When the 12-point walked up to within 6 yards of his ground blind on Dec. 26, however, Huvall figured this was the right time. His arrow found the mark, and Huvall claimed what turned out to be a massive buck that taped out at more than 200 inches Pope & Young that could be the biggest buck ever taken with archery equipment if it ultimately is scored as a typical rack.
The kill moved him to the top of the Simmons Sporting Goods Big Buck Contest's Archery and Largest Louisiana categories.
"I'm serious about my deer hunting," Huvall said. "I knew this big buck was in the area because I'd seen him several times this season and last year as well."
Killing a monster buck like this required extreme caution to minimize the chances the deer would even be aware the hunter was in the woods.
"When I head for my stand before daylight, I use a compass and GPS because I don't want a light to spook deer," Huvall said.
To further tip the odds in his favor, Huvall used a boat and trolling motor to reduce the chance of noise alerting deer to his presence.
So in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 26, he slipped into his ground blind to wait for daylight. He readied the Black Widow recurve bow set at 58 pounds of pull weight, and hoped for the best.
"It was raining when I got to my stand, and soon after daylight I saw some does out in front of my blind," Huvall said. "They eased on off and at 7:13 (a.m.), I looked up and here came the buck I'd been after.
"He walked up to within 6 yards of my blind; I released my arrow and watched him take off. I noticed that he staggered a couple of times as he ran so I felt I'd made a good shot."
It started raining really hard immediately after taking the shot, but Huvall did what he usually does when he arrows a deer – he waited a full two hours before beginning his search, although he was certain the buck hadn't run very far.
"I sat and waited and watched some more deer come up in front of the blind, and they were looking over toward the way the buck ran," he said. "One little buck actually blood trailed the buck I'd shot, and I saw him stop and look at what I hoped was my deer."
Finally getting out of his blind at 9:30 a.m., Huvall took two steps and could see his buck lying there; Huvall figures he had died within five minutes after the shot.
"I was surprised when I got my hands on the buck to actually see how many inches of antler he'd added over the past year," Huvall said. "A year ago, he was a 10-point with antler inches I'd estimated at 160.
"To have grown 40 inches in a year is pretty amazing."
Huvall's 236-pound buck scored 201 3/8 at Simmons.
The current No. typical buck killed in Louisiana with archery equipment is a 176-inch St. Mary Parish buck killed by Shannon Presley in 1981.
Interestingly, Huvall has sheds from a huge buck he found some 10 years ago, sheds that carry almost identical characteristics as the buck he got this season, indicating that superior genetics remain intact on this prime piece of Avoyelles Parish property.
See almost 400 other bucks killed this season – and add photos of your own – in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free to all registered users of this site.
Everyone who enters the contest is eligible to win a set of Nikon Monarch ATB 10x42 binoculars (valued at more than $300) to be given away in a random drawing after the season closes.
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