Mississippi has become one of the nation’s big-buck meccas, churning out monster deer year after year. So when the 2014-15 season opened up, there was great anticipation.
How many trophies would fall? Which counties would be the top-producers?
And then everything seemed to fizzle.
OK, so there were some nice deer killed in October, but by the week of Thanksgiving we at Mississippi Sportsman had been successful at finding a mere 10 bucks that stood out.
By the standards set in recent seasons, it was just pitiful.
It’s a certainty that there were some nice deer we simply never heard about; there are always hunters who are secretive and tell few about their successes.
Sure, there was Jay Graham’s 174-inch Kemper County buck. And, yeah, Wil Moore did arrow a 176-inch freak in Yazoo County.
But monsters were few and far between early on.
That’s not to say the deer that we wrote about weren’t nice. It’s just that we’ve become, well, spoiled.
And then Thanksgiving week arrived, and it was like the Greek god of deer hunting (whoever that is) reached from Mount Olympus and flipped a switch.
Within a week, a parade of emails about bucks topping 140 inches began arriving.
In that mix were some absolute giants.
Take the beastly Claiborne County buck killed Dec. 2 by a fella who crossed the state line from Louisiana: It has green scored at more than 200 inches.
Later in the month, that deer was bested by Matt Moss’ triple-beamed Jefferson County freak daddy that has scored out at 216 inches and could be in Magnolia Records’ Top 10. Ironically, Moss is another Louisiana hunter.
Then there were a couple of deer that have been taped at between the upper 180s and upper 190s.
And the 160- to 170-inch deer were piling up.
Yeah, that’s the kind of season we all have been counting on.
The Sportsman is still tracking kills, but following is our annual roundup of every monster buck that surfaced as of the first week of January.
Enjoy — and let us know if you kill a late-season brute.