Deer season, for all practical purposes, has come to an end but opinions on deer hunting vary widely and run the gamut from “if it’s brown it’s down” to not shooting one unless it’s a trophy.
For the past 10 years or so, I have had the privilege of writing about trophy bucks taken around the state for LA Sportsman magazine. I have come away with the firm belief that Louisiana rivals states like Kansas and Iowa where some genuine buster bucks taken every season.
For example, if a buck has antlers with measurements of at least 140 inches including number of points, tine length, overall mass and inside spread, it got written up as a trophy. As the season progressed, we had so many 140 inch bucks it was necessary to move the cut-off point to 150 inches. Looking back over the bucks that earned a spot in the magazine, the top five bucks
ranged from 177 inches to a whopping 192 inches.
Some hunters work hard all year in providing nutritional feed for deer, scouting, using trail cameras to locate and pin-point target bucks. Other hunters are not interested in what a buck scores but just want to put a deer or two in the freezer, buck or doe – it doesn’t matter.
I ran across a page on Face Book that highlights just how far ranging opinions are on what is an acceptable deer to take. There has been some talk about wanting to change Louisiana’s deer hunting regulations from six, which currently includes three antlered and three antlerless deer.
One respondent on the page I read wrote…”About changing Louisiana deer hunting reg…in my opinion, I say leave it like it is. I don’t care about horns; I’m a meat hunter and I would be happy with six doe tags.”
This comment triggered the following rather heated response…..”Meat hunter is what someone calls himself if he’s too lazy to scout and hunt for big deer, part of the ‘if its brown its down’ crowd. Ain’t a hunter in Louisiana would pass a good buck for a doe. Everyone wants to kill a good buck.”
Deer hunting today is far different than it was back in the days when I began hunting. For the first few years I hunted, bucks were the only legal deer that could be taken. That included anything from 2 inch spikes on up. I can remember when all I looked for was to see something sticking up on a deer’s head. Spike or four point; it didn’t matter because it was a buck.
Later, there were mixed reactions when regulations allowed one “doe day”. Some were happy to see this happen while others were bemoaning the belief that if you allowed hunters to shoot does, it would be the end of our deer herds in the state. This didn’t prove to be the case as a few years later more “doe days” were added until the current picture emerged where the tagging
system was implemented allowing hunters to take deer of either sex up to the daily and season limit.
Here is the response from another on the page I read that gives deer hunters something to think about….”I have no problem with anyone choosing to shoot any legal deer on their property. Sure, we let some deer go and our neighbors shoot them. So what…we don’t own the deer. If it makes them happy, so be it. People have different wants, needs and goals. Hope
everyone can enjoy the hunt the way they see fit.”
In this writer’s opinion, this respondent pretty much nailed it.
BLACK BAYOU – Crappie are improving around the trees on jigs or shiners. No report on bass or bream. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Crappie fishing has slowed a bit but some good bass are being caught around structure on creature baits. For latest information, contact the Honey Holeat 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – The water is rising with current and fishing has been slow this week. No reports on crappie or bass. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Water levels are slowly falling and fishing has improved. Crappie fishing has been good this week fishing the channel edges with shiners or jigs. Bass fishing has been good fishing Bandit crank baits or Rat-L-Traps along the banks. Bream have not started just yet but you can catch catfish fishing night crawlers or cold worms off the banks. For latest information, call Anderson Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – Crappie fishing continues to be fair to good with jigs and shiners picking up some fish in deep water. Bass have improved with some to around 8 pounds caught on crank baits and soft plastics. Catfishing is good on a variety of baits. No report on bream or stripers. For latest information, call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
CANEY LAKE –Jigging spoons and tail spinners are picking up a few bass and yellow bass bouncing these lures off the bottom in deep water. Carolina rigs are picking up some nice bass fishing underwater humps and drop-offs. No report on bream or catfish.. For information contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good with a 29 pound cat caught this week. Crappie fishing around the slips and on the south end has been better in the afternoons on shiners or jigs. Bass fishing has been fair. No report on bream. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a slow fall and there has been very little fishing except some catfish have been caught. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.