Forgive little Alli Beth Scott for being too nervous to shoot any of the three 8-points that came into her field on Monday afternoon, and, shoot, you can congratulate the 9-year-old fourth grader for it.
On Tuesday, she took a 146 5/8-inch 8-point, much bigger than any of the three she saw the afternoon before.
“Had she not been too anxious to shoot one of those on Monday, she’d probably not gotten the chance at the big one,” said her dad John Scott of Edwards.
He was sitting with his daughter both days, sharing in the agony and ecstasy of Alli Beth’s hunting.
“When those three came out on Monday, it kind of caught her off guard,” John Scott said. “I don’t think she was expecting anything like that and she was a little overwhelmed. She was too nervous, too excited to shoot. Then a coyote came out there after about five minutes and ran the bucks off. She was disappointed.”
And, as it turned out, a bit determined.
Said her mom Cady: “She told me Monday night she wanted to go hunting after school on Tuesday, too. She had basketball practice but she wanted to deer hunt, and we let her skip.”
After school, father and daughter returned to the same ground blind at their club in Hinds County. They’d been there a little while when another 8-point walked out.
“I recognized it immediately; it was the big 8 we’d been seeing on cameras since early September,” John Scott said. “The three the day before were good bucks, but nowhere close to this one. This was the one I’d been bow hunting since the start of the season but had never seen. The first time I laid eyes on him except for a camera was Tuesday with Alli Beth.
“As soon as he stepped out, I knew it was him, but I didn’t dare tell her that. She would have been way too excited if I had, so I just told her it was another 8 point and that she should shoot it.”
That is, she should shoot if Alli Beth could settle down enough to do it.
“Yep, she was nervous again,” her dad said. “It was about 175 to 200 yards out there from the ground blind and it walked out for a good shot, but she was shaking and breathing fast. I mean she was wound up.
“It seemed like 45 minutes then, but I guess it was really like four or five minutes that it took for her to calm down. I kept telling her, ‘settle down, take deep breaths, get it in your scope good.’ She kept breathing heavy and was trying to calm down.”
And, then it happened. Alli Beth pulled it together.
“I told her ‘it’s now or never, he’s going to leave if you don’t shoot,’” Scott said. “She aimed through the scope, and said ‘Daddy, I got him,” and she shot. I saw the buck tuck his right shoulder so I knew she hit him good.
“He ran about 40 yards and fell dead. He never left the field and we saw him go down. Then, we went crazy. She was jumping up and down and was so excited and happy she started crying. ‘I got him. I got him.’ She kept saying it and we were high-fiving and hugging.”
Dan Heasley Taxidermy in Raymond, which is an official scorer for the Mississippi Big Buck Bounty contest, scored the buck at 146 5/8 as a main-frame 8-point.
“It has a small kicker on one of the brow tines, but they scored it as an 8,” John Scott said. “It was 16½ inches wide, but what made it score so high is the mass and the length. All three mass measurements on both sides were over 5 inches, the main beams were 23½ and 24 inches long and both G2s were over 10½ inches.
“It’s a monster 8-point. Alli Beth killed a big 7-point last year for her first buck, and it was a really good first buck. She told me the other night that this was her biggest buck yet, and I told her that she would probably be saying that for a long, long time.”
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