While the number of entries at the 2023 Louisiana Sportsman Big Buck Contest at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales was somewhat low compared to past years, the quality of bucks entered was excellent. The Big Buck Contest was sponsored by the Louisiana Land Bank. Wet and cold weather ruled the day on Friday and Saturday and probably can be blamed for the low turnout.
Brooks Moran of St. Amant had the highest scoring buck of all with the 160 6/8 B&C buck that he killed in Missouri. Brooks’ buck exceeded the minimum Typical score of 160 by 6/8 of an inch. His typical buck barely beat a beautiful Non-Typical Missouri buck killed by Jay Hatcher of Gonzales. Hatcher’s buck scored 184 7/8 and lacked 1/8 of an inch meeting the non-typical minimum of 185.
Tucker Moses of Port Allen won first place in the Youth Division with a nice buck that he killed in West Baton Rouge Parish. Tucker is only eight years old, but is now a veteran deer hunter with his 128 2/8 Typical. Chloe Waddell of Zachary and Abigail Parish of St. Francisville also killed quality Louisiana bucks and represented the female hunters in fine fashion.
Thanks to the hunters who brought in their bucks to be scored and to display for the show attendees. Hats off to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for their work with scoring the deer. Veteran measurers included Tony Vidrine, Keith LaCaze and Steve Smith. These guys are official B&C measurers and can also score for Pope & Young. All racks entered were officially scored and the hunters were given a copy of the scoresheet. The event also provided an opportunity to teach the younger biologists the ins and outs of scoring whitetails.
This was the first time that the show has had a big buck contest since the Covid pandemic and based on the quality bucks entered and the huge crowds that came and saw both trophy and quality whitetails, the future looks bright for having the contest as a part of future shows.
Big Buck Contest Winners
Muzzleloader/Crossbow- Any State
- 1st – Brooks Moran of St. Amant, La – Missouri – 180 4/8 Non- Typical
- 2nd – Eddie Ryan of St. Francisville, La – Louisiana – 147 3/8 Typical
- 3rd – Phillip Fogleman of Sunset, La – Illinois – 142 1/8 Typical
- 1st – Brooks Moran of St. Amant, La – Missouri – 160 6/8 Typical
- 2nd – Jay Hatcher of Gonzales, La – Missouri – 184 7/8 Non-Typical
- 3rd – Keith Scharwath, Sr. of Paulina, La – Missouri – 153 6/8 Typical
- 1st – Ervin Granier of Denham Springs, La- Kansas – 156 1/8 Typical
- 2nd – Robert Koontze of Gonzales, La – Kansas – 149 Typical
- 3rd – Ervin Granier of Denham Springs, La – Texas – 145 4/8 Typical
- 1st – Robert Koontze of Gonzales, La – Jefferson County – 159 6/8 Typical
- 2nd – Robert Koontze of Gonzales, La – Jefferson County – 136 1/8 Typical
Youth – Any State
- 1st – Tucker Moses of Port Allen, La – West Baton Rouge Parish – 128 2/8 Typical
- 2nd – Chloe Waddell of Zachary, La – East Feliciana – 117 Typical
- 3rd – Abigail Parish of St. Francisville, La – West Feliciana – 116 2/8 Typical
Others youth entries:
- Coby Waguespack of Des Allemands, La – Lafourche Parish – 112 2/8 Typical
- Katilyn Naquin of Napoleonville, La – Texas – 97 3/8 Typical
- 1st – Eric Gilley of Lake Charles, La – Avoyelles Parish – 145 3/8 Typical
- 2nd – Eric Gilley of Lake Charles, La – Avoyelles Parish – 121 7/8 Typical
- 1st – Jonathan Waddell of Zachary, La – East Feliciana Parish – 145 4/8 Typical
- 2nd – Karl Magner of Metairie, La – Madison Parish – 133 Typical
- 3rd – Jeffrey Moheng of Destrehan, La – Madison Parish – 123 Typical
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