Purvis deer green scores 162 4/8 inches.
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.
Hunting on family land in Lamar County near Purvis, Dewease arrowed a whitetail the evening of Nov. 15 that green scored 162 4/8 inches Pope & Young. The 14-point was near-perfect, with a couple of sticker points that will knock a bit off the final score.
He didn’t mind those little points a bit, though.
“At that time didn’t think I’d see anything bigger, but I’ve changed. I firmly believe in management of the land and deer.”
Dewease hunts on property that has been in his family for decades. It’s not big, he said, but includes a large pasture and some hardwood cutover that has grown into a good bedding and travel area.
He put out a ground blind earlier in the week so he could hunt with his young daughter. As with any new addition to a hunting area, he was curious how the deer might react and if they would change their entry routes into the field.
“I was hoping to see some does for my daughter to kill the next day,” Dewease said. “I’ve hunted a stand there for the last six years on a trail that leads from the hardwoods to a field, and I know they travel through there. I told my wife I wasn’t going to shoot anything unless it was a really big buck.
He wasn’t expecting much, climbing into the stand at 4:14 p.m. at the same time his wife called his cell. The hunter didn’t answer, and soon was watching deer.
“By 4:30, there were some does feeding on acorns around me,” Dewease said. “I never saw them going into the stand, and with the wind blowing as hard as it was I guess they didn’t hear me enough to get spooked.
“I was looking at an app on my phone when I saw them.”
Dewease had hung his bow and quiver on hooks on the tree and was watching the does.
That’s when Mr. Buck made his appearance.
“He came out and looked straight at the ground blind, and my heart sank because I just knew he was about to bolt,” Dewease said. “The does didn’t pay any attention to the blind.
“But as soon as he came through there he saw it and threw his ears back. He even snorted at it, and when he turned I knew I had to do something to stop him. I bleated and he jerked his head around and looked straight at the blind again.”
The buck was within 7 yards of Dewease’s stand, but he’d never trimmed the branches to shoot anything that close. So he had to sit and watch as this antsy buck tried to figure out what to do next.
By then, Dewease had his old High Country Hunter bow in hand and had nocked a Gold Tip arrow. The buck was walking. Dewease figured he’d try something.
“I kind of bleated and got him stopped, and took the shot,” he said. “I shot him quartering away at about 18 steps. He ran over a hill and fell over. I saw him fall but didn’t go straight to him because it had gotten late and I was by myself.
“I didn’t want to do anything to push him right then, so I eased out.”
Dewease called his wife, who wasn’t initially tickled with his evening success. She didn’t realize how big the buck was until he got home later that night.
“She didn’t mind too much then,” he laughed. “I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to go up on this one. This one sets the bar pretty high.”
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