Trophy Buck Threesome

These stories will get you fired up and determined to spend a few more hours in the stand as this season winds to a close.

The number three has become a rather significant digit for me. I have THREE daughters who have presented me with THREE grandsons. It was after bagging my THIRD subspecies of wild turkey gobblers that I decided to go for the Grand Slam, which I completed in ’03.

I was born in the THIRD month of the year during the decade that begins with the number THREE. My wife and I will soon be married twenty-THREE years; we have had THREE dogs as house pets since we married, and the latest, Rufus, will be THREE his next birthday.

I could go on, but you’re probably already getting bored, so let me hasten to say that the number three has significance not only to me but to Louisiana’s deer hunters as well.

How so, you might ask? Unless you count hurling spears and throwing rocks, there are THREE basic methods Louisiana’s deer hunters employ to bag deer.

Bow hunting has become an increasingly popular sport for a number of deer hunters in Louisiana. Folks who use the stick and string to down deer enjoy a lengthy season, running from early October in most parts of the state until the end of January.]

Another method of hunting has enjoyed a surge in popularity as well in recent years. Whereas the muzzleloader was once a genuine primitive weapon, given the necessity of ramming a round ball and patch down the barrel, drizzling a measure of black powder into the pan and igniting the charge with a spark from a piece of flint, today’s muzzleloaders are anything but primitive. They are armed with jacketed sabot slugs, compressed pellets of synthetic powder that is set off by a primer. These modern-day front-end stuffers even come equipped with high-powered scopes.

Rounding out the armament utilized by deer hunters is one that continues to enjoy the most popularity, the center-fire high-powered rifle.

Perhaps it provides a bit of ointment for my bruised ego that although I seldom see bragging-sized bucks, I am fortunate as an outdoor writer to interview hunters who are successful employing each of these methods of bagging big deer.

Let’s listen to the stories of a few of those hunters who used either bow, muzzleloader or rifle to bring in trophy bucks last season.

Bowhunting story

Forty-eight-year-old Tammy Lemoine of Mansura is a medical technician working at the hospital in Marksville. Because of his profession, he is in close contact with doctors at the hospital, one of which has access to about 6,000 acres of prime deer habitat, located adjacent to the Lake Ophelia National Wildlife Refuge, an area known for producing big bucks.

“There are 13 paying members on this club, and I help them manage the property,” Lemoine explained. “This area contains some 2,000 acres of farmland with the balance being hardwood bottomlands with some sloughs and ridges.

“The property has some really big deer; in fact, one was seen this past season that sported 12 points and was estimated to score around 190. Nobody was able to get a shot at him, however.

“I have put down my rifle to concentrate on bowhunting because it’s just more challenging. With a rifle, there is a very good chance you can bag a 150-class or better buck on this property. The rule for the club is it has to score at least 150 to be taken with a rifle, 140 or better for bowhunters.

“I started bowhunting in 1981, hunted a lot of public lands and killed a lot of deer. However, back then we shot what we saw. It is rewarding now on our place to wait and select the deer you want to shoot instead of taking the first one that comes by.

“Last season, I hunted our club, and actually saw the deer I got two different times. That’s the great thing about bowhunting; you get to see a lot of deer you don’t shoot while you wait for just the right opening.

“On Jan. 16, I decided to use a climbing stand in an area where I’d found some fresh sign of what I felt was the buck I’d already seen twice. It was drizzling rain with temperature in the mid-40s, and I had the wind in my favor.

“I looked up to see a doe eating red oak acorns next to my stand. Then I saw the big boy about 35 yards away keeping his eye on the doe while he picked up acorns. About that time, something spooked the doe — it was probably a falling acorn — and she ran off about 30 yards. I thought the game was over because the buck was on full alert.

“The doe came back, and the buck settled down and began feeding on acorns again. He stepped into an opening at 28 yards, I put my 30-yard pin on him, hit him in the spine, and he dropped in his tracks. I’d say the third time to see him was charmed for me.”

Lemoine’s buck, a 10-point weighing 225 pounds, green-scored 164 3/8 B&C points. Biologists aged him at 6 ½ years old.

Gun hunt story

With a last name like Savoie, just about everybody in the state assumes he grew up in South Louisiana, where the name is pronounced Sav-WAH. Not in this case, however.

While Butch Savoie’s family roots run deep in South Louisiana soil, he grew up in redneck country in North Louisiana.

“My dad was a Baptist preacher who spent 33 years pastoring the McClendon Baptist Church in West Monroe. I grew up there, went to Northeast (now ULM) and after graduation, attended law school at LSU,” Savoie explained. “We pronounce our name the way it’s spelled — Sa-VOIE.

“My wife married right out of high school, had three children before her husband was killed in an accident. I knew her in high school; in fact, I was voted Mister West Monroe High School; she was Miss West Monroe High School.

“After we married and I finished law school, we decided to relocate to Pineville, where I have a law practice. I would come back to hunt on land I’d always hunted near Farmerville, but eventually, the drive became an inconvenience so I looked for a place closer to Pineville.

“I’m in a lease at Wildsville near Jonesville, and we hunt about 500 acres of old palmetto swampland hardwoods. There is a 70-acre cotton field bordered by a strip of WRP land and about 150 acres of good hardwoods.

“Friday, Jan. 13, ended up being a very ‘lucky’ day for me, but it didn’t start out that way.

“I had a court appointment that ended mid-afternoon, so I hurried out to the lease, went into the camp pulling off tie and coat and jumping into my hunting clothes. I got to the camp about 4 p.m. and was on my stand by 4:15.

“I saw my first deer at around 5 p.m., and at 5:30, I was watching six does in the field, looking at them with my binoculars.

“A minute or so later, I put down the binocs, casually glanced out the other window of my stand, and there he stood, less than 50 yards away. I reached for my gun and about that time, my cell phone goes off. I had it on ‘vibrate’ but the deer heard the buzz sound and took off. He ran about 50 yards, I grunted with my mouth, he stopped and I shot him.

“Our club has an 8-point rule, but once I saw him, I knew I didn’t have to count because he was definitely a shooter.”

Savoie’s “lucky Friday 13 buck” sported 16 points, had a 22 6/8-inch inside spread and was estimated to weigh around 250 pounds. It was green-scored at 193 B&C points.

Muzzleloader story

Jimmy Comeaux teaches and coaches at Franklin High School in Winnsboro, and he is an avid black-powder hunter.

“I hunt on my father-in-law’s land, which consists of about 1,000 acres. Our rule for the land, which is hunted mostly by family members, is that we try to fill our doe tags, and except for the kids, we don’t shoot any buck we don’t want to mount. That causes us to be very selective on the bucks we shoot,” said Comeaux.

“On the afternoon of Jan. 27, near the end of deer season, I sat on a ladder stand, but three armadillos rooting around the stand all afternoon really disturbed me. I decided at the last minute to get down and move to a box stand overlooking one of our fields and leave the ladder stand to the armadillos.

“All of a sudden, a deer appeared in the field. I didn’t see him walk in. I was looking at him, a small 8-point, with my binoculars when a big one walked through the view of my binoculars. I had seen this deer around New Years chasing a doe, and felt it was the same one. He was a real hoss of a deer.

“He was challenging the smaller buck, walking around stiff-legged and bristled out. I put the crosshairs on him and squeezed the trigger. All I heard was a ‘fzzzzz’ sound as the powder burned. I’d forgotten to put a bullet in the gun!

“Fortunately, the buck was concentrating so hard on the other buck that he didn’t hear my misfire, which gave me time to quickly reload, get the scope on him again and fire. I hit him in the neck, and he dropped in his tracks.”

Comeaux’s buck green-scored 170 4/8, sported 14 points, was 19 ½ inches wide inside with 26 ½-inch main beams, 6 ¼-inch bases, and was determined to have only been 3 ½ years old. The buck weighed 210 pounds.

What’s your favorite number? For Louisiana deer hunters, it could be the sum of the methods used each year to take deer in the state. And that comes out to a pretty awesome THREE-some.

About Glynn Harris 459 Articles
Glynn Harris is a long-time outdoor writer from Ruston. He writes weekly outdoor columns for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of state and national magazines and broadcasts four outdoor radio broadcasts each week. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his 47 year career.

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