The Louisiana Sportsman Big Buck Contest is back, and it's set to be bigger than ever.

This year's contest is set for March 15-17 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales.

The contest, which is free to enter, will be held in conjunction with the Louisiana Sportsman Show at the Lamar-Dixon Center on March 14-17.

And every buck that is entered will represent a chance to win a brand-new Yamaha Grizzly 350 ATV in a random drawing.

And it doesn't require a state-record buck to win: Last year's winner proved that.

Denham Springs' Ron Holden walk — well, drove — away with a Yamaha four-wheeler simply because he swallowed his pride and entered a little 5-point rack into the contest.

"I almost didn't bring my rack in," Holden admitted. "I was kind of embarrassed."

But he wasn't so embarrassed when he hammed it up for the camera after his name was pulled as the winner.

So don't forget to make arrangements to pick up your racks (even if they haven't been mounted yet) from your taxidermist.

The contest is open to all deer that were killed during the 2012-13 hunting season, as well as those killed in the 2011-12 season that haven't been previously scored.

All deer will be scored by certified Boone & Crockett Club and Pope & Young Club scorers. Those deer racks that have completed the mandatory 60-day drying period will receive official scores.

Deer can be entered in eight categories:
• Best Louisiana Gun
• Best Louisiana Bow
• Best Mississippi Gun
• Best Mississippi Bow
• Best Out-of-State Gun
• Best Out-of-State Bow
• Youth
• Muzzleloader or crossbow

Category winners, who will receive custom-made plaques, will be based on comparisons to the B&C or P&Y scores for enrollment in these club's record books.

Take, for instance, a non-typical buck entered into the Best Louisiana Gun category that scores 175 B&C and a typical rack entered into the same category that scores 161 B&C.

The minimum non-typical score required for inclusion in the B&C Award book is 180, while 160 is the minimum for inclusion in the typical division of the B&C's Award book.

That means the typical book would win the Best Louisiana Gun category because it exceeds the minimum score requirement.

The scoring team will be headed up by former Louisiana Deer Study Leader Dave Moreland.

However, representatives of Mississippi's Magnolia Records also will be on hand, making it a great opportunity to have any deer killed in Mississippi measured and added to that state's record books.

Deer must be dropped off at the contest booth during show hours on March 15-16, with racks being displayed on the official Big Buck Board until Sunday.

Click here to read complete rules.

Email questions to andyc@lasmag.com.