Mr. Garry Ward was an absolute pleasure to talk with. A life long resident of Crowville, LA. You already know he has the heads up on where the big boys roam. Plus he camps with Ricky Caldwell. You may remember his face behind another massive buck from this area. So now you know his buddies know where the big boys are too! What you didn't know is that Garry has been hunting the same area since he was 6 years old. This tract of public land used to be Madison Recreation Hunting Club.
"We had camps all over that place. No electricity, no running water. Just good ole boys doing what we loved. I killed my first buck there when I was 6 years old. My dad sat me on a log with a 20 gauge and walked off and left me. I shot a 6 point that morning!"
On the fateful day for this record book buck, Mr. Ward chose to take his Horton Havok Crossbow to the woods.
"I have a compound bow that I've killed with, and I have my crossbow. I don't care if its a long bow or whatever. You're still slinging an arrow at a deer. A bow is a bow."
He had no clue that this particular buck was in the area he was hunting. He picked the spot for the plentiful Pin Oaks and the daunting rubs he had seen. "Some of the rubs were as big as my leg."
"I had seen a couple of small bucks earlier in the week but nothing huge. The warm weather has kept the good ones down. I sat all morning Friday and didn't see a thing until 10:45 am. 2, 4 points and a 7 point came running through a few minutes apart, aparently on a hot doe. They had their heads down grunting, and tails half way up."
At noon Mr. Ward got down to meet his son and grab a quick bite to eat. He hurried back to his strategically placed Summit climber soon after and began his afternoon sit.
It was 5:10 pm with light fading. "Lord I guess if we're gonna do something we better do it now. I don't see well after 5," he prayed. Barely finishing up his chat with the Lord he caught a glimpse of a "glob" of deer.
"I thought, "That suckers 2 foot wide. But somethings wrong with him.'" He described his first peek at the deer.
The buck came in on a string. "He was inhaling the acorns almost as if he was eating as fast as he could." At 19 yards the buck turned broadside and per his own words he made a, "textbook shot."
The buck ran about 40 yards and fell. "Once I reached the buck I brightened up my headlight to get a good look at him. "Oh My! I've killed a giant." Were his first audible words after laying eyes on the beast.
They guessed him to weigh 170 pounds and to be a fairly young deer at an estimateed 3 1/2 years old. Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop scored this buck at 192 5/8" while T.P. Outdoors in Monroe scored it at a stagering 213 7/8". The buck has 21 scorable points.
"It took me 52 years to kill a deer like this. If the good Lord willing and I ever kill another one the first thing I'll do is throw my phone in a mudhole. Then I'll wait until everyone leaves and sneak him out. Then a few days later I can tell people about the deer I shot. It has been crazy."
Mr. Ward is retiring September 25th of next year, not that he's counting. But I'm willing to bet he's got big deer in his future with more time off on its way! As for where he falls in the record books, we will have to wait for the antlers to dry and for an official scorer to get a hold of him.
*This buck is the potential new #1 in the LA State record book for crossbow kills. (per LA Sportsman)