192-inch buck taken by Tylertown hunter
Dwight Shaffer, left, killed this bruiser 18-point buck in Walthall County after his father-in-law told him it was on Shaffer's 66-acre tract of land.
“That land has a pond on it, but it’s real thick,” said Shaffer, who goes by the alias "walthall slayer" on the MS-Sportsman.com forum. “I’ve got good bedding area for deer, and that’s where I killed him. He was coming out of that.”
Click here to watch a video about the buck.
The buck had been sighted in the area, but Shaffer hadn’t caught a single photo of the beast on his trail camera. However, father-in-law Charles Brister told him on Nov. 30 that he had passed the buck while driving into visit.
“He told me, ‘Son, I had to stop by that tree because of that buck with that chair on his head,’” Shaffer said. “He never says antlers or horns; he always says bucks have a rocking chair on their heads.”
That piqued the die-hard hunter’s interest, but it didn’t stop Shaffer from popping a doe the morning of Dec. 2.
He cleaned that deer, and then was back in his stand overlooking the pond a little after 3 p.m.
“It’s not really all that cold, but I had seen a couple of does come out to that pond,” Shaffer said.
As the sun slipped behind the horizon, Shaffer was starting to think about getting down. And then he heard something to his left.
“I eased my head around, and didn’t see anything,” he said. “It was getting kind of dusky, you know.
“As I turned my head again, I looked and it looked like a deer was in an opening by the pond.”
Shaffer wasn’t really sure at first what he was looking at, but soon realized it was indeed a really big-bodied deer.
“He was just looking around,” Shaffer explained. “When I saw him turning, that’s when I knew it was him.”
To be honest, the hunter had no real clue exactly what was standing out there except that it was a nice buck.
“I tried to range him at first, but I guess it was too dark,” Shaffer said. “I found him in the scope, and that .35 Whelen did a number on it.”
The buck streaked out of the opening, and the hunter was left to rerun the episode over in his head.
“I knew he was a big-bodied deer, but I didn’t know he had all that trash on his head,” Shaffer said.
Finally, he climbed down and rushed to his nearby home to call his brother, Burnell.
“My phone was broken, so I went back to the house, and I was saying, ‘Give me a phone! Give me a phone!” Shaffer laughed.
One of his puzzled family members handed him a cell phone, and a call quickly went out to Burnell Shaffer.
“He was hunting on the other side (of the property), and he said, ‘I heard you shoot,’” Dwight Shaffer said. “I said, ‘I think I got a nice one. I know it was a buck; you’ve got to come help me find it.’”
Still not certain exactly what kind of rack the buck carried, the Shaffer brothers headed back to the thicket. Dwight hit the thicket, while Burnell remained on his ATV to guide the now-desperate hunter.
“He would tell me, ‘Go that way,’” Dwight Shaffer said. “Then he would tell me, ‘Go a little farther.’”
But soon, Burnell Shaffer told his brother to stop.
When Dwight Shaffer looked back, he was confused.
“He was just looking at something. His eyes were wide, and he was just staring,” he said. “I said, ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?
“Burnell said, ‘We’ve got to call somebody! We’ve got to call somebody!”
Dwight hurried over to where his brother was looking, and all he could see was a “big loop” of antlers sticking up above the downed animal’s body.
“When I walked up and picked up that head, oh, my chest got real hot,” Dwight Shaffer said. “I thought I was going to have a heart attack.
“My knees got weak, and I went to my knees and started hollering.”
The deer is estimated to have weighed about 235 pounds, but that’s not what was so impressive.
Antlers seemed to sprout from all over the buck’s head. Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks’ Chris McDaniel scored 18 scoreable points, including four brow tines (one being split), the beginnings of a third main beam and double crab claws.
Shaffer’s hands couldn’t encompass the main beams at the bases of the G2s, and that mass carried all the way to the tip of the beams.
It totaled 197 7/8 gross Boone & Crockett points, with a net green score was 192 4/8.
“After the births of my kids and grandchildren, killing that deer is next,” Shaffer said. "I'm just glad I couldn't see what it was (when he shot): I probably would have fallen out of the tree."
Visit the Nikon Deer of the Year contest to see other bucks killed this year, and be sure to post your own kills on our deer forum. If you aren't already a registered user, click here to get started today!
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