Derek Mannina, of Broussard LA, has a couple of options when it comes to taking nice Louisiana bucks. He is on a lease in Winn Parish and also owns some land in Avoyelles. He was raised by the phrase, "Let em go so they can grow." "My Old Man, Johnny Mannina, instilled that saying in my brain," he said. "That saying and the fact that we and our neighbors have agreed together to practice it is 100% the reason we have good deer."
"We have let a bunch of nice bucks walk over the years. We've shot some good ones too. But up until now it's all been with a rife. I picked up a bow 4 years ago and my rifle has been sitting there ever since. This was my fist buck with a bow. I wanted it to be special. I wanted it to be a good one."
On the morning of November 12th Derek was texting a friend from the stand when he got a notification from his Covert trail camera that was just out of sight. "I had just placed that camera there last night! I looked at my notification and it was him. The buck that I had passed last year at 3 1/2 years old and would have scored in the mid 130's." He had not had any pictures of this buck this season until now and was amazed at the growth he achieved in only 1 year.
He knew the buck was just around the corner of the trail so he prepared himself for the shot. Shortly after 7:00 am the buck walked into view at 25 yards. Derek sent his arrow. "The buck ran 20 yards then just stopped and looked around," he described. "I thought I made a bad shot or something but the buck just didn't know he was hit. He quickly buckled and fell to the ground." The buck grew a good 15" over the previous year to an estimated score in the low 150's. Not a bad first buck with your bow!
The whole hunt was a product of patience he explained. "I was raised to not shoot the first thing that walks out. You learn so much more about the animals you pursue by watching them behave and interact with each other. You don't see any of that with them dead on the ground. If you want to kill big bucks or even see big bucks regularly you have to let them get old, especially when they show early potential!"
Bow: Mathews Halon
Broadhead: Rage Trypan
Stand: Millennium M150
Pro Shop: Bayouland Bowhunters