What do you do this time of year when you work daylight to dark as owner of a convenience store and you also are an avid deer hunter? Crickett Collins who lives in Gilbert is just such a person. She is serious about the nature of having a successful business but sometimes working at the store cramps her style, especially when she had rather be sitting on her deer stand.

“My husband Galen and I own a 40 acre tract in Morehouse Parish where we hunt every chance we get. After bow season opened, I was getting fidgety and really wanted to be sitting in my deer stand. So on Friday, October 14, I left the store and 3:00 and drove the hour and ten minutes to our land,” Collins said.

There was one particular buck that had shown up on her game cameras and it was impressive enough she named him “Hercules”.

“I got to the property; my daughter and granddaughter joined me at the camp we have there and I got my feeders going and put out some corn and persimmon rice bran 50 yards from my box stand. That’s the distance I feel comfortable with my Raven crossbow,” she said.

The weather that afternoon was quite warm when she climbed aboard at 5:00. She sat until 7:00 without seeing a thing.

“I was getting hot and sweaty and the mosquitoes had started bothering me and I had decided that I’d go back to the camp and wait until the next morning as a cool front was supposed to come in that night. I had started getting my gear together when I looked down my middle lane and saw something move. Hercules stepped out next to the feed I had on the ground. He was broadside at 50 yards and I got my pin on him and hit the trigger,” Collins continued.

The buck did something that caused her to have immediate concern because at the shot, the buck turned and went back the exact same trail he had come in on.

“That worried me because I’ve shot a lot of deer and they always take off the opposite way they come in; I had never had one do this,” she said.

Stepping down from her stand, Collins walked down to where the deer was standing and didn’t see any blood or evidence she had hit the deer.

“I walked back the 200 yards to the camp and told my daughter what I’d done. I decided since it was dark by now to just wait until morning to begin to search. We went and ate supper, came back to the camp and I sat up all night in my recliner with my hunting clothes still on; there was no way I could sleep,” she added.

Next morning, she went back to her stand to wait for her daughter, granddaughter and boyfriend, Colby, to come help her look for the deer.

“They got there around 8:00. The 40 acres is divided basically with 20 acres being big woods with the other 20 being CRP land. We spread out and began looking and finally found a drop of blood and then quite a bit of blood. Colby was looking in the big woods while we were following a trail through the CRP. Colby called out that he had found blood, I took a couple of steps and saw horns sticking up. The buck had only traveled about 50 yards from where I shot him,” Collins said.

The buck sported a rack of 13 points, had an inside spread of 19 inches, bases were over 5 inches each with main beams 22 inches. Estimated weight was 250 pounds and the deer was believed to be 5 ½ years old. The buck was taken to Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop to be entered in that store’s Big Buck contest and was scored at 168 2/8 inches.

“When you own a convenience store and work 12 hours a day, you have to get away and,” Collins said, “getting to sit on my stand is my get-away.”

.”Crickett Collins of Gilbert is proud of the big buck she bagged with her crossbow.” Courtesy photo


BLACK BAYOU – Crappie fishing has improved on jigs and shiners. No report on bass or bream. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707 for the latest information.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bass fishing has been quite good with at least two fish weighing in double digits. Fishing fake frogs around the pads have been working best. Crappie fishing has improved as well.
OUACHITA RIVER – The water is low with no current and fishing has in general been fairly shown. A few crappies have been caught and catfish are fair on jugs and in traps. For the latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie fishing had continued to be good in the channels on shiners, Bobby Garland, and hair jigs with the best colors being blue and chartreuse. Bass has been fair fishing crankbaits off the points. Breams are slow while catfish are biting cold worms fished off the banks. For the latest information, call Anderson Sports Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle
Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing has been good in the deeper channels on both shiners and jigs. Bass has been fair fishing crankbaits off the points. A few catfish have been caught on cold worms. The bream and stripers are slow. For the latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE – Crappie fishing continues to be the best fishing the deep tops on shiners or jigs. The bass has been best with some nice-sized fish being caught fishing the points with Carolina-rigged soft plastics while some are also being caught fished jigging spoons off the bottom in deeper water. Crankbaits are producing around the docks and piers. No report on bream or catfish. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498, or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Crappie fishing has a fair this week on shiners or jigs. Catfishing has been good on a variety of baits. No report on bass or bream. For the latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is quite low. Some nice crappie is being caught around underwater structures on shiners or jigs. No report on bass, bream, or catfish. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.

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