Nurse anesthetist Randy Wisenor makes it a practice to put people to sleep. It’s his job; it’s what he does.
On Oct. 1, Wisenor had completed his duties of sending surgical patients temporarily into la-la land, made the two-hour drive to his hunting lease in Copiah County and before darkness fell over the woods he’d performed the same feat – for keeps – on a trophy whitetail buck.
Wisenor is a member of a 3,000-acre bowhunting-only club between Utica and Port Gibson. The habitat consists of mixed pine-hardwood timber interspersed with patches of clear cuts where timber has been harvested.
“We have a rule on our club that you have to be off the roads that run through the lease by 3 pm during hunting season,” the Louisiana hunter said. “I had my gear in my truck, and as soon as I got off work, I headed for the club and was on my stand before the 3 (o’clock) curfew.”
Bucks in that part of Mississippi usually don’t get interested in does until later, so his not being on the stand at first light opening morning was of no real concern for Wisenor.
“I climbed into my stand, hauled up my bow and settled in for the afternoon hunt,” he said. “I hadn’t sat long before a 6-point buck walked through. He was not a shooter; our club rules require we shoot nothing less than a 110-inch spread, and this one obviously was not. Then I watched a spike slip through.”
Wisenor’s stand was along the edge of a timber-harvest operation that had taken place about three years ago, meaning the ground cover was thick and tangled with plenty of slash from the timber harvest still on the ground.
“It was getting close to 7 pm – that was before daylight savings time ended – and I knew I didn’t have long to hunt when I heard a limb pop, like something stepping on downed limbs,” he said. “I saw a deer coming through the brush and determined it was a shooter buck.”
The buck didn’t come straight in, however.
“He wandered around a bit and then disappeared,” Wisenor said. “I eased to a standing position and realized the buck had slipped up the side of a little ridge; then he finally popped his head up, but I only had a side view so I still didn’t know how big he was.”
The buck gave Wisenor a 20-yard shot, or so he thought. After the fact, the distance was ranged at 25.5 feet, so his shot was a little low.
“I knew I’d hit him because I heard the ‘smack’ on impact,” Wisenor said. “The buck didn’t tear it up getting out of there. He just sort of hopped away, and I didn’t hear anything else after he disappeared.”
Wisenor waited awhile, got down and found his arrow where the buck was standing and saw evidence of a hit.
“There was bright pink blood on the arrow, but it was not saturated like I’d hoped it was,” he said. “I stuck my arrow in the ground, went back to camp and met my two sons, Jared and Cole, who were hunting with me.”
Two hours later, after changing clothes and regrouping, the trio headed back to the woods and the search was on.
“There was decent blood but not very much. I’d stand at the last blood spatter and my boys would range out until somebody found something, (and) then we’d move up,” the elder Wisenor said.
Jared Wisenor finally located a good blood trail, and at around 10 p.m. he walked up on the buck.
“When I got there, I was dumbfounded at the rack,” Randy Wisner said. “I knew it was a good buck, but had no idea it was that good.
“I’d never shot a 12-point buck before.”
The buck, which weighed 225 pounds, was a 12-point with split G-2s and an inside spread of 19 6/8 inches. Another desirable marking was the buck’s double throat patch.
The buck was scored back at camp at 160 Pope & Young, at Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop, LA at 159 5/8 and at TP Outdoors in Monroe at 161 6/8.
“I’ve killed quite a few bucks but,” said Wisenor, “nothing like this one.”
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