Every town has their local deer legends. Typically these are bucks that are rarely seen on trail cams and are as elusive as a whisper during hunting season. Occasionally, hunters get a fleeting glimpse of the deer before it moves out of sight, and so its legend grows. In many cases, any hunter who is lucky enough to bag one of these legendary deer also have a clear shot at the state record, or at least the top five.
Such was the case when a guest to a hunting club in Avoyelles Parish, Louisiana dragged in not just a trophy buck, but one that was widely coveted in the parish. Excited club members quickly placed a call to the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), but when an agent arrived to certify the deer, the mood had significantly darkened.
“When he arrived, all of them were hanging their heads and didn’t want to talk—the total opposite of the way they were when they called,” LDWF spokesman Adam Einck told The Shreveport Times.
According to wildlife officials, senior agent Douglas Anderson arrived at the hunting club—which remains unnamed—expecting to certify a new state record, but instead only found silence. Eventually, the club members confessed that the guest hunter who harvested the buck, Glen Toups, Jr., did not have his basic season nor big game hunting licenses. He also did not have deer tags when he killed the deer. Furthermore, Anderson discovered that Toups could not obtain a license because he was already subject to a hunting license revocation.
“The agent issued the citations to Toups Jr and seized the deer,” LDWF reported in a press release. “The deer was unofficially scored as a 208 class buck. The deer meat was donated to a local charity and the antlers and head are being held as evidence by LDWF.”
Hunters said the animal had been spotted frequently near the Simmesport area and was recorded on trail cams in several hunting leases, becoming something of a dream buck for local sportsmen. If the measurements are correct, the buck would have been the third non-typical, archery deer harvested in state history. However, illegally taken deer are not eligible for recognition, and this buck will never find its place on the record books.
Toups, who admitted to wildlife officials of hunting without a license, now faces a number of charges that combined could lead to a fine of $3,000 and nearly five months in jail. If Toups is found guilty, the rack will be forfeited to the state’s collection.
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