LABH Exclusive: Lafayette Hunter Downs Buck He Previously Passed

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!”

Derek’s Equipment

Bow: Mathews Halon

Broadhead: Rage Trypan

Stand: Millennium M150

Pro Shop: Bayouland Bowhunters




Haynesville Man Cited for Deer Hunting Violations

From Press Release:

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Haynesville man for alleged deer hunting violations on Oct. 28 in Claiborne Parish.

Agents cited Roy W. Odom, 66, taking over the daily bag limit of antlerless deer and failing to comply with deer tagging requirements.

Agents received a public tip about a man cleaning two doe deer at a shop near Haynesville around 10 p.m. Agents responded to the scene and found Odom currently cleaning one doe with another uncleaned doe on the ground next to him.

During questioning, Odom admitted to harvesting both does earlier in the day. Hunters are only allowed one antlerless and one antlered deer per day during either sex dates in the area Odom was hunting.

Agents also found both deer without the required deer tags.

Possessing over the daily bag limit of deer brings a $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Failing to comply with deer tagging requirements carries a $100 to $350 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Odom may also face up to $3,250 in civil restitution for the replacement value of the deer.

Agents involved in the case are Corporal Bryant Coburn and Lt. Kenneth Balkom.

Leaving Too Early Almost Cost Hunter 275 lb Bruiser

Taylor Hance, a contributor for LABH and half of the Whitetail Widow Makers Team with his fiance Krystle lives and hunts in heart of Louisiana’s big buck country. The buck he specifically targeted and named “Bodacious”, after the PBR bull, is a perfect example of the relationship between soil quality and whitetail body size. The more fertile the soil, the more nutritious the plants. This higher level of nutrition through native forage, hard mast and agriculture can be seen directly in the local deer herd. For example: a 3 yr old buck in SWLA parishes which have sandy, acidic soil and are dominated by pine plantations will average 140 lbs. Where in the River Parishes, Madison, Tensas, Concordia, and Avoyelles the same age buck will average 30-40 pounds heavier and is not uncommon to tip the 200 lb mark in another year or 2. These 4 parishes also maintain a sizable lead in producing the most Boone and Crockett bucks killed in the state.

Taylor hunts 700 acres of private property in Madison Parish that bumps up to Tensas NWR. This is his first year hunting it so he had to do a lot of scouting, trail camera surveying, and information gathering from other current and former hunters familiar with the property.

“I started getting pics of the buck in January. Another guy in the club had been getting pictures of him for 3 years, but no one had ever seen him in person and all of their pictures were at night.  They told me he was unkillable. I don’t like being told I can’t do something… so he immediately became my #1 hitlist buck. I was determined to prove them wrong.”

“It was Sunday, October 22. We slept in late that morning. It was the youth hunt weekend and I had hunted with my fiances’ son the day before. A big rain hit so we decided to stay home that morning. The rain cleared out about 3:30 that afternoon.  I was watching the weather closely as I caught the end of the Saints game before heading out. I got to the woods and began heading to my stand about 4:30 pm. I know a lot late. I actually saw one of my target bucks on the way to my spot. So, I set up on the side of the road but the wind swirled and he busted me. I didn’t get to my stand until almost 5:30 pm. It was a short uneventful hunt. I hadn’t seen anything. All I could think about was having to wake up for work in the morning and needing to check cameras and cut a nagging limb after I climbed down.”

Taylor began packing up a few minutes early to finish his “chores” and to ensure he got home at a decent time. He put his quiver back on his bow, then took the arrow and release off.

“I began pulling up my bow rope and movement caught my eye. I immediately knew it was a big deer. I grabbed my binos to get a good look; it was a big buck! Luckily the tree I’m in is full of foliage and it masked my movement well. I put everything back on my bow as slowly and quietly as possible and drew back.” A tedious and daunting task, he described.  “It was getting dark and I was having a hard time seeing my pin. After centering everything I finally let it fly. I felt like I hit him farther back than I wanted. I climbed down to inspect the ground where he once stood. No blood at the sight of impact. My arrow was broken in 3 pieces, only 2 of which I could find. (The 3rd ended up being inside the deer.) I walked towards the direction he headed and found good blood a few yards away from the impact sight.  Blood trail was spotty beyond that so I backed out and had a sleepless, miserable night. I went back the next morning and began trailing him. I saw where he had laid down and got back up multiple times so I’m glad I let him lay. I found him in the thickest palmettos you can imagine in a 300 yard semi circle from where I shot him. ” Taylor unknowingly had killed his #1 hit-list buck, the unkillable “Bodacious” that tipped the scales at 275 pounds even. He gross scored 124 4/8″ as he was obviously old and on the decline.  Taylor’s taxidermist estimates the bruiser to be at least 8 years old. An 8 year old, 275 pound buck with a bow has to be one of the most impressive kills I’ve seen in recent years come out of Louisiana. Big Congrats Taylor!


Taylor’s Equipment

Bow: Mathew Halon

Arrow: Gold Tip Kinetic Pierce

Broadhead: Dead Ringer Super Freak

Stand: Advanced Treestands S2 Lock On

Essentials: LABH Grunt Call, Multus Deer Drag, HSS Harness and Lifeline

Maurepas Swamp WMA Reopened to Deer Hunters

From News Report

Oct. 19, 2017 – Deer hunting season in the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) has been reopened, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced. The season was halted on Oct. 8 by a flood benchmark closure.

The benchmark closure, enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, closes deer hunting in the WMA when the flood gauge reaches 3.0 feet mean sea level, and reopens to deer hunting when water levels recede to 2.5 feet msl following a closure.

Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of two tracts totaling 124,568 acres in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west of Sorrento. For more information, go to .

For more information on hunting regulations for Maurepas Swamp WMA contact Jillian Day at or 985-543-4777.

Grant Parish Yields Giant Public Land 8 Point

19 year old Bobby Albert, of Colfax, had a hunch about the spot that he picked. He scouted the nearby section of the public land about a month before the season and found large cedar trees that had been “absolutely shredded” from last year up and down an old fire break. After locating the massive rub-line he began to make his plan of attack surveying the landscape for the perfect place for his climber.

“I knew it had to be a big buck making those rubs. They were huge. I just didn’t know he was gonna be this big,” said Albert. “I set up next to a steep bluff that forced the deer around into a natural pinch point before they would hopefully make their way down the old fire break and in front of multiple places that would allow me to shoot. I hunted opening morning without seeing anything and walked out early to head to church. I jumped a deer walking out that morning. I hunted the same tree again Monday evening and saw 3 bucks. One of them was a nice 8 point but I couldn’t ever get a shot. I hunted that spot 6 times, out of the same tree, before seeing this buck. “

“It was so hot yesterday I knew the wind had to be right for me to even have a chance at seeing anything. I was soaked in sweat. It wasn’t until right before dark that I could hear something walking. It was a very cautious and careful walk. I would hear 2 or 3 steps and then stop. Then another few steps and a long pause again. It felt like it took forever before I was going to get a glimpse of him and light was fading fast. I finally saw him just before he stepped into an opening that gave me a clear 30 yard shot. Shooting time was almost over, ” he said anxiously as he recalled the event.  Bobby drew his bow and upon his own admittance made a perfect shot with a complete pass through watching the arrow stick in the ground just beyond the now fatally wounded buck.


“I immediately called my good buddy Hunter who was hunting nearby to get some help tracking. We didn’t have to look hard. I was sure I heard the deer crash shortly after the shot. The deer didn’t end up going 50 yards from where I shot him. I gotta give all the glory to God for letting me shoot such a big buck like this one.”

The Albert buck was unofficially scored at 143 2/8″ with 13 1/4″ G2’s and a 19″ inside spread.


Bobby’s Equipment

Bow: Bowtech Assassin,

Arrow: Gold Tip Pro Hunter

Broadhead: Grim Reaper

Stand: Game Winner Climber


Submit your kill photos to the Louisiana Bowhunter Facebook page for your chance to win a monthly prize package and check out more stories, news, and info at



Deer Season Closed in Maurepas Swamp WMA


Rising flood waters in the Maurepas Swamp Wildlife Management Area (WMA) have triggered an automatic deer hunting season closure. The benchmark closure, enacted by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, closes deer hunting in the WMA when the flood gauge reaches 3.0 feet.

It will remain closed until the gauge falls below 2.5 feet. Deer hunting season is currently limited to archery only in the WMA and only bucks may be harvested.

Maurepas Swamp WMA, which consists of two tracts totaling 122,098 acres in Ascension, Livingston, St. John the Baptist, St. James and Tangipahoa parishes, is located approximately 25 miles west of New Orleans along the south shore of Lake Maurepas west of Sorrento. For more information, go to .

Video Mode Credited for Killing LA Giant

Dr. Frank Sullivan has been a Dentist in St Francisville for 20+years. Some of the techniques and lessons he has learned and practiced with your teeth help him have success in the deer woods too. Patience, delicacy, and not making mistakes are keys to success in both worlds. Let me tell you what he means by that.

Frank has known about this buck for over a year. He was a big main frame 10 last fall with long blades for G 2’s as he described. “I saw him a few times last year. He got hit by a car right before the rut and we thought he had died. We looked and looked after that but had no luck finding him. A few weeks later I caught a glimpse of him and was relieved he had survived. That’s when I began studying him. ”

“From the buck’s injury his rack grew at least 80 inches over the summer”, said Sullivan. “He absolutely blew up.” Dr. Sullivan located the buck again about 5 weeks ago. He told himself then, that if he didn’t get this deer due to something he did wrong that it would be completely unacceptable. So he began doing what he does best, being patient, careful to not make a mistake, and delicate in his plan. “My Browning trail cameras are 100% the reason I killed this deer. I began running them all in video mode to be able to study the movement and behavior of this buck. Not only him, but especially the bucks around him. I learned countless characteristics and tendencies about him and the bucks with him that you just can’t get with pictures. Sure, it runs your battery down a little faster and fills up the cards faster but it’s worth it. Video is why I knew these deer so well. Period.”

After a few uneventful sits earlier in the week a card pull on Wednesday changed his mind about waiting any longer to hunt him. Frank got set up Thursday evening, October 5th, and his first action came when he saw a few coyotes. “We’ve got a serious coyote problem,” he regretfully expressed. “Around 5:50 pm a few small bucks came into view. Then my buck caught my eye. It was the first time I had seen him this year without velvet. It was a pretty special sight. He grazed into 20 yards and I came to full draw. At that moment something spooked them. He ran back to the edge of the woods with the others. After a few uneasy minutes that felt like forever another mature buck came out and caused the rest of the deer to relax. My buck walked into 24 yards and turned broadside as if he was following a written script perfectly. It was a textbook situation and shot. A well placed arrow put him down less than 30 yards from where I hit him.”


Frank’s Equipment List

Hoyt Carbon Element, Carbon Express Maxima, Montec Fixed Blade, Millennium Stand





LA Deer Season Starts with a Giant

Geoffrey Henry, of Start, LA, had quite an opening week of the 2018 Louisiana deer season. He has been hunting his private property in Richland Parish for a few years now. “We’ve seen a few 150’s but nothing like this guy”, he explained. Geoff also mentioned that his biggest deer before October 3, 2017 was a buck about 120″.

“I started getting pictures of the buck about 3 months ago. I got a trail cam picture of him in the back of a field in early summer and I could tell he was a good one, just not how good. So, I started feeding heavy in that spot. Shortly after he started coming in to the feed and I got a real good look at him.” Henry went on to say that he got numerous pictures of the buck over the next few weeks in daylight. “A smaller buck began hanging out with him and they began to run all the other bucks off. They were very aggressive”, he said. A week or so before opening day he went completely nocturnal. Not 1 picture even close to daylight. But that didn’t stop Geoffrey from hunting this giant. On the first 3 days of the season Geoff saw 25 deer. He let 25 deer walk waiting on the big one to be # 26!

Early Tuesday morning around 7:45 am Geoff pulled out his grunt call and rattling bag. “I made a few short, soft grunts, then rattled lightly. I waited a few minutes then I picked up the bag again. I had just touched them together for another sequence and some movement caught my eye. It was the little buck the big one had been hanging out with! I immediately got ready. The big one was in-tow about 50 yards behind. Both of them came running in looking ready to fight. They came to 20 yards but were always facing directly at me. They turned to walk away and stopped broadside at 35 yards. I shot him and watched him fall maybe 40 yards from the point of impact. I immediately called my wife to tell her I had got him!”

Geoff admitted he thought the deer was bigger based on the trail cam photos, but he knew even so that he had killed a trophy in any state, much less Louisiana. The Henry buck scored 192 1/8″ at Simmon’s Sporting Goods and scored again by Cecil Reddick, an official Buckmasters scorer, at 202 3/8″.


Geoffrey’s Equipment List

Mathews z7 Extreme

Carbon Express Maxima Hunter 250

Rage Trypan


Submit your kill photos to the Louisiana Bowhunter Facebook page for your chance to win a monthly prize package and check out more stories, news, and info at


Importation Ban Regulations with Video How-To

Hunters traveling into LA from TX via I-10 can drop off deer to be caped and transported across state lines legally at 4450 I-10 W., Orange, TX, 77632. (Just East of McCoy’s)


LADWF Provides Free Online Trapping Course

From News Release

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has partnered with the Louisiana Trappers and Alligator Hunters Association and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies to provide a free, voluntary online trapper education course found at: 

This course covers important topics such as Louisiana trapping regulations, best management practices, and trapping safety. It provides context for today’s trapping industry with a section dedicated to the history of trapping and a section on the role that trapping plays in furbearer and land management. It provides practical instructions on running a trap-line and covers the various types of traps and their uses as well as other trapping equipment. The last unit introduces the participant to the market value of furbearers and touches upon the processing of the fur, meat, and glands. A list of licensed Louisiana fur dealers is also included to assist new trappers entering the industry.

Trapper education is not mandatory in Louisiana, but the information provided in this free course can help current trappers improve their knowledge or provide new trappers with the basic background of the industry. The purpose of this course is to increase active trapper numbers, provide basic trapping knowledge, and teach ethical and law-abiding behavior, as well as to instill public confidence and maintain public support for trapping as a wildlife management tool.

For more information contact Jennifer Manuel at or 337-373-0032.