St. Charles Herald-Guide

Destrehan mother, daughter kill first bucks during Christmas hunt

Bruce McDonald - January 7, 2013

A mother and daughter from Destrehan both bagged their first bucks during an after-Christmas hunt in Port Gibson.

Jeanne and Susie Chevalier come from a deer hunting family, but this was the first time that the two went on a hunt between Christmas and New Yearís Day.

The two left for their camp on Thursday and arrived at 1 p.m. Susie got to the shooting lane in her Tahoe and turned the vehicle around in order to have it ready at sundown. Instead, her vehicle got stuck, so she grabbed her jacket, backpack and 7mm-.08 and walked towards the stand.

At 3:45 p.m., she settled in.

Within minutes, a yearling covered from chest to tail with spots came out into the food plot. A couple of minutes later, a doe came out. While the deer were in the food plot, Susie lowered the front plexiglass window to get a better look at the deer.

'I turned around to watch the doe and yearling. After a couple of minutes, I looked out the right window and saw another deer way far down the lane,' Susie said. 'I picked up my binoculars to see what it was. I saw that it had horns past his ears and I could see at least three tines on the side. I immediately put down the binoculars and picked up my gun.'

The buck had already crossed to the far side of the shooting lane and was about to enter the woods.

'I didnít have time to keep watching and had to make a decision on whether or not I should shoot. This was literally the first buck I have seen in all my 20 years of hunting,' Susie said. 'Luckily, the deer stopped just before the tree line and looked towards me - I guess he must have seen me move. I aimed and shot and my buck fell where he was standing. I then saw him starting to get up so I hurried up and chambered another bullet.'

However, the buck dropped back to the ground.

'I was so excited, I couldnít believe it,' Susie said. 'It was my first buck - to think that I had just settled in at 3:45 and I shot the buck at 3:55.'

Susie was amazed that she was able to stay calm during the shot.

'I hear so much about buck fever and how people get shaky and nervous before the shot. Then all the text messages started coming in asking who shot,' Susie said. 'For once, I was able to say it was me. Thatís when the shaking started and I had to laugh at myself. I was shaking so badly.'

Susieís husband and son rescued the Tahoe and Jeanne and the son-in-law retrieved the deer. Susieís 8-point, weighing 200 pounds, was shot at approximately 300 yards.

Now it was Jeanneís turn to shoot a deer. She hunted the same afternoon her mom shot the big 8-point and had seen four nice sized doe and two button bucks.

'That night we celebrated my momís first buck and all I could think was, 'Now, if I kill one tomorrow morning, we can go home and Iíll still have time with friends in New Orleans,í' Jeanne said.

Jeanne settled into her stand at 6:15 a.m. and was reading a book when she saw a buck come out about 100 yards away at 7:25 a.m.

'I was so nervous and started shaking. My adrenaline was through the roof and all I could think was, 'I donít want to miss this deer. Iím going to be seriously disappointed,í' Jeanne said. 'Finally he turned to the side and put his head down to graze. I didnít even think twice. I just aimed and shot.'

The buck dropped where he stood.

'That was the best feeling ever,' Jeanne said. 'I texted my dad and he met me in his truck by the deer. I was so excited. My dad was happy for me. We just started hugging and jumping around laughing.'

As soon as Jeanne got back to the camp, she woke up her mom with the news.

'She couldnít believe that I had shot my first buck the day after she shot her first buck,' she said.

Jeanneís 8-point weighed a little over 200 pounds. She killed it with a Browning 270 bolt action.

Both Jeanne and Susie went through the camp ritual of smearing blood on their cheeks after killing a big buck.

'Since I killed my first doe when I was 13, I have been hooked on deer hunting,' Jeanne said. 'I love being in the outdoors and I plan to go back and hunt for a bigger buck from now on.'

Jeanne (left) and Susie (right) Chevalier with deer they killed during the Christmas holidays.
Jeanne (left) and Susie (right) Chevalier with deer they killed during the Christmas holidays.