If you’ve ever looked in the Louisiana State record books for whitetail deer, there’s a last name that you are sure to recognize; Husted. Billy Husted and his wife Vicki of Monroe, La., are the proud owners of now four deer in the top ten in the Non-Typical Archery category in the state, with Billy’s largest being a 219 1/8″ full velvet monster that he took in Tensas Parish in 2007. How do they do it? “I give all the credit to Billy. He puts in a lot of work, from planting to scouting, running numerous cameras, etc. But, we both enjoy everything we do to get ready for hunting, so it’s worth all the effort we put in,” explained Vicki. Their efforts paid off in a big way on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 in the form of another monster bayou state buck in full velvet.
To get the best view of this story, we have to go back to earlier in the year, and how this deer had several hunters in the area on their toes trying to keep up with his “rolling stone” ways.
“We aren’t the only ones with pictures of this deer. There are three or four hunters around here that have pictures of him. His ways were different from the deer we usually get on film. We usually get a deer on one camera in a certain area, but this deer was different. We had pictures of him on five or six cameras in totally different areas,” said Husted. With a deer moving around so much, one would think pinning him down for a kill would be hard, but they are a persistent pair of hunters. “We are fortunate enough to be able to spend a lot of time in the woods, from October through January. We hunt a lot, and we usually hunt separate a good bit, but occasionally when we get on a good one, we’ll hunt together,” Husted went on to say.
Friday October 1st found the Husteds in their ground blind waiting for the “Crazy Horned” buck of Tensas Parish to take a stroll past their set up. They didn’t have any luck that day, or the following days, so they decided that it was time for a change. “On Monday, we moved our ground blind to a different spot where we had pictures of him coming out of a field in the mornings. We found the perfect place for a setup, but the ground was covered in poison ivy. Billy insisted that this was the perfect spot. I just knew we were going to break out from the poison ivy, but I went along with it anyway,” laughed Husted. The next morning they got in their Ameristep Intimidator ground blind early, and guess who would show up not long after them? “I never dreamed that he would come in that early. To be honest, I wasn’t even ready. The camera flashed and Billy said ‘there’s already something moving through’. It was still too dark to see, but finally we got enough of a look to realize it was him! I was as nervous as I’ve ever been,” explained Husted. She then grabbed her bow and drew down on the big deer, but there was a small problem. “After I drew, I tried to look through my peep sight, but it was just too dark, so I had to let my bow down. I waited another five minutes and tried it again. I guess my nock was extra sensitive, because as soon as I drew back, the nock lit up. The deer spooked, so I let down again,” said Husted. The buck cautiously made his way towards the woods and Vicki knew time was running out. When Vicki finally did get a shot, she misjudged the yardage and shot just under him.
While most of us would wallow in our sorrows after missing such a deer, this hunting duo tightened the noose around the bucks neck. “We went right back in that afternoon and just after 6:30 P.M., the deer shows back up,” Husted said excitedly. She drew down on the buck with her Hoyt Trykon Sport, loaded down with a Tight Point Shuttle T-Lock broadhead and let it fly. Thinking the shot may have been little far back, the hunters were questioning whether or not to give the deer time to expire. “We waited till 7:00 and I couldn’t stand it any longer. We weren’t too sure of the shot, but after we eased out of the stand we found a really good trail and started following it. We went about 75 yards and found part of my arrow broken off, and at this point the trail was harder to follow. So, we decided to pull out and come back the next morning,” explained Husted.
After a sleepless night, the Husteds continued the search for the buck. They soon realized they may need help and called in two fellow hunters. After searching for a couple of hours, the search party started loosing hope. That’s when an old memory came back to Vicki. “I remember my Daddy saying that a hurt deer will go to water. I slipped off from the others and went to a nearby pond to check it out. As I walked up, he was the first thing I spotted right there by the water! A taxidermist in Newelton, La. scored him at 220″ and T P Outdoors came up with a gross score of 240 5/8″. Vicki, no different than other hunters, quickly gave her new trophy a fitting name. “I jokingly call this deer my “Poison Ivy Buck” because we set up in a bed of it and everywhere we found blood, it was thick poison ivy,” laughed Husted.
Some people call killing a deer like this luck, but when a person or family of hunters does it on a regular basis, it’s more than luck; its skill. The Husteds have a good thing going on, and from the looks of it they have no intentions of slowing down. BayouBucks.com sends out a huge congratulations to Vicki Husted on a fine velvet Louisiana monster buck.