Deer of the Year

Public-land dog-hunt ends with 150-class buck

All Johnnie Dupont could see of the big buck slipping along the ridge was the front shoulders and rear end.

But after seeing a few deer easing through the woods ahead of the hounds released for a Dec. 27 dog drive in the Homochitto National Forest, Dupont kept his eyes on this one that had stopped to look and listen. […]

Deer of the Year

Annual deer hunting trip leads to 170-class trophy buck

Dusty Smith and his father have hunted at Giles Island for the last four years and come to enjoy their annual getaway to the renowned area northwest of Natchez.

Last season Smith killed a fine 8-point that scored about 120. When he and his father returned last autumn for their hunt, he couldn’t believe his good fortune when he knocked down another trophy buck. […]

Deer of the Year

Love-sick buck turns out to be record Lauderdale County monster

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. […]

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

Father-son team trip over 150-class Issaquena County buck

Collin Ladner wasn’t thrilled about going back to camp for the night after seeing the biggest buck of his life scurry into the woods.

Ten-year-old hunters don’t want to quit. Night? Bah, not a problem. Keep looking for the deer, the one with the giant antlers that thrilled him beyond belief.

But the big 11-point whitetail that eventually scored 153-plus was in bed for the night. So were Collin and his father Greg, who knew waiting for the next day to take out their tracking Lab would be the best option. […]

Deer of the Year

National wildlife refuge produces wild 180-class buck

(Editor’s Note: Hunter John Thomason has been unavailable for a telephone interview because he works offshore, so this story was put together using an emailed account of the hunt.)

John Thomason’s emotions ran the gauntlet during the hours he spent planning his hunt, sitting in the stand and waiting to see if his shot was true. […]

Deer of the Year user arrows Lamar County Pope & Young trophy

With the wind howling and his 6-year old daughter wanting to go hunting the next day, all Stevie Dewease wanted to do was sit in a ladder stand and watch how the deer might react to a ground blind he’d put on the edge of the field a few days earlier.

Little did he know both of those efforts would result in a buck he’ll remember the rest of his life. […]