That deer has been estimated to score more than 175 inches Boone & Crockett.
It was opening day of primitive firearms season on Buckhorn WMA, and the 38-year-old Davis was hunting with his .45-70. Although Davis belongs to a hunting club in Madison Parish, he has hunted Buckhorn regularly since the area opened.
"I really like this area," he said. "My friends and I have hunted here for a long time, and we've killed some nice deer on the area. Buckhorn has a good population of deer, and the habitat is the type that is going to hold some really good deer."
According to the description of the area posted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, Buckhorn fits exactly the scenario that allows deer to grow to maturity. One phrase in describing the area stands out "understory extremely dense," and it was in just that type of area that Davis hung his climbing stand before daylight that Saturday morning.
"I sat and watched the thick palmetto and the small openings within it until 9 that morning without seeing the first deer," Davis explained. "Then I saw a doe and spike making their way through the thick stuff. Ten minutes later, two more does came through."
While he was watching the does, something else caught his eye. Movement in the palmettos behind those two deer caused Davis' attention to refocus.
"The first thing I saw was a glimpse of a buck's rack as it stepped through a small opening, but then all was quiet; I didn't see or hear anything for awhile," Davis said. "Frankly, I was getting nervous because the glimpse I had let me know this was a good buck, but I was beginning to wonder what happened to him."
Fortunately for Davis, the next movement he saw was the buck stepping into a tiny opening. The hunter centered the crosshairs on the deer's shoulder and fired.
"The buck dropped right there. I waited awhile to be sure he was down before getting down and checking him out," he said. "I didn't realize just how big he was until I walked up on him, and it was hard for me to believe what I was looking at."
The buck was impressive. Thirteen scorable points adorned the massive palmated rack that measured 17 inches between the two main beams. The buck, which Davis said was rutted down, tipped the scales at 210 pounds.
The deer was entered in Simmons Sporting Goods' big buck contest with a score of 176 4/8 inches, good enough at this writing to lead the "muzzleloader" division of the contest by some 5 inches over the nearest competitor.
"This one will go on the wall for sure, as it is the biggest most impressive buck I ever killed," Davis said.
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