Borrowed gun, sultry weather don’t stop Leone from mowing down big buck

Logan Leone of Stonewall shot this 15-point buck on Oct. 28 in DeSoto Parish.

Published in Louisiana Sportsman by Glynn Harris on November 1, 2023

Logan Leone, a 22-year-old lawn service worker who lives in Stonewall, was proud when his new gun, a CVA .308, came in. However, he had an unexpected chance to head to his deer stand on Saturday, Oct. 28, before he had a chance to get his new rifle sighted in. So he resorted to Plan B.

“I borrowed a rifle from a friend, Kyle McAllen, a Weatherby .257, a gun I had never shot, since my new gun was not sighted in,” he said.

Hot and muggy

That Saturday morning dawned hot and muggy in DeSoto Parish, and despite conditions not conducive for deer movement, Leone climbed into his box stand on his grandfather’s 280 acres around 6:30 a.m. with his borrowed gun.

“My buddy and I were texting about the warm muggy weather and were talking about there not being much chance of even seeing a deer under these conditions, but I decided to just stay put anyhow,” he said.

He had just laid his phone aside with he heard movement behind his stand. A deer was walking up behind him at 10 yards.

“I looked over to my right and there was this huge buck I had seen on camera for three days prior to this hunt,” Leone said. “The photos were all at night except there was one where he came out in late afternoon. When I got my eyes on him, I knew it was the big one on camera. I froze because he was so close and I didn’t want to risk him seeing me. He never looked in my direction, but started walking along the wood line toward the feeder.”

The buck was walking straight away from Leone and he never presented a broadside shot until he got to the feeder, which was set up along a pipeline some 180 yards from the stand.

“When he got to the feeder, he began feeding and then turned broadside, giving me a shot,” Leone said. “I hit the trigger and for awhile I couldn’t see anything; the sun had started rising and was in my eyes so I had no idea if I hit him or not until I spotted him running past the feeder.”

Amazed at what he saw

As Leone watched, the front legs of the buck begin buckling and he fell there about 40 yards on the other side of the feeder.

“I got down and walked to where the buck had fallen and I didn’t really know what to think,” Leone said. “I knew from the trail cam pictures he was a really good buck and it was hard for me to process what I was looking at.”

The buck sported an awesome rack of 15 non-typical points with a spread of 18 inches. Main beams were 22 and 24 inches each with bases around 4 inches. The buck was determined to be around 4 ½ years old and weighed in at 175 pounds.

“I took him to a friend who had scored lots of deer and the measurements he came up with totaled 190 inches,” Leone said. “My friends told me I may as well hang it up because there was no way I’d ever beat this one.”

With Leone’s streak of luck using a borrowed rifle he had never shot before to down a monster buck, you wouldn’t want to bet against him.

About Glynn Harris 
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.