For the past four years, Ronnie Ables, who lives in Calvin, has been after a particular impressive buck that has been hanging around his 130 acre Weyerhaeuser lease near his home in Winn Parish.
The buck has earned the name, “Big Brow” because of the impressive brow tines he sports on his headgear.
On Tuesday, October 13, Ables and his 9 year old daughter, Karlee, a 4th grader at Calvin Elementary School, were sitting in a box stand overlooking a thick and tangled clear cut where he had carved out two shooting lanes.
Just before dark, two bucks stepped onto one of the shooting lanes to feed on corn and rice bran Ables had placed there. One of the bucks was a nice 8 point but standing beside him was the buck he’d been after. He nudged Karlee who had just awakened from an impromptu nap, told her to get ready because “Big Brow” was on the lane.
One shot behind the shoulder of her .308, was right on the money and the buck only traveled some 30 yards before expiring.
“This is a buck we’d been after for several seasons and I really wish we could have gotten him a year ago when he had double drop tines. This year, he had only one two-inch drop tine but his rack was impressive anyhow,” Ables said.
The buck had actually been showing up on the trail camera of a friend who hunted property across the road from Ables since the deer was a year and a half years old.
“After a couple of years, the buck moved to my clear cut and has been showing up in trail photos regularly for the past four years,” he noted.
Ables has a special set-up for Karlee when they hunt together. He has a device that allows her rifle to be held in a vice-like apparatus that holds the gun steady.
“As soon as we saw the buck and Karlee got ready, she had to wait until the 8 point stepped away from the big buck. She did a great job showing lots of patience even though she was getting more excited and nervous while having to wait for a clear shot,” Ables explained.
After taking the shot, the pair climbed down to see if she’d hit the buck. By then it was already getting dark and Ables, who didn’t bring a light, had to wait for his son to bring a light and look for the deer.
“We found blood and knew she’d made a good hit. The deer only traveled 30 yards and when Karlee finally saw him, she was jumping and hollering and grinning,” he said.
We asked Karlee about her feelings when she walked up and saw how big her buck really was.
“I was kinda scared at first but then I got real excited. When I shot, I didn’t even feel the gun kick,” Karlee said.
The buck, which was taken to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop and entered in the store’s popular big buck contest where it scored 148 6/8 inches. It sported a rack of 13 points, had an inside spread of 17 inches with eye-popping bases of over 6 inches each with the mass extending over the entire rack. The buck weighed 208 pounds and Ables believes he was either 6 ½ or 7 ½ years old.
“I told Karlee that she’s taken a buck bigger than one her daddy ever got or hopes to get. Her success will probably go down-hill from here,” Ables said, “with her first buck being such a whopper.”
Glynn Harris’ column is sponsored by D.C. Pawn of Minden