155-inch buck with double main beam killed in Amite County

Louisiana's Wayne McAndrew killed this deer Jan. 13, after leasing a 450-acre Amite County tract just before the hunting season began.

Wayne McAndrew stumbled across a piece of Amite County property available for lease in August 2009, and jumped at the chance to start his own club.

While the tract of land only encompassed 450 acre, McAndrew soon knew he had made the right decision.

“The first or second week of bow season, my buddy (Brad Balado) actually got a picture way on the other side of the lease of this buck,” the Louisiana hunter said. “Our jaws dropped when we saw the picture.”

That’s because the buck was massive, with 11 distinct points and plenty of mass. But that’s what really stunned them was the double main beam on the left side.

The pair dubbed the deer “The Beast,” and kept mum about the photos.

Balado went after the deer hard, hoping to kill the deer before he had to back off to help his wife prepare for the birth of a baby.

However, the deer had never shown itself during daylight hours by the time Balado had to turn to familial matters just before Christmas.

Ironically, McAndrew had been sidelined with a newborn the first part of the season. He was back in the lineup by the time rifle season rolled around, but stayed away from the area in which Balado was chasing the big buck even after his friend could no longer hunt.

“Out of respect for him, I didn’t even go in there,” McAndrew said.

Instead, he was hunting a line of huge rubs. And then he started getting photos of the deer.

“One evening he popped up on my camera,” McAndrew said. “I started getting a lot of pictures of him, but they were all at night. At about 8 p.m. he’d be heading one way and about 4 a.m. he’d be coming back.”

He shared his good fortune with Balado, and continued to hope the deer would make a mistake.

“There were a bunch of does in this area, and I just kept thinking that eventually they’d pull one of those mature bucks in,” McAndrew said.

And then early this month, McAndrew’s camera captured the buck moving at 4 p.m.

“I started hunting him hard, thinking, ‘If he slipped up once, maybe he’ll slip up again,’” he explained.

Finally, the hunter sat back and assessed his strategy, and decided he needed to change.

“I had been hunting on a north wind, and so I decided to wait for a south wind,” McAndrew said.

So he let the area rest a few days, until on Jan. 13 the wind swung around and started blowing from the south.

“I went in and pulled my camera, and I had him several times that (previous) night chasing,” McAndrew said. “I felt like he was close. But I still couldn’t dream I’d kill him.

“I just thought there’s no way a mature buck like that would mess up.”

But he hurried back that evening and climbed 30 feet up a pine tree.

As daylight began bleeding away, McAndrew heard something moving.

“I heart a couple of sticks crack,” he said. “I didn’t even look.”

The movement continued, and the hunter eased his binoculars to his eyes and scanned the area.

“All I see is a huge body, and I think, ‘OK, that’s a mature deer,’” McAndrew said. “I scanned to the front of the body, and I saw tall horns.”

He lowered his nocs, thinking he was close to getting a shot on a big, tall 9-point he knew was in the area.

Soon the deer had eased behind some pine trees, and McAndrew raised his rifle.

“I could looking at his neck and front shoulder,” he explained. “I decided I wasn’t going to give him a chance to step out, so I shot him in the neck and crumpled him.”

McAndrew’s heart raced, and he answered the call from his dad.

“I was excited because I thought I’d shot that pretty 9-point,” he said. “When my dad called and asked if I had shot, I told him, ‘Yeah, I killed that 9-point.’”

After hanging up, McAndrew methodically packed his equipment and eased down the tree.

“I’m just kind of sitting there taking my time,” he said. “I just knew I had killed that 9-point, and I knew exactly what he looked like so there was no need to hurry.”

Once down the tree, McAndrew eased through the woods without his light. But he flipped the switch he got close.

“I got about 15 feet away from him, and when I hit the light on him, I saw that double left beam,” McAndrew said. “I don’t think my feed touched the ground from there to that deer.”

The big, triple-beamed 11-point lay dead, and McAndrew hurried to call Balado.

“I couldn’t hardly talk,” McAndrew said. “All I could say was, ‘I got him. I got him.’

“I didn’t have to tell him what I was talking about: He knew which deer I had killed.”

The buck’s rack wasn’t very wide, measuring only about 14 inches inside, but the 11-point was just massive.

“It just holds the mass all the way down the main beams,” McAndrew said.

The deer eventually green scored at 155 inches Boone & Crockett.

“It made for a heck of a year,” McAndrew said. “The good Lord smiled on me.”

About Andy Crawford 279 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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