Peyton “Buck” McKinion came by his nickname honestly, according to his proud father.

The 12-year-old 7th-grader at East Rankin Academy keeps building on it, too, this week adding a 130 6/8-inch 9-point to his resume’.

“Buck is one of a kind,” said Johnny McKinion of Pelahatchie. “At 12 years old, he has out done me on so many levels in his hunting accomplishments. I have watched grown men ask him where he would hunt and why, or take him out to scout with them for the best place to hang a stand.”

Serious? You better bet the youngster is.

“His teacher told us that on Oct. 1, he went to school and told her his grades were going to slip a little bit because deer season was starting,” his Dad said. 

His latest trophy came after school on Tuesday, at their Rankin County deer camp in a 20-year cutover.

“I put up a stand in there before he was born,” Johnny McKinion said. “He’s taken five bucks from that stand and it’s one of his favorites. We’ve been getting trail cam photos of that buck for three years and he told me that morning, with the front coming in, he wanted to hunt that stand that afternoon. 

“We settled in around 3:30 p.m. and all was quiet until right at 5. Peyton found the deer through binoculars about 400 yards out walking towards us.”

The youngster reacted quickly.

“‘Big buck! Big buck!’ was all I got from him,” Dad said. “Buck handed me the binoculars and he reached for his rifle. The deer was not moving much and soon disappeared from sight in the cutover. I told Buck to be patient that we would see him again.”

As the pair kept searching the openings in the thick cutover for a sign of the big buck, three does appeared in a clearing about 200 yards away.

“They were feeding but kept looking toward where the buck had disappeared,” Johnny McKinion said. “Buck was looking at the does through his rifle scope when the buck stepped out in front of us at 90 yards.”

This time it was Dad who gave the signal, only a lot less quietly: "Big Buck! Big Buck!” 

Buck McKinion found the buck in his scope and made a perfect shot with his 7mm-08. They found the big deer about 60 yards from where he’d been standing.

“As we found him he called his mom to tell her to go to the bank because we had to make another trip to the taxidermist,” Johnny McKinion said, laughing. Then he got serious and spoke about the importance of mentoring young hunters and the value of the youth gun season.

“Although my kids take top priority over all of my hunting activities during the whole season, the Mississippi youth season is one of the greatest tools we have,” he said. “It’s all about the kids, and that is a great thing.” 

*Don't forget to enter photos of your bucks in the Big Buck Photo Contest to be eligible for monthly giveaways.

Read other stories about big bucks killed this season by clicking here.