EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (BRPROUD) — A Louisiana man used a childhood Christmas gift to bag a 150-class, 10-point buck earlier this month.

Ryan Lamonte, 38, of Clinton, got a Savage Model 110 .270 bolt action rifle at the age of 14. He used it to kill a buck nicknamed Split on Dec. 14.

Three people scored Split, who came in at 154. The score was compiled by looking at the total inches of antler on its head. The 5-year-old weighed 210 pounds.

It all started around 6:25 a.m. when Lamonte saw Split on his Wise Eye Smart Cam Mini Cellular Game Camera. The camera was made by a Denham Springs-based company.

The projects and maintenance foreman for Performance contractors at the ExxonMobil refinery left work and headed out to a deer stand just north of the Zachary city limits, off Plank Road. He was on the stand by 8:05 a.m. While waiting, Lamonte endured high wind gusts and rain from the weather front that passed through that day.

Just over three hours after seeing the buck on camera, Lamonte took out Split with one shot.

It wouldn’t have happened if everything had gone to plan in 2021. Lamonte saw Split on camera last year — mostly during daylight with two weeks to go in the season. He was primed for the kill, but a friend let rabbit dogs run on the property, scaring away most of the deer.

That misfortune turned around in 2022. Lamonte said he was lucky to get out of work and to the stand before the really bad weather rolled in.

Split was a personal best for the Clinton man, who has been hunting since he was 4 years old, but it was not Lamonte’s first trophy-class kill.

Image courtesy of Ryan Lamonte

After 31 years of hunting, Lamonte was able to take a 12-point buck called Nightmare. He shot the 200-pound deer around one mile from the East Baton Rouge Parish line using a Mathews Heli-m Archery Compound Bow. Nightmare was the same age as Split and scored 150.25.

The Louisiana man is hoping the third time will be the charm. He said he wants to bag another trophy-class buck and a new personal best.