Archery hunters in State Deer areas 3 and 8 have had their chances to pull strings in the first days of Louisiana’s ultra-long deer season.
Monday, the remainder of the state opens to bow hunters, and a handful among them will have a chance to take a trophy buck.
“You mean you’re telling me I can have a buck scored when it’s in velvet?” Benny Rivers said last week.
The subject of trophy deer came up after a story in The Advocate’s “2012 Outdoors Louisiana” edition in August that outlined the state’s Big Game Records Program.
Several bucks in the program’s three levels of scoring were sporting their velvet when taken by archery hunters. Velvet is the hair-like coating over what will be the hardened antlers bucks will sport through most of the fall and winter months. By the time primitive weapons and modern firearms hunters get into the woods, the velvet has either sloughed off or the bucks have scraped it off to show its antler spread.
Rivers like what he heard, because he’s been watching a monster buck near the Mississippi River north of Baton Rouge for the past three weeks and thinking what a trophy the buck would be if only he can master enough woodsmanship and sharpen his already solid skills with his compound bow.
“I thought antlers with velvet couldn’t be measured,” Rivers said. “Now I know that’s not true. I just hope a get a shot in that big rascal. I’ve seen him for the last three years, and he’s been around long enough to spread his genes throughout the (deer) herd there. Only problem is he’s a wily, old buck, and he doesn’t give anyone much of a shot.”
Rivers and other deer hunters will have a chance to start Wildlife and Fisheries’ seventh Louisiana Big Game Records Recognition Program.
The programs are designed to list the top deer taken in three levels, Recognition; State; and Boone & Crockett (gun), Pope & Young (archery) or Longhunter Society (muzzleloaders) programs.
Minimum scores are required to register bucks in all classes, and there are different scoring minimums for bucks with typical and nontypical antlers.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ website(http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov) lists the complete requirements and scoring minimums.
State Wildlife and Fisheries field offices have biologists certified to score deer and turkeys. These offices, locations and phone numbers include:
HAMMOND: 42371 Phyllis Ann Dr., (985) 543-4777.
NEW IBERIA: 2415 Darnall Rd., (337) 373-0032.
OPELOUSAS: 5652 La. 182, (337) 948-0255.
NEW ORLEANS: 2021 Lakeshore Dr., (504) 284-5269.
LAKE CHARLES: 1213 North Lakeshore Dr., (337) 491-2575.
PINEVILLE: 1995 Shreveport Hwy., (318) 487-5885.
MONROE: 368 CenturyTel Dr., (318) 343-4044.
MINDEN: 9961 Hwy. 80, (318) 371-3050.
Records are maintained by David Moreland for the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries under Boone & Crockett, Pope & Young and Longhunter Society scoring methods.
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