In mid-December, Burton Swoope of Belden had a gut feeling and a few days off remaining. He put those two together and drove south toward his deer camp near Columbus for a day he won’t soon forget.
“I knew the rut was on and I just decided to use a vacation day and hunt this particular Wednesday,” said Swoope, the plant manager of a concrete plant in Pontotoc.
The result: a 15-point buck that green-scored a gross of 167 5/8 and a net of 153 6/8. It is a thick and long but not particularly wide mainframe 11-point with four sticker points.
It is a brute, and the result of two decades of management on family property in the Golden Triangle area of the historically productive deer region known as the Black Belt Prairie.
“I killed him on family land outside of Columbus, where we’ve been under some type of management program for about 20 years,” Swoope said. “We started back in the early 90’s just trying to shoot 8-pointers or better. Now we try to only take fairly mature bucks, regardless of points, and a few does. It’s paid off with some really nice bucks over the years but as far as I know he’ll be the highest scoring ever killed on our land.” […]