If you don’t think Union Parish deer hunting is in the spotlight, consider this: The parish has its own exclusive big buck contest, which is sponsored by the local chamber of commerce.
Only bucks killed in Union Parish may be entered in this competition.
To take part, you must purchase a $10 ticket from the chamber or a local business before you go hunting.
The winner takes home a $1,000 check and a 6-foot trophy (the metal and plastic kind) plus his deer trophy.
At the end of the year, area hunters come together for the Big Buck Banquet to celebrate the winners, raise money to promote hunting and outdoor activities and, yes, talk about deer hunting.
Last year, more than 450 hunters attended. And the neat thing is that they were not just bearded, scruffy men: There were women, children and whole families.
State Deer Program Manager Scott Durham was the guest speaker.
And the parish deer hunters have theirs own Facebook page — just search for “Buck Report Union Parish.”
Kelly “Dump” Patrick, one of the page’s administrators, explained the site.
“We really started it so people could share information, and if anybody needed help — like tracking a wounded deer, locating a hunter late coming home, lost hunting dog, etc. — they could post it on Facebook and somebody nearby could come and help,” Patrick said. “It’s ended up being for that and people sharing a lot of stuff that is interesting to hunters.
“The page has nearly 4,000 followers, and a lot more people who just look.”
Earlier this summer, a hunter new to the area and his wife got turned around in the woods. It was 105 degrees, and he was out of water and beginning to dehydrate. He posted his estimated location on Facebook and within minutes it was shared and people responded.
The couple were found and back in good shape fairly quickly.
“It has helped some people, and it has called attention to the hunting,” Patrick said. “People all the time say ‘Hey, I saw that on the Buck Report.’ It’s a good thing.”