Thursday marks the opening of bow season for the majority of hunters across Louisiana — a day folks have circled on their calendars since last winter.
Weeks and months of scouting, choosing the best stand location, planting food plots — along with plenty of trail cam study and lots of target practice — will hopefully result in hunters bringing down some big bucks this year.
So as hunters head out to their stands with renewed optimism and hope for the what the future holds in the coming months, we thought we’d take a look back at some of the best bucks taken down by Louisiana hunters last season.
Our own “Throwback Thursday,” if you will, big-buck style.
• Dakota Kennedy’s 160-class Washington Parish 11-point
An after-school hunt one day last January resulted in Dakota Kennedy dropping a heavy-horned 11-pointer that hunters in Washington Parish had captured on their trail cams for years.
Kennedy, a 16-year-old junior at Pine High School at the time, dropped the buck as it picked at corn still on the shuck in a field not far from his house.
The wily old buck, aged at 7 ½ years, had been seen on camera exactly once during daytime hours in four years.
For the full story on Kennedy’s 11-pointer, click here.
• Terri Brown’s Madison Parish monster
Terri Brown got her Christmas present a day early last year — when she downed a 15-point Madison Parish buck on Dec. 24 that measured 208 ⅜ inches Buckmaster.
Brown, of Tallulah, was hunting on her husband’s 3,000-acre farm and ranch in Madison Parish when a buck she had been seeing on her trail cams finally showed up during an afternoon hunt.
The buck was actively trailing a doe, but finally stopped and turned, and Brown’s 200-yard shot with her 7 mm found its mark.
To read more about how this big 6 ½-year-old deer finally went down, click here.
• Shane Ezell’s 190-class non-typical
This is a story of a hunter whose patience was rewarded with a real wall-hanger.
Shane Ezell had been hunting a small tract of land in Grant Parish since the opening day of bow season last year, and didn’t see a single deer until Nov. 29.
And that day, just as legal shooting time was winding down, a big buck he didn’t even know existed appeared with a group of does at 200 yards.
The 200-pound non-typical buck, which Ezell knocked down with his .308, was scored as a 23-, 24- and 25-pointer that ranged from 192 to 201 inches.
For the full story of the hunt, click here.
• Benton hunter drops 180-inch palmated “Moose buck” in Arkansas
Clay Toms was hunting near Canfield, Ark. last November when a big buck everybody called “Moose” crossed his path.
The deer was well known on game cameras in the area, but Toms had never seen the big buck in person until he saw it chasing a doe from his box stand.
One shot later from his Thompson Center .270, and the 250-pounder was down.It’s 21-point heavily palmated rack was estimated to be in the 180-inch range.
For more on the “Moose,” click here.
• “Super Six” — with 24-inch inside spread — falls in Red River Parish
Zach Hester had already taken a nice 8-pointer on a trail along Liberty Creek in Red River Parish on opening day last year, and got the chance for another special buck on Nov. 24.
That’s when a giant 6-pointer stepped into the crosshairs of his scope on his Savage .308 at about 80 yards, and the big buck only ran about 40 yards before going down.
The buck was rough-scored in the 120-inch range, but had an eye-popping inside spread of 23 ⅝ inches.
For the whole super story on the “Super Six” buck, click here.