Ferriday’s Jason Archer helped friends sight in their primitive firearms on Saturday, November 9, opening day for that segment of the deer season in Concordia Parish, when the 42-year-old and his cousin looked at their watches and decided they had time for a late afternoon hunt.
Since all Archer had seen so far from his stand had been feral hogs, he was intent on shooting a pig. Instead, the hunt ended with the hunter bagging a real “hawg” of a buck with a rack and body weight of outlandish proportions.
The deer has been rough scored at more than 210 inches typcial Boone and Crockett. If that score stands, it would be the largest typical buck ever killed with a gun in the state, according to the Louisiana Big Game Records. It also would top the largest non-typical primitive-weapons list and land in the Top 15 of the non-typical rifle list.
“I hunt on my cousin’s land, which is only five miles or so from where I live in Ferriday,” Archer said. “(My cousin) and I grabbed our guns, jumped on my golf cart and headed out to hunt. I dropped him off at his stand and got into my Millennium lock-on stand I’d hung there earlier for bow hunting.”
The stand offered Archer a good view of a weed-choked, dried-up pond out front, but his view to the right was blocked by a limb he had deliberately left because it would conceal his location to any deer walking the old road until it was close enough for a bow shot.
That limb would cause Archer a major problem before the day was out.
“I had my trail camera out, and the only deer I’d seen on camera were pictures taken at night; I hadn’t seen a single deer from my stand,” he said. “I hadn’t been sitting long with I spotted the first deer I’d seen all year, a small basket-racked 8-point buck that came out of the CRP land and headed into the weeds on the old dry pond. He was followed by a fairly nice 10-point buck.”
As Archer watched the two bucks mill around in the old pond, something else caught his eye and immediately — and his quest for bacon quickly faded.
The biggest buck he had ever seen stepped onto the pond levee and started browsing on briars growing there.
“You talk about a case of nerves; I really started getting seriously nervous when I saw the size of that buck,” Archer said. “If it had not been for that limb I left near my stand, I would have had a clear shot at him, but the limb blocked my view.”
Archer, who shoots from his right shoulder, tried twisting as far as he could for a shot, but it wasn’t to be. So he did the next best thing: He switched to his left shoulder and, by leaning out as far as he dared, he was able to get the buck in the sights of his Thompson Center Encore .35 Whelen.
He fired, and the buck stumbled and then took off for the CRP from which it had emerged.
“I’m sitting there getting more nervous by the second,” Archer said. “I waited until dark, got down and went and got my cousin to start the search to see if I’d hit the deer. I was discouraged when we found only a couple of specks of blood at the spot he was standing when I shot.
“However, as we followed the trail, we began finding more blood and walked up on the buck that had only traveled about 50 yards into the CRP.”
The buck the two hunters were standing over had a rack that boggles the mind. Sporting 16 points, the massive, high and wide rack featured 23 ½ inches of space between the main beams that each stretched to an incredible 29 7/8 inches. Bases were more than 7 inches around, and the buck tipped the scales at a whopping 288 pounds.
Archer took the buck to a certified Buckmaster’s scorer who green scored it at 223 7/8. The buck was taken to Simmons Sporting Goods to be entered in the store’s annual Big Buck Contest where it was scored as a typical at 210 7/8 inches.