Abram’s big day in the woods

by Dusty McGehee

When you hear the last name Riser in North Louisiana, you immediately think God fearing, hardworking, successful cattle and poultry farming family.  While they make a living on cows and chickens, they are also successful at farming big bucks, proven by 9-year-old Abram Riser last week. 

The story begins the first week of deer season in 2020.  Abram’s father (Seth) had gotten busy with normal farming duties, and deer season slipped up on him and he found himself with no place set up for Abram to hunt.  He set out to find a suitable spot and noticed some freshly growing wild rye growing behind some of their chicken houses. 

As he sat there trying to find the best place to put a ground blind, the neighbors dog began barking.  Seth was sitting on the ground, armed with a rifle (no country boy goes into the woods without one), listening to the dog.  As the barking got closer, he couldn’t believe his eyes when a very large buck came out.  He didn’t even click the safety off and decided right then that was going to be Abram’s buck.

Seth immediately bought a trail camera and placed it out where the buck had crossed the following day.  The first night revealed that his eyes were not playing tricks on him.  The buck was a 130-class, 9-pointer, a certified Downsville trophy.  A pop-up blind was put up at the back door of the chicken house and the stage was set. 

Evening after evening, they hunted but the wise buck would only come out under the cover of darkness.  And then, in mid-November the buck vanished.  The Riser duo continued to hunt, wondering if a neighbor had killed him and they were after a ghost.  All hopes were gone until he showed back up on camera in mid-December. 

They hunted him tirelessly all season, going to the chicken house blind every chance they had, but could not capitalize.  Abram even had him in his cross hairs a few times, but he did not want to chance making a poor shot with the low light conditions.  While Abram wanted this buck more than anything, his decision to not shoot would pay off in a big way. 

Fast forward to the 2021 season.  Seth and Abram were on a mission and were ready.  They knew where his early season home range was, so they set out a cellular trail camera.  Two days later and they were astonished when the phone went off.  The buck was back and had grown into a true giant.

They knew they needed to make something happen quickly in case the deer left their property during the rut again.  The youth season came and went, with no sightings.  The deer was still coming but after legal shooting light.  Finally on the evening of November 2, the buck made an appearance just as legal shooting light faded.  Seth and Abram slipped out of the blind and through the chicken houses without disturbing the buck. 

The following day, a cold front was moving through our area.  I texted Seth and said “I think y’all will get him this evening.  Light rain and cold … my favorite buck killing weather.”  To which he responded, “Maybe we will get lucky.”

They settled into the blind around 4 p.m. and waited for the evening to unfold.  As the daylight was fading, two of the younger bucks that had been pictured with the giant came out.  They had seen these two bucks on previous hunts, so they didn’t think too much of it.  And then out of the tall cypress weeds, HE appeared.

Abram began hyperventilating, overcome with buck fever.  Five minutes passed by, and Abram was finally able to regain his composure.  The deer turned broadside, and Abram pulled the trigger on his 7mm-08.  The deer jumped straight up and headed into the cover.

Soon after, I receive a text from Abram’s Uncle Jared that he had shot him.  Anders and I were hunting a few miles away, so we got out of the deer stand and headed that way.  As I got to the end of the chicken houses, I saw their lights coming out of the woods and all I could hear was a bunch of Riser’s breathing heavily.  Abram’s shot had been true and out they dragged one of the biggest Downsville bucks I’d ever seen.

Upon arrival, Abram was grinning ear to ear.  After 30-plus hunts and two deer seasons, he had finally gotten “his buck”.  Anders yelled “Wow, Abram, that is a monster!”  He wasn’t lying either. The buck was estimated 4.5 years old and scored a whopping 150 3/8”.

Abram Riser had just done something at age nine that most people will not accomplish in a lifetime.  Congratulations young man. 


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