Clarke County trophy buck begins hunter’s retirement in style

Edward Ray Vaughn hadn't killed a deer in 10 years when he popped this 196-inch Clarke County monster on Nov. 21.

Deer scores 196 inches on the Buckmasters Scoring System.

Edward Ray Vaughan loves to hunt, but he laid off the sport for about 10 years after having to move to Tennessee for work. However, he retired in September and his son-in-law convinced him to join a Clarke County hunting lease.

Vaughan began his retirement in style Nov. 21 by killing a buck that eventually green scored at 196 inches on the Buckmasters system.

The kill came while the Hurley hunter was watching a group of does and young bucks feeding in a green field. He was sitting in a stand that he picked completely at random.

“We have 14 shoot houses and we just pick where we want to go, so I picked number 8,” Vaughan said. “I’d never been there before in my life.”

Vaughan was satisfied with the hunt when he had the opportunity to watch the nine does and four spikes file into the field about 4:30 p.m.

“Man, I was having a good time just watching those deer, but then they left pretty quickly,” Vaughan said.

That worried the concealed hunter, but it didn’t take long for Vaughan to find out why the group of deer had vacated the area – another deer was walking into the green patch.

“I could see antlers, so I got ready to shoot,” Vaughan said. “The buck had a pretty good rack, but it was slightly messed up with five points on one side and three on the other, making it a fair 8-point.

“As I put the scope on the buck, movement behind him caught my eye before I could shoot.”

And it’s a good thing Vaughan wasn’t quick to pull the trigger on the 8-point, as the deer that followed close behind turned out to be much-larger-racked buck.

Vaughan wasted no time finding this buck in the crosshairs and squeezing the trigger of his new 45-70 rifle. Before the roar of the rifle subsided the buck collapsed in a heap and Vaughan turned his attention to the other deer.

“He dropped in his tracks, and I looked to the right at the other deer that had run about 20 yards and stopped,” Vaughan said. “Then the big buck jumped up and ran out of the patch and disappeared into the hollow.”

But the buck didn’t go far. After Vaughan blood-trailed it, the excited hunter was amazed at all of the calcium growing from the deer’s head.

However, he didn’t fully realize what he had accomplished because he’s not hunted a lot lately.

“I didn’t know what the scoring numbers were all about, but (son-in-law) Jeremy (Cochran) said that the best thing that had ever been seen or killed around here was a 120-class buck,” Vaughan said. “Jeremy said that I ought to take it to Jay’s Taxidermy in Quitman to get in the contest, so that’s what we did.”

The buck was eventually scored at 196 inches by Wayne’s Wildlife Creations in Collinsville, which uses the Buckmasters Trophy Scoring System for its big-buck contest.

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Michael O. Giles
About Michael O. Giles 260 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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