Big Buck contest a big draw

Photo provided by DAVID MORELAND The deer-hunting season ended more than two months ago, but the memories of the season will linger until Saturday for the annual Bowie Outfitters' Big Buck Contest. Area hunters have until 1 p.m. Friday to enter bucks legally taken during the 2012-2013 season from Louisiana and other states. The top bucks in seven categories will receive prizes, and anyone entering a buck, no matter its size, will be entered into a drawing for the contest's grand prize. Show caption
Photo provided by DAVID MORELAND The deer-hunting season ended more than two months ago, but the memories of the season will linger until Saturday for the annual Bowie Outfitters' Big Buck Contest. Area hunters have until 1 p.m. Friday to enter bucks legally taken during the 2012-2013 season from Louisiana and other states. The top bucks in seven categories will receive prizes, and anyone entering a buck, no matter its size, will be entered into a drawing for the contest's grand prize.

David Moreland promised David Reynerson that he (Moreland) could come up with a can’t-miss big-buck contest.

“People kept telling me that Bowie’s (Outfitters) should have a big-buck contest, but I always thought they were unfair,” Reynerson said. “But Dave told me he had something in mind, and that no one would complain about the outcome.”

Five years later, and the fifth Bowie Outfitters Big Buck Contest set Saturday at the Perkins Road store has proved Moreland right.

Moreland, the former state Wildlife Division chief, former state Deer Study leader and pioneer of the State Deer Recognition Program, had a good grip on what a contest should be.

“We’ve got first places in seven categories,” Reynerson said, adding that men, women, youths, muzzleloader-crossbow, rifle and bowhunting are open for deer taken in Louisiana with another category for all out-of-state deer taken.

The biggest draw is that hunters entering all legal bucks taken during the 2012-2013 season are eligible for the grand prize: a rifle, shotgun or bow fitted to the winner’s specs.

“That’s proven to be the big draw,” Reynerson said. “And it’s helped Dave continue with the State Records programs. The Bowie contest has provided more bucks for the Recognition and Records program than any other in the state for the last four years.

“Another draw,” Reynerson said, “is that baseball stars and avid hunters Ben McDonald, Will Clark and Ryan Theriot will be on hand to talk hunting and baseball.

“And we’ll have enough food and drink for anyone who shows up.”

Reynerson said the contest will be open until 1 p.m. Friday. Anyone having a buck, even a photo of a buck taken during the recent season, can submit it for the contest. Need more info, call the store (225) 766-1200.

Hatchery emergency

Problems at the state’s Huey P. Long Fish Hatchery in Lacombe forced Department of Wildlife and Fisheries secretary Robert Barham to issue a Declaration of Emergency in order to initiate improvements to ensure the facility’s continued productivity.

Barham said plans call for improvements like reshaping and reconfiguring the five existing hatchery ponds, adding new kettle drains, along with new drainage and air-lift systems.

According to the news release, Barham cited Louisiana Revised Statute 38:2211 (et. seq.) for the emergency ruling.

Jr. Bassmasters

Tony Gafford III of Denham Springs took the 15-18 age-group title and Ragley’s Payton Holland won the 11-14 age group in Saturday’s Louisiana B.A.S.S. Nation Junior Bassmasters to a spot in the Nation’s Central Division Tournament on Sam Rayborn Lake, Texas.