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Lake life

Top deer, bass hopes and…

Scott Durham gives Union Parish hunters tips on raising better bucks and stronger herds

Scott Durham gives Union Parish hunters tips Thursday night on raising better bucks and stronger herds

TOP DEER . . .

And the winner of the first annual Union Parish Big Buck Contest is: Hunter Fowlkes of Plano, Texas! Fowlkes killed a 10-point that scored 141 points to take home the $1,000 first prize and a five-foot tall trophy. The winner was unable to be one of the 400-plus attendees at the Big Buck Banquet, but his Dad, David, accepted the trophy for him. Fowlkes came to hunt on his Dad’s property, bought a hunting license and big buck ticket, killed the big buck and headed back to Texas!

Marcus Johns and Rex Thomas, two local hunters,  took the next two places. Union Parish is the top, or near the top, in deer harvest every year. That’s what led to this contest and the first winner. To be eligible to win, hunters had to purchase a ticket and enter BEFORE they went hunting. A bigger deer may have been killed this year, but none got a bigger paycheck! All three deer were still at the taxidermist and didn’t get to attend the banquet, either.

Congratulations to those who spent countless hours setting up this contest, the Sportsman’s Banquet and doing the work behind the fun. It was great. Can’t wait until next year. Peyton McKinnie, Lum Farr, Greg Hicks and Dump Patrick were the banquet organizing committee. Special thanks to Peyton for having me as his guest at his table Thursday night!  Scott Durham of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries was the guest speaker. He gave hunters tips for helping raise bigger bucks and stronger deer herds.

BASS HOPES . . .

The BASS Classic starts in earnest today on Lake Hartwell in Greenville, N.C. The main reason we are paying so much attention to it is that Monroe’s Brett Preuett qualified for the world championship as the winner of the 2014 National BASS Collegiate Championship. Today, we continue our exclusive lakedarbonnelife.com coverage from the event. Here’s what Brett has to say about Friday’s first round.

“I’m just excited to be here and I am enjoying the experience so much already. I’m going to use my abilities the good Lord gave me and go fish my heart out. Friday I’m preuett1going into the tournament and try to think about the fish and not everything else going on around me. I have to mentally stay strong and not think about the weather (see below…) and who I am fishing against and instead focus on what’s happening on the water. Tomorrow I will be throwing a shakey head and drop shot along with a jig and chatterbait in the more stained water. I’m hoping to get a limit in the clear water down the lake and go from there.”

Editor’s Note:  I hope you will do like me and pull for — and pray for — Preuett. It would be great to see him come up BIG in the Classic! Even if he doesn’t get a bite, he’s already a winner for just getting there!

AND. . .

You think it’s been miserable here? Check out the weather forecast for the Classic. Would you want to fish in this?

FRIDAY:   Daylight temperature: 7 degrees. Nope. That’s note a typo. Cold and dry with a mix of sun and clouds with a high around 26. Not much wind; out of the east at less than 10 mph. Clouds thicken tomorrow evening, and a few periods of light snow are likely tomorrow night, especially after midnight. (Seven degrees + a 60 mph boat ride = windchill of like -30…

SATURDAY:   It will be cold and messy. A mix of snow and sleet during the morning hours; icy travel is very possible for a few hours. Thankfully snow accumulation should be fairly light, generally under 2 inches. Then, the precipitation changes to rain Saturday afternoon warming to 35. Expect a south wind of 7-14 mph.

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