The 2012-13 hunting season opened with real promise, as the past couple of years produced dozens of absolute hammer bucks.
Almost 50 of these trophies hit the ground during the 2011-12 season — and that's just the ones we found out about.
And with some huge bow-killed deer hitting the ground as the 2012-13 season kicked into high gear. However, by late November, that promise seemed to fade.
As of late December, Louisiana Sportsman had discovered less than half the number of trophy bucks as the prior season.
Warm weather probably accounted for much of this fall-off, and a serious outbreak of hemorrhagic disease didn't help.
But the January rut kicked in as usual, and another round of big deer began stacking up.
And even if the overall numbers were down a bit from past years, there were still some genetic freaks that were killed.
Here's a rundown of the top 25 bucks taken during the 2012-13 hunting season as of mid January.
Father-daughter time turns into trophy kill when 15-year-old shoots 200-inch buck
Determined bowhunter takes Avoyelles Parish 10-point
Winnsboro electrician short-circuits 170-class public-land deer
Despite comedy of errors, hunter arrows 205 class buck
Leton hunter takes 190-inch 14-point
East Carroll Parish trifecta produces more than 500 inches of antlers
Long shot puts 165-class Lincoln Parish deer on the ground
Cold front pushes 170-inch Lincoln Parish buck to hunter
Scent bomb brings 170-inch Webster Parish buck right to stunned hunter
Three-year quest worth the wait for 170-class buck
St. Tammany 9-point could be biggest in parish, state deer records show
Giles Island buck measures 242 inches
Foggy hunting trip ends with Vernon Parish trophy deer
Pair of Winn Parish bucks fall to father, son on same day from same stand
East Baton Rouge doe hunt ends with 160-inch buck
165-inch Claiborne Parish buck completes 'buddy trifecta'
Big deer dubbed 'Bambi' killed in Winn Parish
Persistence pays off with 150-class Bienville Parish buck
Hunter's big buck reveals son-in-law's secret
Tunica Hills doe hunt ends with 160-inch buck
Jackson Bienville WMA gives up 150-class buck
Buck of a lifetime comes for 61-year-old Minden hunter
Corney Bottom yields monster 8-point
Gut feeling leads to 150-inch Claiborne Parish buck
150-inch 16-pointer falls to DeSoto Parish hunter
Ruston insurance agent kills Union Parish buck scoring nearly 150 inches