Talkin' Outdoors

Louisiana’s deer season 2018-19 is officially in the archives as outdoorsmen and women can now turn to plenty of other activities waiting in the wings. Fishing; that’s something lots of folks are already getting after and although I have not been on the lake, I have a son-in-law who has and he has graced me with a package of never-frozen crappie filets. Oh my, were they delicious.

Then there is nearly a month of following a squirrel dog through the woods, listening for his tell-tale announcement that a squirrel is treed. One of hunting season’s most enjoyable ventures is following a squirrel dog with friends, whooping and hollering and pulling vines to put a squirrel on the move.

Those who follow the beagles after rabbits have until the end of the month to bust the briar patches after bunnies.

As for me, I sat down with calculator and put the pencil to one of the most successful deer seasons I have ever had. No, I didn’t kill a single deer but I had the privilege of writing nearly 50 stories for LA Sportsman magazine and web site about a whole bunch of hunters from around the state who waylaid some impressive bucks on open range with none in high fence areas.

I put a pencil to the stats on all these big bucks and here’s what my calculations showed. If you downed one of the trophies I wrote about, on average you killed an 11 point buck in Tensas Parish with inside spread of at least 21 inches, weighing over 200 pounds and scoring 165 inches of mass.

Where were the big bucks taken? My listing shows Tensas Parish leading the parade but not my much. Of the 47 Louisiana bucks I wrote about, four came from Tensas, three came from Union, Caldwell, Madison and Lincoln Parishes while two each were taken in E. Carroll, Grant, Claiborne, Beauregard, Natchitoches, Sabine, and Catahoula Parishes.

There were plenty of big racks showing up on the deer I wrote about with the average number of points being 11.6 per buck.

Inside spread on these wall-hangers averaged 21.8 inches. Average weight on these bucks was 203.8 pounds while average measurement of these 47 racks came out to 165.3 inches. Twenty-eight were taken by regular firearms, ten by primitive firearms and nine by bow hunters.

Louisiana Sportsman magazine highlighted several of the bucks I wrote about including the state’s number one non-typical buck taken in Caddo Parish by Malcolm Hilburn, an impressive 18 point non-typical measuring. 204 4/8 inches of antler mass.

I also got to cover the state’s number one public land buck, taken on the Boeuf Wildlife Management area by Andrew Beach. His buck, a 20 point monster, measured over 186 inches.

Coming in a close second for bucks taken on public land, Cody Culpepper downed an impressive 13 point buck, also on the Boeuf WMA that scored over 180 inches.

The most impressive buck taken by archery equipment was downed by Michael Guillory in E. Feliciana Parish, a 6 ½ year old 11 point buck that carried an antler measurement of 173 4/8 inches.

The fact that I didn’t get my buck this past season has been nicely tempered by my getting to peer over the shoulder of a bunch of other hunters and vicariously sharing their excitement as they squeezed the trigger or released the arrow on theirs.