Deer Hunting Season Closure East of U.S. 65 from Arkansas state line to Vidalia, La., Because of Flooding

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 28, 2015

Contact: Trey Iles

Public Information
LDWF

(225) 765-5115

riles@wlf.la.gov

Dec. 28, 2015 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham will close deer hunting season in a portion of northeast and central Louisiana because of flooding from the Mississippi River.

Beginning Sunday January 3rd at official sunset*, deer hunting season will be closed from east of U.S. 65 from the Arkansas state line to Vidalia, La. The season will resume when flooding recedes and conditions allow.

Parishes affected by this include East Carroll, Madison, Tensas and Concordia.

Continued unrestricted hunting under these circumstances poses a potential risk of overharvest of the deer resource and may pose a significant risk to the hunting public because of the increased concentration of hunters in the areas where deer and other wildlife are located.

Barham is acting under authority granted by emergency provisions of R.S. 49:953 of the Administrative Procedure Act and under authority of R.S. 56:115.

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.la.gov or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

*Date was changed from Tuesday December 29.

Whitetail Game Law Violation Fines Increase Petition

Please sign this petition by commenting below with your name and parish of residence and also any comments you may have. Once we reach 25,000 names I will present it to the head of enforcement at LADWF and also our state legislature.

 

We the concerned citizens of Louisiana petition to have whitetail deer related game law violation fines increased with automatic additional hunting privilege suspension for 1 year upon conviction of first offense, and increasing there after up to a statewide, lifetime ban on all hunting and fishing activities. Each game law broken pertaining to intentionally poaching whitetail deer will also carry a minimum restitution of $3,000 per each deer illegally taken in addition to other fines. We value our natural resources and wish to take matters into our own hands to protect them.

 

*These increases are specifically designed for the obvious poaching crimes. ie. night hunting, spotlight use, no possession of tags or license, trespassing, killing over your yearly limit. We are aware honest mistakes are made. We would expect fair judgement to be made per each individual case. Especially those made by hunters within legal hours, who possess all the proper paperwork and  have no prior criminal record. We would also like to address the frequency by which game law violations are dropped and fines lowered in court.

Garry Ward Takes Gnarly Madison Parish Buck

ward 1Mr. 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.ward 2

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)

 

Top 10 Non Typical Taken in Tensas NWR

caldwell buck This obviously non-typical giant was taken on December 18, 2015 in you guessed it, Tensas NWR by Gary Ward of Crowville. This buck will surely be in the top 5 in the state record books once officially scored. More details coming soon.

 

*A mistake was made in the original post using todays date. This buck was killed yesterday 12/18/2015.

Massive Grant Parish Buck Taken After Night-shift.

To kill any deer over 200 pounds in Louisiana is a feat not many can say they have accomplished. But to take a buck with a bow that has a 21 3/4″ inside spread, 24″ main beams, is 5 1/2 years old, AND is over 200 pounds is a whole other level of trophy!cameron1

Wednesday morning , December 2, Cameron Bunting was getting off of his last night shift for the week. As is his tradition, he headed straight to the woods.

“I always head to the duck blind or the deer stand after my last night hitch.”

He got off at 6 am that morning, and if you know your sunrise times, you know that’s a little late to head to the stand. “I hate running late in the mornings, especially on public land. I was walking as fast as I could and decided to stop about 50 yards short of my usual tree since the sun was starting to peak over the horizon,” he expressed.

“I thought I could hear something walking while I was climbing the tree. I tried to climb as fast and as quiet as I could.”

After a short 15 minutes had passed, barely being settled in and comfortable he spotted the buck trotting up the ridge in his direction. He grabbed his Mathews Z7 Extreme loaded with Easton Light-Speeds and NAP Killzone heads.

“He was crossing behind two big oak trees and I saw my opportunity to draw. But he stepped out before I was at full draw and he spotted me. “NOW or NEVER,'” he thought to himself.

At 23 yards the buck took the arrow. But not quite where it was intended. The arrow clipped a branch and veered off a touch to the right, clipping the bucks liver and into his guts.

“First thing I did after the shot was call my Dad. I was hyperventilating! Dad, told me to take deep breathes and wait about an hour. Then ease down, and head to my Uncle John’s house who lived close by and wait for 3-4 hours. My Grandpa and Uncle Brian came over and wanted to help also. So after a few hours we headed back in.”

They found good blood immediately, which was a relief. But that trail lead them over a half a mile into the woods until it eventually ran dry.

“The blood just stopped. So we starter walking in circles until we found more.”

The blood got better once it started again and led them into a creek bottom, but they couldn’t see where the massive buck had crossed.

“We walked up and down the creek in the water trying to find where he came out. He walked in the water about 15 yards then went into what has to be the thickest thicket in the area. You cant see 5 feet in there.”

After fighting through the briers and vines, Cameron caught a glimpse of the white hair in the bucks ears. He ran up to him to find there was no such thing as ground shrinkage on this buck. He was huge!

“He’s the biggest buck I’ve killed in Louisiana by far. It was so cool having my uncles and Grandpa there to experience this roller coaster of emotion with me. Sharing this whole experience with my family and tracking him as a team is what really made this special.”

Cameron had been hunting this same spot for 2 years. He described it as a “Deer Highway Intersection.” 5 different trails all intersect on top of a ridge covered in white oaks. Congrats Cameron on an amazing buck and a successful track!

cameron 3

 

 

Friday the 13th Avoyelles 245# Monster Wasn’t Luck

Christopher Gentry, of Kolin, LA, finally made it to thchris gentry3e woods this past Friday. It seems like every time he had a chance to hunt something came up last minute. It wasn’t just nick knack stuff coming up though, “The Lord reminded me of my priorities”, he said.

“It seemed like every time I’d plan on going to the woods God had other plans for me; someone needed a brother to listen and pray with them, or someone from church would need a helping hand. I was starting to get a little frustrated, but my pastor reminded me to be patient and that the LORD rewards those that are humble and put others first.”

Friday morning started like many other trips, postponement. “I had to stay late for a meeting at work so I didn’t even get to the woods until after 10:00 am”, he regretted.

His buddy Charles went without him that morning and quickly let him know of a great spot with lots of sign that he had located. Once reaching his Avoyelles Parish destination he began to search the newly found piece of paradise full of big buck sign.

“He had the trees torn up in there”, he told. “We both picked out our spots and ended up hunting maybe 75 yards from each other.”

At 3:15 pm the big buck began his route to feed for the evening. It started just a few yards behind Christopher in the thicket.

“I knew it was gonna be bad when he came out behind me. The wind was in my face. So I drew my Mathews No-Cam immediately and waited on my shot. As soon as he got my scent he froze, ” he recalled with a shake in his voice.

At that moment, just 6 seconds after first catching a glimpse of the soon to be famous rack, Christopher sent his VAP arrow tipped with a Rage Hypodermic through both lungs of the 245 pound beast. The shot was at a mere 15 yards.

After hearing the buck crash chris gentry1he waited, and then approached it slowly. “It was the opposite of ground shrinkage! He was huge”, he exclaimed. He text his wife first and said, “I just smoked another big buck!” Christopher is on his third big buck of the past 2 years.

“I give all the glory to God. I know that when I keep Him first, He will bless me. For me its God, then Family, then Hunting.”

This buck toted a whopping 5″ of mass at each base and 21″ main beams. Christopher, when asked if he had anything else he wanted to add,  spoke these words, “Please make sure everyone knows that God gets all the glory. We must do His work first. The rest will happen when its supposed to.”

Seems like this man could teach us all a few things about loving the Lord and finding the monsters that roam Avoyelles Parish.

 

 

By Justin Lanclos

Photos Courtesy of Christopher Gentry

145″ Giant in Grant Parish Taken 10/27/15

ethanGetting off of work at midnight before a planned hunt the next day is pretty rough. But waking up at 6:40 the morning of the hunt is even worse.

Ethan Nugent of Grant Parish didn’t let that stop him. After rushing to the woods, spraying down with ScentAway, and easing into his spot well after shooting light he could finally breathe.

“I’ve only hunted this spot twice before. I had to wait on a northwest wind.” The wind wasn’t enough to keep the mosquitoes off though. “I reached down to slap a mosquito and turn on my Thermacell and noticed some movement in the woods. I hadn’t been in my stand 15 minutes,” he said. He grabbed his range finder and ranged the hole he thought the deer would walk past. It was 35 yards.

“When the buck walked in front of the small opening he looked right at me. I froze. When he put his head back down is when I drew my bow.” He drew his Hoyt Carbon Spyder back and let his Rage Hypodermic eat.

“He was quartering toward me hard. But I knew I hit him good. I heard him crash so I only waited a few minutes because it was drizzling and I didn’t want to risk the blood washing away.”

He followed the trail through the thicket to find his broken arrow and finally to the buck that in his own words, “Had no ground shrinkage.”

“I killed a nice 8 point earlier this season but this is my biggest buck by far, ” he stated. Ethan’s buck was green scored at 145 6/8″ by his uncle Dana.ethan 2

Potential #3 LA Archery buck taken illegally in Avoyelles Parish

IMG_2814First lets be clear. I will not be mentioning the hunter’s name, the lease name, or anyone else involved. I’m here to show you a magnificent specimen of the Louisiana deer herd.

I will not make someone famous for the wrong reasons, or smear anyone over anything. This is not that kind of website. This buck, nicknamed Chuck Norris for his numerous battle scars and seeming invincibility, was killed by a guest on private land Saturday in Avoyelles Parish. The members of the lease and neighboring lease had multiple pictures of old Chuck dating back a few years.

When word of him being killed got around a Wildlife Agent in a  neighboring lease wanted to see him in person. Long story short, the gentleman had no hunting license or tags and apparently wasn’t able to attain one for reasons unknown.

What was he doing in a stand in the first place? You got me. The wildlife Agent scored the buck at 170+ and with all the additional inches of “junk” he topped 200″.

Just a shame that a deer like that will never gain his earned place in the books. IMG_2815

Staying Home Pays Off for Allen Parish Hunter

FB_IMG_1444252252661By Justin Lanclos

It was summer of 2013 when Doug Fruge, of Kinder, first caught a glimpse of the then elusive 3 year old buck. He had multiple night time pictures of him over a span of a few weeks, and then nothing; until 2013 that is. Each year the buck would return to the 1500 acres behind his home near the Calcasieu River to forage, rest up, and prepare for his favorite time of the year. It was Doug’s favorite time of the year too.  “I have a total of 1 daylight picture of this buck in 3 years,” he said.  While Allen parish, located in South Central Louisiana, is not known for its bucks as much as its pine trees, Fruge knew he had a good one in his sights. “I’ve got 5 cameras spread out over the property and I’ve got him on them all.” At 8:40 am, on October 7th, 2015, this crooked hoofed ghost made his last daylight appearance. “I knew it was him when I got him from his crooked hoof. He leaves a funky track. So I’m 99.9% sure this is the guy I’ve been after.” He was hunting the same spot as last year, just a little deeper into the thicket. “It was tight in there,” he described. “When I first caught a glimpse of the deer I knew it was him. The wind was in my face and he circled me first to try and catch my wind. When he put his head down to feed, that’s when I raised my Mathews Chill R loaded with Gold Tip Hunter Pros.” He was almost directly facing away he explained. “At the first hint of an angle I slipped my 125 grain Slick Trick behind his back rib.FB_IMG_1444252261325” Fruge is a very confident shot. He’s a Senior Pro Shooter for Mathews Inc. and practices regularly on his 30 target backyard range. “I knew I made a good shot but sitting there you start second guessing everything. I knew it had to sink because I’m using 125 grain tips I had left over from a previous elk hunt.” The elk sized tip made for a quick kill and Fruge claimed his trophy after nearly 36 months of chasing only him. “I walked to the stand from my house. I’ve got tracks from this deer in my yard. I have a long history with him. It’s just good to finally close the deal after passing so many other deer,” he explained.

Nachitoches Giant Product of QDM Property.

russ 2-Justin Lanclos

Russ Guilliams, of Nachitoches, started his opening morning the same way he had every other year, with a sense of accomplishment after a long summer of checking cameras, surveying bucks on the property, and hanging sets to make sure every detail was just right. Managing a piece of property to maintain a healthy herd takes time and dedication. “I had never seen this buck before. I have pictures of a bunch of other good ones, but he was a surprise.” In his stand well before daylight on opening day he knew he’d have some action when 2 bucks came in just before shooting light; presumably the big 10 and a smaller one.  “They got spooked by something, but came back maybe 20 minutes after daylight.” To have this kind of opportunity 20 minutes into a hunt, on opening day is crazy, if you’re relying on luck. But when you manage your herd like the Guilliam’s do, luck turns into opportunity, and opportunity into a healthy herd with plenty of heavy does and old bucks. “My 3 blade Rage, and Mathews No-Cam did the trick. Come to find out,  Dad had pics of this buck the whole time but never showed them to me,” he laughed. “We do a lot on our property and have been practicing QDM for 22 years. The bucks must be 8 points or better, and we all try to limit out on does every year. 135-140 is the assumed preliminary score of the buck. He is headed to the taxiderminst this weekend for a final count of bone inches. “Our property has produced multiple 140’s, and my russ 1dad killed several in the 160’s and 170’s.” I’ll leave it up to you to decide but the biggest bucks killed in Louisiana this year have not been accidents. They have been allowed to grow old. When asked what else Russ would like to say he quoted, “PS- Thanks for all the hard work Dad.”

To learn more about QDM and the benefits it will have on your hunting experience, or to join the QDMA go to Quality Deer Management Association