Always a show highlight, popular Big Buck Contest is back

There’s lots of good news for the Louisiana Sportsman Show and Festival this year, including the return of a very popular part of the show — the Big Buck Contest, sponsored by Louisiana Land Bank.

First, for deer hunters. You get to bring your big bucks to the show once again and enter them in the Big Buck Contest. And, because of the delays caused by the pandemic, deer from several seasons can be entered.

Second, for everybody in attendance. You get to see some of the biggest deer taken in Louisiana up close and personal. It’s always a highlight of the show. The Big Buck Contest will once again be under the direction of Louisiana Sportsman columnist and former LDWF Deer Study Leader David Moreland.

Hunters can bring their trophies to the popular show and enter the contest. Bucks killed during the 2020/21 Deer Season, the 2021/22 Deer Season and the 2022/23 Deer Season can be entered in the contest. However,  bucks that were entered in other buck contests around the state during these past seasons and were winners at these contests are not eligible to enter the contest.

Bucks will be officially scored based on the Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young scoring system.

The person with the highest scoring deer gets $1,000, while first place for each category will net $300, second place for each category gets $200, and third place will receive $100.

Winning divisions

Winners will be named in the following categories:

  • Best Louisiana Gun
  • Best Louisiana Bow
  • Best Out-of-State Gun
  • Best Out-of-state Bow
  • Best Youth (age 15 or younger, any weapon)
  • Best Muzzleloader/Crossbow
  • Best Mississippi Gun
  • Best Mississippi Bow

It is important to note that the deadline to enter the contest is 3 p.m., Saturday, March 18. No exceptions will be made.

This should allow time for all the bucks that have been entered to be officially scored. I would suggest you take the time to rough score your buck. Typically at any buck contest about 30 percent of the bucks entered will score above 140 typical and probably only about 15 percent of the non-typical bucks entered will score above 180. The vast majority of bucks entered score around 100 to 130 typical; those are good quality bucks that many hunters would mount.

We will have more information about the contest and prizes closer to the show itself. Remember, a big buck contest is really not about hunters winning prizes. The contest is about showing the hunting community that quality and even trophy class bucks can be produced in Louisiana and surrounding states with sound deer management practices, good hunting strategies and of course a little luck!

Registration forms for the contest are available online at You can also find updated information about the show there regularly.

We hope to see you — and your big deer — there in March!

Big Buck Contest rules

If your buck has already been officially scored and did not win any previous contests, it can be entered.  Be sure to bring a copy of the scoresheet when you register your buck. Bucks that have been officially scored will not be scored again because this is against the rules for these two national programs.

If your buck was scored based on another scoring system, then it will be measured since the score is not official. Official measurers of these two programs will do the scoring and if your buck qualifies for national recognition, you will be given the paperwork necessary to enter it into their record books. LDWF will be given copies of the scoresheets for those bucks that qualify for state recognition to be entered into the state records.

Bucks will be scored either typical or non-typical with the winner being selected based on the score closest to the minimum score for each category or the score that exceeds the minimum score by the greatest amount. There are not separate divisions for typical or non-typical. A Louisiana gun-killed buck that measured 165 exceeds the minimum score of 160 by five points and would beat a Louisiana non-typical buck that scored 186 because 185 is the minimum score for a non-typical buck.

About Kinny Haddox 595 Articles
Kinny Haddox has been writing magazine and newspaper articles about the outdoors in Louisiana for 45 years. He publishes a daily website, and is a member of the Louisiana Chapter of the Outdoor Legends Hall of Fame. He and his wife, DiAnne, live in West Monroe.