When a male deer is being described as a freakishly massive buck, you better pay attention.
Gary Ward, of Crowville Louisiana, tagged what is being considered the largest buck ever taken in Louisiana with a crossbow. For that matter, it is at least one of the biggest ever taken in the state regardless of what was used to harvest it.
Ward was hunting the Tensas National Wildlife Refuge, which is public ground, when the massive buck came within range. As a matter of fact, Ward has hunted this same property since he was six years old.
"It took me 52 years to do this deal," Ward said in an interview with the Louisiana Sportsman. "He came straight to the acorn tree I was set up on. When he got there, he put his head down and he sounded like a shop vac sucking up acorns."
"All I could see was he was 20 inches wide, at least, and it looked like something was wrong with the antlers," Ward said. "I'm really handicapped in terms of eye sight after 5:00."
And just as all big deer do, this massive buck moved right at last light. Eventually, it came well within bow range.
"If he would have turned around and walked off and somebody would have asked me about it, I would have said it was just real wide and looked like something was wrong," said Ward.
Calm as can be, Ward line up his crossbow and took the shot. It was an easy shot which was estimated to be less than 20 yards. It wasn't until Ward got down from his stand and found his buck that he actually started to get excited.
"When I saw it, I was like, 'Oh, my God,'" Ward said. "And when I put my hands on it I was like, 'Oh, my Lord.'"
He tried calling his son, but his phone died, so he tried calling his wife. According to Ward, she didn't believe him!
After the buck was officially green scored, it came out to 213 7/8 inches non-typical by TP Outdoors of Louisiana. Simmons Sporting Goods, another Louisiana outdoors store, measured it at 192 5/8 inches.
Either way, this is an incredible buck and one that will be remembered by everyone in the area for a long, long time.
All images via Louisiana Sportsman