Joseph Blalock of Brookhaven, who just recently turned 14 years of age, had the biggest deer at the recent awards breakfast for the 2017-18 Big Buck Bounty Contest at McClain Lodge in Brandon.

Blalock’s 205 6/8-inch Thanksgiving Eve buck sported 22 more inches of antler than its closest competitor. His monster 20-pointer was recognized as the winner in both the boy’s non-typical by gun division and the best overall buck. He won a Primos Double Bull Blind, a Blackout Trail Camera, a Shoulder Mount from Dan Heasley Taxidermy, and a Gun Case from Van’s Sporting Goods.

John Stowers of Canton was the winner of the Safari at McClain Lodge (along with a weekend stay for himself and nine guests) donated by owners Buddy and Joni McClain. Stowers’ name was pulled from a pool of the 137 hunters, aged 21 or over, who entered the Big Buck Bounty Contest during the 2017-18 deer season in Mississippi.

Nearly 200 proud deer hunters and their family members attended the awards breakfast; along with representatives from sponsors 93.5 The Legend and Your Country US 96.3 radio, Mississippi Sportsman Magazine, Tire Depot, Cowart’s Arms & Ammo, Deviney Rental and Supply, Dwight’s Custom Deer Processing, and Primos Hunting Products. Additional door prizes were provided by Van’s Sporting Goods and Primos Hunting Products.

Russ Walsh, Executive Staff Officer with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks, was the guest speaker for the awards ceremony. Walsh provided an update on the current status of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Mississippi and answered a variety of questions from those in attendance.

All final measurements for the contest were green gross scores based on the Pope & Young or the Boone and Crockett Club scoring systems.

Winners included:

Women’s crossbow, typical: 1st - Elena Wisecarver 140 1/8.

Men’s crossbow, typical: 1st - Stephen Henderson 147 2/8; 2nd - Darren Johnson 147 1/8; 3rd - Michael Nowicki 145 2/8.

Men’s crossbow, non-typical: 1st – Russ Chandler 108 1/8.

Boy’s youth archery, typical: 1st – Finn Norsworthy 151 1/8.

Women’s archery, typical: 1st – Kelly Pugh 126 7/8.

Men’s archery, typical: 1st – Timothy Hicks 180 5/8; 2nd – Lance Wright 162; 3rd – Jay Barret 161 3/8.

Girl’s youth gun, typical: 1st – Presleigh Stigler 144 1/8; 2nd – Katie Boyer 139; 3rd – Trinity Craig 126 4/8.

Boy’s youth gun, typical: 1st – Camden Lott 156 1/8; 2nd – Pepper Heard 155 5/8; 3. Cole Smith 151 5/8.

Boy’s youth gun, typical: 1st – Joseph Blalock 205 6/8 (also biggest buck in contest).

Women’s gun, typical: 1st – Susan Graves 160 6/8; 2nd – April Massey 145 6/8; 3rd – Betsy Pace 137 2/8.

Men’s gun, typical: 1st – Phillip May 183 6/8; 2nd – Chris Miller 169 2/8; 3rd – Grady Griffin 167 7/8.

Men’s gun, non-typical: 1st – Will Jones 195 4/8; 2 – Joseph Presley 154 1/8.