Deer of the Year

Hunter kills 180-class buck on small tract in middle of Black Prairie WMA

Neil Waggoner and his family live on 40 acres he grew up loving, a familiar tract of gently rolling hills and a 10-acre lake surrounded by the Black Prairie Wildlife Management Area in Lowndes County.

For the last few weeks, Waggoner had been using his three tracking dogs to help other hunters. He also missed an 8-point buck that rattled him.

“Buck fever or I looked up or something, I guess,” Waggoner said.

A few days later on Dec. 18, amid an orange sunset casting enough light to make a set of antlers glow, Waggoner knew the big buck in the edge of the field was a good one. […]

Deer of the Year

Leake County gives up 178-inch 17-point

Elmer Busby was just enjoying an afternoon in the woods last Friday (Dec. 16), watching a group of does feeding in the green patch stretching down the Leake County gas line in front of the box stand.

He didn’t even lift his rifle when a 5-point walked out to join the crowd.

But Busby couldn’t get his hands on the gun fast enough when a huge buck stepped out of the woods about 5 p.m. That deer later scored 178 4/8 inches Boone & Crockett. […]

Deer of the Year

Persistence leads to monster Laflore County 18-point

Stephen Henderson was distracted at work the entire week of Dec. 12, but it wasn’t because of Christmas preparations. Nope, it was because he couldn’t help thinking he had missed his opportunity the previous weekend to bag a big buck he and his buddies had been chasing for a couple of years.

“He was 20 yards from me,” Henderson said.

The Madison County hunter resolved the issue on the afternoon of Dec. 16 when the big buck, which has been green scored at nearly 190 inches Boone & Crockett, made a fatal mistake. […]


Pass Christian artificial fishing reef completed

The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources has completed the so-called Pass Christian Key, an artificial reef built from material from the old Bay St. Louis Washington Street Pier, the agency reported today (Dec. 21).

The “key” is located just more than a half mile south of the beach and a mile east of the Pass Christian Harbor, the MDMR said. […]

Deer of the Year

Youth kills 140-class buck day after dad downs monster deer

Hunter Champagne readily admits he is a bit on the competitive side, and there’s no one he enjoys besting than his father with whom he spends untold hours in the woods and on the water.

So when dad Scott Champagne plugged a 220-inch Jefferson County buck on Dec. 8, the younger Champagne was dying to get in on the big-buck action.

It only took until Dec. 10 for 14-year-old Hunter Champagne to do just that by taking a 140-class 10-point, thanks to some help from a buddy and his lucky hat. […]

Deer of the Year

Monster Jefferson County buck estimated at 220 inches

Scott Champagne almost didn’t hunt the stand on Thursday (Dec. 8). But he saw a doe jumping his fence and heading toward an old, grown-up food plot and knew Jefferson County bucks were probably starting to look at the females of the species with lust.

“I kind of had a suspicion based on the signs in the woods that the deer were about to get into the pre-rut,” Champagne said. “When you see those does moving around, that’s about as good a chance as you’re going to get to get on a buck.”

So he climbed into the box stand about 3:30 p.m. and settled in to see what would happen. It was fortunate he did, as he nailed a 17-point that has been rough scored at 220 inches Boone & Crockett just before shooting hours closed. […]

Deer of the Year

Morgan Brake NWR produces 180-inch record-book buck

For two years, Andy Lloyd hunted the big buck that his brother Jeff had seen at Morgan Brake National Wildlife Refuge in Holmes County — a small-bodied deer with antlers lacking mass but possessing great length.

“Jeff was ranting about this buck he’d seen, a very tall and very wide rack that he said would go about 160 inches then,” Lloyd said. “I remember he told me, ‘If anyone ever kills that buck, don’t worry, we’ll hear about it.’”

Now, everybody is hearing — and talking — about the big 180-class buck, which Andy Lloyd punched a hole in during an afternoon hunt on Dec. 7 during the NWR’s annual muzzleloader hunt. […]