Fifteen-year-old Olivia Triplett had one request of her father Nov. 26.
“Daddy, we’re going hunting,” she said. “I want to go hunting where those big-boned deer are, like up at Carthage or Canton.”
O. B. Triplett was relaxing on the couch in a drowsy state after a fine Thanksgiving meal last Thursday when his daughter Olivia came in and roused him.
With 72 degree temperature the elder Triplett wasn’t feeling the vibe, but by the end of the day the father-daughter team had a 159-inch monster buck on the ground.
But O.B. Triplett at first tried to talk his daughter out of the hunt.
“I don’t know about that, Olivia; it’s mighty hot,” he said. “We can’t go far since we’re going to a family get together tonight.”
O.B. Triplett said the only place they could hunt for a short time was in Scott County at some family land that had a small shooting house on it.
“The only place we could go with a southeast wind only had one chair, and it was really a small stand,” he explained. “So we went there anyway and got in the stand at 4:35 (p.m.).”
The East Rankin Academy student didn’t realize the stand would be so small, but she didn’t have to sit long in the cramped stand for things to start happening.
“We got there and were only on the stand a few minutes when I looked up and all I saw was a rack,” Olivia said.
She had never even seen a live deer in the wild, but she was primed for this moment. She quietly instructed her father to give her his gun.
“I just got the gun up because I wanted to kill a buck and because he had a rack,” Olivia said.
Half of the buck’s body was out in the open lane at 50 yards, and O.B. told his daughter it looked like a nice rack.
Olivia snapped the safety off, and the buck jerked its head around and looked directly at them for a few minutes.
The hunters dared not move a muscle.
“Dad whispered to me to shoot just as I had the crosshairs by his head,” Olivia said. “He whispered to me to shoot again, and I put (the crosshairs) right behind his shoulder and squeezed off a shot, and he ran off like he hadn’t been shot.”
Things weren’t looking good for recovery of the deer when they arrived at the shot site.
“Olivia, I just don’t know about this,” O.B. told her.
Hopes of a killing shot were fading fast, and what they found put a further damper on things.
“I found a few specks of blood and knew she’d hit the buck, but then we found blood and bone, and that’s usually not good,” the elder Triplett said. “I was afraid she’d made a leg shot and that it might not be a killing shot.”
“We both had our doubts,” Olivia agreed.
But they continued looking for the buck, following a light blood trail.
“I kept looking, and we were trailing the deer through briars and thick stuff, and I spotted something in the woods,” she said. “‘Dad I think I see some horns’, I said.”
Her father couldn’t see it, but he stopped after they moved forward again.
“Give me the gun, give me the gun,” O. B. told his daughter in the fading light.
Olivia worried why her dad would need the gun.
“I was afraid of what he’d seen — maybe an animal or something the way he was looking,” she explained. “I gave him my gun, and he turned around and shined the light on a big deer and eased up to it and nudged him a bit but he was dead.”
And the celebration began.
“He picked me up and we hugged, and it got all emotional and exciting,” Olivia said. “I was really feeling happy, and we were only out there a short time when it all happened.
“I didn’t realize how good the buck was until we loaded it up.”
The main-frame 9-point weighed 182 pounds and had massive antlers with plenty of mass that pushed the green score to 159 7/8, according to Magnolia Records founder Rick Dillard.
The buck also had 6-inch bases, 11 inch G-4s and 24-inch main beams.
Click here to read about other big bucks killed this season.
And don’t forget about the Mississippi Sportsman Big Buck Photo Contest, which is free and offers great monthly Sportsman Gear prizes.