Brett Mosley spent the morning of Dec. 4 scouting for ducks at his Delta hunting camp, found a few but not near enough to get his attention for an afternoon hunt.
Instead, he wound up in a deer stand and killed one of the biggest bucks taken in Mississippi in a decade — an 18-point non-typical that grossed 215 6/8 inches and netted out at 201 6/8, plenty enough to make Boone & Crockett after the 60-day drying period.
Mosley had to talk himself into hunting.
“That was the opening day of the second three-day split in the duck season, and it was pretty cold, in the high 30s,” said Mosley, 34, an avid duck hunter from Madison. I ate some lunch and was sitting around with some buddies and decided that if I was going to go I’d better get motivated. I got up and started stirring and it was about 4 o’clock that afternoon before I eased out there.”
“Out there” was actually a 12- to 15-foot tripod stand against a tree line along a big agricultural field. It was a place that had been rarely, if ever, hunted to that point.
“I chose it because it was perfect for a north wind, and that’s what we had, plus it’s back in there a bit and nobody had been in there,” Mosley said. “It was the theory that it was something new to look at and the fact that it hadn’t been pressured much, I thought I might have some success.
“And, there he was.”
Well, it wasn’t that easy … but pretty close.
“I got settled in about 4:30 and he came out at about 5 after 5,” Mosley continued. “It was getting darker and I was actually watching this other buck chasing does in the big field. I kept watching it and was trying to get a shot. I was trying to get good rest on the rail around the tripod, but decided he was just too far to shoot. I didn’t feel comfortable and figured if I waited, he might come closer.
“So I lowered the gun, and when you do that in a tripod in one of those swivel seats, it causes you to turn your body a little bit in the stand. There was this deer about 100 yards from me, and he was watching the other deer just as I had been. He was on the edge of the tree line, too, and the wind was perfect. I looked at him and saw all these antlers on this one side and even without binoculars I could make out points on the other side.”
From the time Mosley first saw the buck until he squeezed the trigger was, in his estimation, less that 10 seconds.
“There was never any doubt about him being a shooter and I got my rifle up, got on him and shot,” the hunter said. “He bolted back in the woods about 30 or 40 yards and went down. I saw him go down and I could see his antlers and his belly where he went down.”
Mosley said he knew he had killed a big buck, but ...
“I had no idea how big he was and what I said when I found him was something you can’t print in a family publication,” he said. “I couldn’t believe how big he was, how thick he was and all those points. It’s been a month and I still can’t believe it.
“He (antlers) was big and thick and on the left side his G2 looked like it formed another whole main beam from one side of what would have been a monster 8-point. He also had a sticker point off his right brow tine.”
U.S. Forest Service biologist Rick Dillard, a founder and scorer for the Magnolia Records Program, scored the buck and called it a mainframe 14 point with the four extra and impressive non-typical points.
“The mass and how it carried out all the way on the main beams is what made this buck so special,” Dillard said. “The points and all were impressive, too, but the mass and how far it went out on the main beams (24½ and 25¼ inches) is what I remember most. I don’t think there’s any doubt that after the 60-day drying period (early February) it will still exceed the 195-inch non-typical requirements.
“You know what, though, if that left G2 hadn’t been different and had been similar to the right G2, this buck would have made the book as a typical. I bet it would have.”
Mosley is happy to have the buck, and knows full well how good it is. Yet, he’s kind of somber about the entire ordeal, and one gets the feeling he’d have traded it for a good duck hunt that day.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m a hunter and I like deer hunting,” he said. “But, yes, I’m a duck hunter No. 1. I love it. That’s my choice and if I had to rank them, I’d say duck is No. 1, turkey No. 2 and then deer No. 3.
“Mostly, I’m a bow hunter and I’ve killed some 140s. What I try to do is kill a big buck with my bow and have that out of the way by the time duck season starts and the ducks come flying down. But, hey, this worked out, too.”
Yep, it sure did, and then some.
Click here to read about other big bucks killed this season.
And don’t forget about the Mississippi Sportsman Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free and offers great monthly Sportsman Gear prizes.