posted on March 21, 2011 06:34
By Mike Handley
Scott Thrasher’s Bienville Parish bruiser
As impressive as its antlers are, especially with the extra beam on the right side, Scott Thrasher’s Bienville Parish buck probably won’t crack the top 50 whitetails felled in Louisiana in 2010. But photographs of the enormous animal have generated just as many, if not more, oohs and ahs than any other Louisiana deer circling cyberspace.
If there was a Deer Hunter’s Dictionary, this rascal’s photo would appear under “hog.”
If you’re surprised such a big-bodied deer came from Louisiana, don’t feel bad. I once thought as you do.
I was so high up an oak overlooking a Louisiana clear-cut that morning, I could feel the whoosh whenever a chevron of geese flew past. So when a shooter 8-pointer tried to sneak through the tall weeds about 50 yards behind me, it didn’t look any bigger than any other I’d seen or harvested throughout North America.
The deer might’ve been 50 steps from the base of the tree, but the shot was closer to 70. I was that high.
The author’s 275-pound Louisiana buck
A few minutes later, as Cecil Reddick and I were approaching the dead buck, my eyes bulged.
“Look at the size of that deer!” I gasped.
Cecil thought I was talking about its 141-inch rack, which was way cool. But I couldn’t see the antlers at that point. I was talking about the buck’s haunches.
I’ve hunted deer in more than a dozen states, as well as in Saskatchewan. I’ve lost count of the bucks I’ve shot that tipped the scales between 220 and 250 pounds (not field-dressed). My biggest, to date, was that Louisiana 8-pointer, which had to weigh at least 275 pounds on the hoof. And he was just a 4 1/2-year-old.
People who don’t live there would never guess Louisiana has what it takes to grow such big-bodied whitetails. They don’t realize that while many Southern states have traded agriculture for growing pine trees, the Sportsman’s Paradise is more like the fertile Midwest, where corn and soybeans are still the cash crops of choice, except for where sugar cane is king.