By Patrick Bonin
Article and photo courtesy of louisianasportsman.com
Chris Louviere shot his first buck ever — a 6-point — last November on his 550-acre lease near Lena in Natchitoches Parish.
That was exciting, but the 34-year-old Erath electrician’s second buck just two weeks later — nicknamed “Mr. Crabs” — was in a whole different league.
On an afternoon hunt on Dec. 6 at the 5-Shot Hunting Club, Louviere dropped a hammer 9-point that measured a whopping 172 ⅞ inches, which currently sits in first place in the 9-point category at Simmons’ Sporting Goods in Bastrop.
“I was sitting on the stand playing on my phone, and I heard some duck hunters down the road that started shooting like crazy,” said Louviere, who was in a ladder stand overlooking a field with a tree line 80 yards away. “So I looked to my right and when I looked up, he was looking to his right at what was going on.
“It was perfect. It gave me enough time to put my phone down and pick up my rifle.”
Within about 30 seconds, Louviere had sighted in the big buck standing 80 yards away and squeezed the trigger on his .30-06.
That started what would be an anxious next hour or so for the hunter — one filled with doubt, despair and then finally relief.
“I thought I missed at first because I saw the dirt fly and he didn’t move,” Louviere said. “He just stood there, turned my way and then jumped in the briars heading to the tree line. I sat in the stand for about 20 minutes thinking I missed him, so I grabbed my phone and texted my stepdad who was hunting in the stand next to me and told him they had a big boy coming his way.”
Louviere eventually went down to check for blood where the big buck had stood — and got more bad news.
“There was nothing on the ground,” he said. “So I got discouraged. I was going to go sit on the Mule until it was time to go in.”
That’s when things instantly improved. Just 10 yards further up, Louviere found what he was looking for.
“There were pieces of lung on the ground,” he said. “Once I saw that, I called everybody to give me a hand.”
His stepdad and a buddy came to help, and just 50 yards away on a solid blood trail, they found the big buck piled up short of the tree line.
“He was hiding right behind a big patch of briars,” Louviere said. “We walked in front of him three or four times and never saw him …. All I could do was jump all over everybody. I didn’t even know what to say. That was a special feeling to find that.”
Special indeed: Louviere’s 9-point had an 18 ¾-inch inside spread, with massive 6 ½-inch bases. The big buck was aged at 5 ½ years, tipped the scales at 195 pounds and green-scored 172 ⅞ inches.
He had gotten only one nighttime picture of the buck early in the season, but another hunter on the lease had been seeing the deer on camera regularly for two years.
Now, Mr. Crabs will grace his living room wall in Erath.
“I told my wife she was moving all the pictures off the wall and I’m putting him right dead center,” Louviere said with a chuckle. “I told her my first big buck is going in the front room. She said she’s letting me put one — but she’s not letting me put another.”