Donald Forbes Harvests a Big Buck While Taking a Doe for the Lady

Donald Forbes Harvests a Big Buck While Taking a Doe for the Lady
Donald Forbes Harvests a Big Buck While Taking a Doe for the Lady

Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big BucksU.S.A.-( Sometimes the smallest acts of kindness can result in a major blessing that we’ve never anticipated or expected. That’s exactly what happened to Donald Forbes from Zachary, Louisiana. Forbes had gone to town, and while there, he saw a lady who hadn’t taken a deer that season. She wanted some deer meat for her and her family. Forbes knew that the lady really enjoyed cooking and eating deer meat. He told her, “I’ll try to take a doe for you in the next couple of weeks and bring it to you.”

Many areas of the country, especially where deer are overpopulated, have liberal limits on harvesting both bucks and does. In parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, hunters can harvest more does than they can eat. Often deer hunters will hunt for other people and give them some of these surplus does. In many states, Hunters for the Hungry ( has become an active conservation and humanitarian program in recent years. Hunters can continue to hunt and harvest a surplus of deer above what they want or need for their family, give the meat to someone they know who wants some deer meat or donate the meat to Hunters for the Hungry.

Forbes owns a cattle farm and has two pieces of property he hunts on either side of the Comite River. Since he knew deer traveled up and down the river, he didn’t believe he’d have a problem taking a doe for the lady. A little pinch point on one side of Forbes’ cattle ranch was where deer came out in his rye grass field to feed. He always had been able to take nice bucks there, and he’d seen plenty of does too.

“I had a small shooting house only about 300 yards from the river,” Forbes explains. “The field I was hunting was close to a rye grass field where I kept my bulls. Because I had woods on both sides of this field, and the field cornered down to the river, I had decided several years ago that this would be a good place to put my shooting house.”

Forbes took his Remington ( .270 rifle the afternoon of January 15, 2015, and went down to the field to harvest a doe in the drizzling rain for the lady wanting venison. But he wasn’t quite prepared for what happened next. Because the season was almost over, Forbes wasn’t really hunting a buck. He’d seen several does feeding in the rye grass field. As he sat quietly waiting for a doe to step out, he looked out into the rye field and spotted a huge buck. This buck was one of the biggest bucks Forbes ever had seen. The buck had come out of the woods and appeared in the field. While Forbes watched, the big buck scanned the field – possibly looking for that last estrous doe of the season.

Forbes kept his promise and took all the meat from the deer to the lady he had talked to in town.
Forbes kept his promise and took all the meat from the deer to the lady he had talked to in town.

“I waited and let the buck walk about 250 yards into the field,” Forbes reports. “He kept walking parallel to my shooting house. When he stopped and presented the shot, I put my Remington .270 to my shoulder, aimed and fired.” The big buck dropped in his tracks, but Forbes didn’t go running toward the deer, whooping and hollering like most of us would. “When I saw him, I knew he was a good deer. After I shot, and the buck didn’t get up, I didn’t see any point in walking over to where the deer was. Then after I was sure the deer wasn’t getting up, I went back to my house to get my son, Remmy, my 9-year-old grandson, Ben and a 4-wheeler to help me get the buck out of the field. When Ben saw the deer, he really got excited!”

The Rye Grass Buck gross scored 201-7/8. He was the biggest deer Forbes ever had taken. A few years earlier, he’d harvested a 13-pointer with a huge rack, but he wasn’t nearly as big as this buck.

“The day after I took the buck, pictures of the deer had circulated on the Internet, and everybody in town knew about the buck I had taken,” Forbes says. “My wife is a notary public. Some of her friends who lived 7 or 8 miles away from our farm came into her office and showed her trail-camera pictures of the buck I had taken. They said, ‘Your husband took our deer.’ They had pictures of the deer from 2014 and 2013 close to the Comite River. They had been hunting this same buck for 2 years in a wooded bottom close to the river, but I never had seen the buck before. I think the buck had expanded his territory during the rut and was moving up and down the river, looking for does.”

One very-important factor that also may have contributed to the big buck being on Forbes’ property is that he feeds his cattle during the winter months. Although deer are browsers and eat a wide variety of food, including rye grass, they also will eat feed put out for cattle.

After caping and skinning the deer, Forbes kept his promise and took all the meat from the deer to the lady he had talked to in town. “I had taken a deer at the first of the season, and I really didn’t need any more deer meat. But I knew this lady did. Besides, the only reason I went hunting that day was to get the lady a deer for her and her family.”

  • BTR Score – Buckmasters’ Composite Score – Number of Inches: 201
  • Official Buckmasters’ Score: 180 (doesn’t include inside spread of main beams)

This is an excerpt from John E. Phillips newest book “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks”. Click here to get more info about this deer hunting book and other deer hunting books by John E. Phillips.

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4 years ago

What a beautiful rack. If I send you my address could you mail some back strap. LOL