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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


John Zaunbrecher Jr.

By Mike Handley

South Louisiana hunters are accustomed to racking up miles whenever they set their sights on big deer. The Sportsman's Paradise might yield some of the most bodacious bucks on the planet, but coming across one in Acadiana is like looking for alligators in Minnesota.

That's why 25-year-old John Zaunbrecher Jr. of Eunice, La., doesn't think twice about driving 12 hours to hunt ground with more promise.

On opening day of rifle season in Randolph County, Mo., John put up a brand new ladder stand and decided not to hunt from it until the wind was right. The following Monday, it was.

Thirty minutes after climbing into it, he saw a young buck chasing a doe. Behind them was a much bigger buck.

John tried grunting to stop or at least slow down the wide-racked whitetail, but it ignored him. He then tried "roaring" at it by manipulating the call, also brand new, something he'd never tried before that day.


John couldn't see the whole rack, so he didn't know he was looking at the buck his cousins had been monitoring via trail camera for three years. Nor could he see much of the deer staring at him from the other side of the nearby creek.

"I could see only its throat patch, so that's where I aimed," he said.

That little white square was all he needed, too. The deer crumpled at the bark of John's .300 WSM.

The 6 1/2-year-old buck tipped the scales at 260 pounds. Because of the split brows and kicker, which add nearly 16 inches to its tally, the 13-pointer rates as a Semi-irregular. Its BTR composite score is 194 7/8.

The whole story will appear in Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine this fall.

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