as I saw him, I immediately knew he was a shooter. I put the binocular down, picked up the gun and within seconds, I had him in my crosshairs and took the shot.”

The buck fell right where it stood.

“First time that’s happened to me since, gosh, I guess 2010,” Demelo said. “He went straight down.”

There’s not much more to the story, as far as hunting this particular buck goes, in as much as patterning and extensive hunting of the magnificent beast. 

No members of the Jefferson County hunting club even knew this buck existed.

“The first time we saw this deer on camera was only two days before I shot, and we didn’t pull those pictures off that camera until after I had shot him,” Demelo said. “He wasn’t on our hit list at the time. It is the biggest deer that I’ve ever killed and I couldn’t be happier.”

 It was an amazing hunt and one I will never forget!”

The Demelos dropped her buck at the taxidermist early on Monday, and got the call earlier that the shop had measured the main-frame 10-point at 163 inches gross. There are two sticker points, one on each 10-inch G2, but only one of them is an official point. The other sticker is a club-point you could hang a ring on but does not meet Boone & Crockett standards.

Demelo said the buck had main beams of 24 inches and there was a 19 ½ inside spread between the beams. The longest tines were 10 2/8 inches, and the bases were 4 6/8. The taxidermist aged the deer at 4 ½ years.

To finish her story, Demelo had a quick anecdote about her husband Tim.

“He was hunting close and had heard the shot, and when I called him to tell him I had put one down, he said ‘I know; I heard,’” she said. “Then he drove over and when he got to my stand he saw the buck laying there and drove right past me to go to him. I was standing there with my hand out ready to get in and he just passed me right up and went straight to it. He started laughing and yelled back to me, ‘get over here because you aren’t going to believe how big he is.’”

Click here to read other big-buck stories from the 2016-17 season.

And don’t forget to post photos of your bucks in the Mississippi Sportsman Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free and offers great monthly prize packages.