Blake Benefield saw the monster buck pop out of the tree line Jan. 2 hot on the heels, or hooves, of a few does and knew it was a good one.
For the last two years, Benefield and his fellow hunters had seen the buck on trail camera photos. There was no doubt this was the same one, and definitely a product of their selective management plan on the Lauderdale County tract.
The problem was the buck’s amorous display with the does. It had no intentions of sticking around to show off its antlers. Love was in the air of the creek bottom where Benefield had been sitting for almost two hours for an afternoon hunt.
What Benefield was looking at, and eventually put his hands on, could be the biggest buck killed in the county in 60 years. The 23-point non-typical green-scored 182 3/8 on the Boone & Crockett system – it was 161 1/8 as a typical – and also topped 183 7/8 on the Buckmasters BTR scoring system. […]