When talking deer hunting, opinions differ

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 are 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 many140-inch bucks it was necessary to move the cutoff 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 Facebook 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 say six, which currently includes three antlered and three antlerless deer. 

One respondent on the page I read wrote…”About changing Louisiana deer hunting regs, 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 it’s brown it’s 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 two-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 had 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. 

Contact Glynn at glynnharris37@gmail.com