Another possible Lauderdale County record buck taken

Ricky Sullivan killed this big buck, which green scored more than 200 inches Buckmaster and could be the largest deer killed in Lauderdale County, last Wednesday (Jan. 18). Pictured with him is his wife Becky

Sullivan buck green scores 201 4/8 inches on Buckmaster scoring system; Boone & Crockett green score pending.

Last Wednesday (Jan. 18) was the final day of Mississippi’s Deer Management Zone 1 modern-rifle season, and Ricky Sullivan was in his shooting house as he had been countless times during the long season.

He had lived in that stand the previous week, missing only that Tuesday because of work, because bucks were running does seemingly everywhere across East Mississippi.

Sullivan was after the biggest buck he had ever seen on his lease, having spotted him four times already. And that persistence led to the killing on the last day of the rifle season of what could be the largest buck taken in Lauderdale County — a beast that has been measured at 201 4/8 inches on the Buckmaster scale.

Sullivan has yet to have the deer scored on the Boone & Crockett scale, which is used for the state’s Magnolia Records.

The monster buck began showing up in 2010 on trail cameras placed by the two men who hunt the property, Sullivan and Duke Wilson. This season the photos, beginning with those taken when the buck was in velvet, showed an outstanding deer that possibly was eight years old.

The most-impressive aspect of the antlers was the spread, which proved to be 23 inches inside.

Currently, the largest buck on record from Lauderdale County is a 22-point killed in 1952 that netted 174 inches B&C. However, another buck killed this season in the county has been green scored at 182 3/8 inches B&C, threatening to become the largest buck on record.

Click here to read the story on the Benefield buck, which also appears to best the current record.

Sullivan’s buck fed almost exclusively at night, but showed itself more in daylight than some trophy bucks are inclined to do.

Sullivan and Wilson encouraged the deer’s daytime activities by keeping their distance from the buck’s core area, thus minimizing pressure on the animal.

Amazingly, Sullivan had shot at and missed the buck earlier in the season once  with his Remington.308 and Custom Hornady 165 grain BTSP bullet.

But last Wednesday, Sullivan saw the buck crossing the corner of an opening at 6:48 a.m. He made the 210-yard shot with his Remington .308, and the buck fell in place.

The hunter’s extraordinary patience had finally paid off.

“When I bailed out of my stand, I shouted and cried on my way to where the buck was lying,” Sullivan said. “And all the while I was trying to dial my wife on my cell phone.”

The hunter said he called his wife because she allowed him to spend so much time in the stand pursuing the buck.

“I owe this success to my wife Becky,” said Sullivan. “She is the means behind the cause.”

News of the fine buck spread like a grass fire. Everywhere he stopped his truck with the big buck aboard, crowds gathered and cell phone cameras flashed.

Sullivan’s lesson for the rest of us? Learn as much as you can about a trophy deer’s habits and then stay in the woods.

“If at first you don’t succeed …,” he said.

See more than 100 bucks killed this season — and add photos of your own — in the Nikon Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free to all registered users of this site.

Everyone who enters the contest will be eligible to win a set of Nikon Monarch ATB 10×42 binoculars (valued at more than $300), which will be given away in a random drawing after the season closes.

Not a member of the Sportsman team yet? It’s free! So register today to get started!

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