(Note: deer season 2011-12 has been put to bed with the reputation of producing some of the finest bucks Louisiana has ever yielded in a single season. Here is an account of one of those impressive trophies taken by a 13 year old Red River Parish youngster.)
Berl Lawson's dad erected a deer stand at the edge of a pasture on the family's cattle farm 25 years ago, a stand the elder Lawson hunted until his son was older. Now that Berl has a 13 years old son, Lewis, the youngster is claiming squatter's rights to the stand, and with good reason. On December 8, the teen downed a huge 170 class nine-point buck from the stand.
The old stand was destroyed when a tornado came through the area this past spring, the original replaced with a sturdy all steel box stand.
The Lawson's live on the family's 400 acre cattle ranch near Hall Summit in Red River Parish. The area the family hunts is predominately pasture lined with sweet gum thickets.
Obviously, there are good genetics here as well as good management since Berl Lawson shot a 168 inch buck from the stand earlier.
"We're very selective on what we shoot on the farm. My son is very patient and he has watched several 120-130 class bucks he never considered shooting. Our rule is if you shoot it, you mount it," said Lawson.
The story of this season's conquest actually began a year earlier when Lewis, then a 12 year old, shot a fine 145 inch 10 point from the old stand.
"I was at home when my phone rang; it was Lewis calling to tell me he was looking at a big buck. After he described the buck to me, I told him to put down the phone and shoot the deer! He said, 'Okay; hang on'. I heard the shot and Lewis picked up the phone again to say, 'I got him.'"
Fast forward to this season. Lewis was sitting in his nice comfortable new steel box while his dad was preparing dinner when the phone rang. It was Lewis. Second verse; same song.
"Dad, there's a huge deer over here," Lewis whispered to his dad. The youngster had called earlier to report seeing several does so when his dad asked if it was a big doe, the teen whispered back, "No sir; it's a buck; a BIG buck."
What followed was a repeat from the year before.
"I told him to lay the phone down, take his time and shoot the buck. By then, I'm walking out to my truck while talking to my son. Lewis lays the phone aside and I get to hear the whole thing. I hear the shot first over the phone and a couple seconds later, I hear the actual shot from his stand three quarters of a mile away," said Lawson.
Lewis Lawson, a 7th grader at Elm Grove Middle School in Red River Parish, remembers another detail to the saga.
"When I called my dad and he told me to shoot, I told him to get in the truck and come on over here because we were going to be hauling a big buck out in a few minutes," said the younger Lawson.
A big buck it was indeed. The 180 pound deer sported 9 points with very nice brow times, had a G 2 on one side measuring 13 inches with an impressive 20 1/8 inch inside spread between the antlers.
The deer was taken to TP Outdoors in West Monroe where the score was listed at 170.
Deer hunters across the state may have put away their hunting gear for the time being but stories like this are sure to whet appetites for the 2012-13 deer season.
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.