Jeff Simmons, head guru of Simmons Sporting Goods in Bastrop told me that based on results from that establishment’s annual Big Buck Contest, this was a record year for big bucks taken in Louisiana. I’d have to agree that something special was going on in the woods during deer season 2020-21. I featured 48 of the most impressive bucks taken in Louisiana during this past season in
articles I did for LA Sportsman magazine.
In order to score trophy bucks, measurements are taken in inches of such things as antler mass, number of points and spread between antlers. The magazine gave me a guideline to follow in that for a buck to make the pages or website of LA Sportsman, the minimum total measurement was 140 inches.
Here’s how the 48 bucks I covered panned out. Total number of bucks measuring between 140 and 150 inches were 11; between 150 and 160 inches, 13; 160 to 170 inches, 10; 170 to180 inches, 10; 180 to 190 inches, 1 and the number of giants exceeding 190 inches was 3.
Where were these trophy bucks hanging out and what parishes produced the biggest bucks I was able to cover in my articles? The parish with the highest number of bucks making the magazine may come as a surprise because Lincoln Parish is not necessarily known as a trophy producer. Nevertheless, I wrote about seven bucks that were taken in Lincoln Parish.
Next in line was Tensas parish with five bucks followed by Richland Parish with four, including the big daddy of them all, a 42 point buck taken with a crossbow by Brennan Morris that scored a whopping Boone and Crockett official measurement of 275 5/8 inches of antler mass. The Morris buck is officially the second highest scoring buck for all time in Louisiana taken by any method and is easily the new state record taken by crossbow. The parishes of Madison, Bienville, Natchitoches and Avoyelles recorded three trophies each.
The method of taking these bucks was lead by rifle hunters who collected 28 trophies, followed by 13 bucks taken by bow and seven by primitive firearms. The buck with the most impressive inside spread was taken in Natchitoches Parish by
Joey Woodard, an eight point with a whopping 23 inches of antler spread. For a trophy buck to reach its potential, antler point wise, it has to have a big body which was authenticated by 37 of the 48 I wrote about weighing at least 200 pounds, topped off by a 300 pound brute taken in Richland Parish by Bob Thompson.
Antler point average of these 48 bucks featured nine that carried 10 points, eight that were eight pointers, seven that had 13 points, six 11 pointers and an equal number of 14 point bucks. Rounding out this category were two 17 point bucks and one each sporting 15, 16 and 18 points with the Brennan Morris buck with 42 points rounding out the total. The overall average number of antler points came out to 11.8. Jonathon Bordelon is Deer Program Manager for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife
and Fisheries and he has an opinion as to why so many trophy bucks were taken this season.
“Hunters overall are being more selective in taking bucks,” said Bordelon. “At one time in the past, any buck with anything showing on the head was shot while today, the majority of hunters are passing on taking young bucks and allowing them to grow to maturity.”
At any rate, deer season 2020-21 was one for the books.
CANEY LAKE – The chinquapin bite has started with fish moving shallow and hitting worms and crickets. Crappie fishing is good with most fish moving shallow while some are still being caught beneath the Highway 4 bridge on shiners and jigs. Bass are just beginning to move up with some in the 7-9 pound range reported on Chatter baits and trick worms. No report on
catfish. For latest information contact Bateaux on Caney Lake at 259-6649, Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Crappie are starting to move up with some real slabs caught in shallow water on shiners and jigs. The bass are following suit and moving up to spawning areas with some caught on crank baits and soft plastic lures. Chinquapins are starting to move in and hitting worms and crickets. Catfishing continues to be good off the banks on night crawlers and cold
worms. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Bass fishing is improving with some good fish to 7 ½ pounds caught around shallow grass with the Carolina rig being the go-to lure this week. Crappie fishing has been good with some still fairly deep, some moving shallow with yo-yos baited with shiners working well. Also lots of crappie are being caught below the spillway. Catfishing has been fair
on trotlines and yo-yos. Bream are just now beginning to head for the shallow beds. Worms and crickets are starting to work on these fish. For latest information, call Tim Loftin at Kel’s Cove at 927-2264.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Things are really starting to pop on the lake with both big bass and crappie moving up. Tyler Stewart, West Monroe, landed a 12.74 pound bass, a lake record, in shallow water on a soft plastic lure. Bream are starting to go for crickets and worms. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bass are good around shallow grass, bream are starting to bite crickets and worms and crappie are improving. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
OUACHITA RIVER – The river is still too high. No fishing report this week. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Crappie to over 3 pounds have been caught in the shallows on shiners and jigs. Catfishing is fair, bream are just starting and bass to around 7 pounds have been caught fairly shallow. No report on bream. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Crappie are starting to move up and fishing is improving. Bass have been good in the shallows on soft plastics. Catfishing is improving and bream have yet to start. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is very high and rising. No fishing this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.
LAKE BRUIN – No report.