When Eddie Beckwith asked his nephew and once avid hunting partner if he wanted to go and try to shoot a deer on Dec. 13, he was surprised at the answer from the 17-year-old.
Said Timothy Blankenship: “Yes, I’d like that.”
About an hour later, the teenager was standing over one of the biggest bucks killed in Mississippi in the 2014-15 season, an 18-point non-typical that has been very roughly green scored at over 186 inches. It was killed on family property along Highway 82 in Carroll County between Winona and Carrolton.
“It will be bigger than that,” said Beckwith, “if we can get a professional scorer to get his hands on it. The guy who scored it said he was just getting us a rough score. I wouldn’t doubt it would go over 200 inches when we get a good accurate measure.”
The buck appears to be a mainframe 10-point with a lot of extra stickers on the right main beam, including an odd point off the back of the brow tine that points back directly at the right ear.
The antlers have a 20.5-inch inside spread, and 22.5 on the outside.
“He was an old buck, probably between 8 and 10 years, because he barely had any teeth left,” Beckwith said. “But it was the first time any of us had seen him, but my neighbor who has a lot more acreage and is on a big buck management program said he has had a lot of pictures of him.”
Beckwith is proud of his nephew but …
“Can you believe I let him borrow my .30-30 rifle and sit in my favorite stand and he shoots that big buck,” the uncle said. “Man, that’s something ain’t it. Any other day, it would have been me in that stand. I’m happy for him, though.”
Beckwith said Blankenship, who lives just down the road at McCarley, has always been an avid deer hunter, but that all changed when the young man reached the age where he started noticing women.
“He’s had that on his mind more this year and just hasn’t had that much interest in hunting,” Beckwith said. “That’s why I was surprised when he said he wanted to hunt that day.”
They were hunting family land.
“We’ve got 54 acres and it’s big enough for three hunters to hunt and what we’re doing is catching deer crossing from big woods on one side to big woods on the other,” Beckwith said. “We’re mostly meat hunters. We love to eat (venison) and with the price of meat at the store, we depend on it, too. We’ve killed some big bucks before but nothing like this one.
“Timothy said he missed a big buck in that same stand last year, and it could have been this one. Who knows? He was just in the right place at the right time and isn’t that what deer hunting is? You bet it is.”
Beckwith said the deer was just passing through, as expected and gave his nephew a 130-yard broadside shot.
“That’s a pretty good shot for a .30-30 and he made it count,” Beckwith said.
As word spread, Beckwith heard from his neighbor.
“He used to think of us as poachers but he came to learn that we are just hunting on our land and that we play by the rules,” he said. “We might go on his property to chase a bloodied-up deer but we always leave our rifles at the property line. When he heard about the buck and saw it, he said he’d been watching that buck for years.
“You know what he did, he offered to pay to have that deer mounted for Timothy and give it to him for Christmas.”