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University » News Breakers » Youth Hunter Scores Twice on Public Land

Youth Hunter Scores Twice on Public Land
by Greg Hicks

As 13 year old Damon Vaughn made his way back to Ball, La. with his step dad Neil Deville on December 20, you couldn’t wipe the smile off his face with a wet dish towel.  After what he’d accomplished on the Bayou Cocodrie youth hunt of 2011, you’d be hard pressed to tell him anything at all.  The young man had done in back to back hunts on public land what most people can’t do on a paid hunt to a Texas ranch; he’d killed two monster bucks.

This is how it all went down.  The Bayou Cocodrie youth hunt is a lottery and the lucky kids draw stands before each hunt, to ensure that everyone gets a fair shake.  Lady Luck was with Damon from the time he entered the National Wildlife Refuge in Concordia Parish, until they drove back across the Rapides Parish line, headed home to Ball.  “When I saw a map of where the stands were located, I told him that three of the stands were close to where I hunt at and I’ve seen some good deer down in there.  When he walked up and told me which stand he’d drawn for the first hunt, I was excited because it was one of those three,” said Neil.

Damon and Neil got in their stand on the afternoon of December 19, 2011 around 3:00 PM with their guide, Canyon, and the trio got settled in for the hunt.  They began to chat about this and that, when Canyon pulled out a call that he liked to use and showed it to Damon and Neil.  “The guide pulled out his Can call and we started talking about that, because I like to use that call too,” said Neil.

Canyon gave Neil the call to use, and not long after he began to work it, they began to hear something in the thicket nearby.  The trio noticed that every time Neil used the Can, the walking would begin again and then stop.  Soon afterward, they noticed a dove fly up about 70 yards from them and they knew something was coming.

Damon and Neil show buck number one, a 14 point stud.

“It wasn’t long after that dove flew, that the guide said he saw something coming. Sure enough, here this big deer came out of the thicket.  I told Damon to get ready and he did,” said Neil.

One solid shot from Damon’s Browning A-Bolt 300 Short Mag right at 5:00 PM sent the buck tearing out.

“Man, that buck didn’t run thirty yards.  Let me tell you, there were some high fives going around when we put our hands on him,” Neil exclaimed.

The buck was a monster with 14 points, a spread of 19 1/4 inches, and weighed 225 pounds.

Now normally, this is where our story ends, but with Damon Vaughn’s luck, we’re only half way through.

Fast forward to the morning of December 20, 2011.  The youths again drew stands and this time, Damon and Neil had a strategy.  “We’d discussed how we were going to handle the drawing that morning before we ever got going.  Damon and I agreed that if he drew that same stand again, he’d put it back in the pot to be drawn again by another hunter.  We knew that area was a good one and we wanted another kid to have a shot at a good deer.  We never figured that he’d have another shot at a buck like this,” said Neil.

Once again, Lady Luck was with the boy and he drew a stand on the opposite end of the NWR; a stand that Neil’s cousin was all too familiar with.  “When he heard we’d drawn that stand, he said that he wished they’d do away with it.  See, he’d been there a few times with his little girl and they haven’t seen a thing when they hunted it,” laughed Neil.

Damon holds the antlers of buck number two; a wide and massive 8 point.

As daylight broke that morning, it was darker than usual because of the clouds that were pushing through the area.  Just when it was getting light enough to see, Neil instructed Damon to watch closely, because a deer might be slipping through.  Sure enough, at 6:39 AM Damon told Neil that he saw a deer.  “Man, I was playing with my phone when he said he saw a deer.  The light from the phone had kind of blinded me and I had to lean my head back to see good.  By the time my eyes got focused, he shot,” Neil explained.

As soon as the shot deer exited their eye sight, another deer appeared.  Being allowed to take a doe, Damon got his scope on the second deer, ready to make it a daily double.  When he realized that it too was a buck, he passed on the shot.

The youngster had fired so quickly on the first buck, that no one had a chance to really tell how good the he was.  Under normal circumstances, all the hunters and anyone with them are to remain in the stand until 9:30 AM.  Neil was allowed to go check for a hit because of the pending bad weather.  Sure enough, there was blood all in the shooting lane and Neil gave Damon the thumbs up sign.  Although the buck bled good initially, the blood trail got sparse after a few yards.  When they finally made it to the buck, they both almost passed out.  This deer was an 8 point with a 22 inch spread, had 26 1/2 inch main beams, and weighed 245 pounds.

“When we were skinning the first deer he killed, there were fella’s in the camp ground saying that it was a once in a lifetime deer.  Then, I be dang if he didn’t do it again the next morning and get this, these are only the second and third deer he’s ever killed,” laughed Neil.

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10 Responses to: Youth Hunter Scores Twice on Public Land

  1. Antelope08    (December 21st, 2011 at 11:01 am)

    Great story and congratulations young man to you and your Step-Father.

  2. Mark Hataway    (December 21st, 2011 at 4:48 pm)

    Congrats to that young man those are to great bucks.

  3. Rem 7600    (December 21st, 2011 at 5:30 pm)

    that child will be a deer hunter for life,congradulations keep up the spirit, very good job lil man

  4. Long Shot    (December 22nd, 2011 at 12:05 am)

    Welcome to the brother hood like Mr. Waddell would say. Good job Damon.

  5. 11point    (December 22nd, 2011 at 12:14 am)

    That is a great story and some great studs!!!! COngrats to the young man..Way to shoot buddy!!!

  6. SwampGhost    (December 22nd, 2011 at 8:50 am)

    Wow! I see why you can’t wipe the smile off his face with a dish rag lol. Two huge bucks! Congrats young man! Big props to the stepdad for involving his stepson in our passion.

  7. SBF    (December 22nd, 2011 at 9:45 am)

    That young man’s story should make it in a national magazine. Congratulations to him and his step-dad,both are beautiful bucks!

  8. Uncle Buck    (December 24th, 2011 at 7:01 pm)

    I missed out on being one of the guides this year there. I was upset that I missed out on seeing there two deer in person. Congrats to that lad for bringing those two monsters down!!!
    Now the funny part of my post. I have a buddy hunting the north end of the cross bayou unit that has a bunch of trail cam photos of that 8pt. It’s funny how far those deer travel.

    Any one knows what these two deer scored?

  9. high water kennels    (December 26th, 2011 at 10:57 pm)

    I grew up with Neil,, great guy and I am certainly glad for his step son for his chance at the once in a lifetime bucks that he killed. Way to go little man, and good luck in the future.

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