This near-perfect record buck may be the new No. 1 for archery in Mississippi.
Ask any hunter what his or her ideal “buck of a lifetime” would look like, and the description would probably closely resemble the buck Earl Stubblefield just shot in Mississippi!
The buck, which grossed 180 7/8 and unbelievably netted 179 1/8 when green-scored, is one beautiful 12-pointer. It’s a buck Stubblefield had watched slowly grow bigger and bigger over the last three years.
“He had a really pretty rack,” Stubblefield told the Clarion-Ledger. “It was weird he had such a perfect rack.”
The first couple of years the Oxford bowhunter encountered the massive buck, he was a 10 pointer. When he finally got his first photo of the buck this season, he was thrilled to discover the buck had added two more points.
“That deer walked right in front of the camera,” he told the Clarion-Ledger. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! This deer’s a 12-point.’”
As might be expected of such a giant of the forest, Stubblefield had never seen, nor gotten a photo of this monster in the daylight. But it didn’t dissuade him from his hunt. He quickly went to work patterning the buck.
“After I got the first pictures, I put out every camera I had in the area to find out where he was coming out and into the bean field,” Stubblefield told the Clarion-Ledger. “After I figured out his pattern I hung stands there in the first week of September. I didn’t go back at all. I just left it alone.”
The hunter sat twice before the fateful day of October 8 when the massive buck walked right under his stand only moments after a four-point did the same thing. Stubblefield got his chance when the buck stopped quartering away at 27 yards.
“He ran about 80 yards and just dropped,” he told the Clarion-Ledger. “It was so dry, when he took off it looked like a smoke trail.”
The buck didn’t make it out of the bean field, and Stubblefield had his prize.
Before the season had started, Stubblefield thought the buck might be a 150-inch deer this year. He had previously estimated scores of 117 and 140 from the sheds he had found years prior. But when the measuring tape finally hit the antlers, he realized he had something even more special.
“It wasn’t until I put a tape on him and started getting these crazy numbers that I realized how big he was,” Stubblefield told the Clarion-Ledger. “I thought he would be the biggest deer killed in Lafayette County archery, but it never crossed my mind he would be the state record.”
The buck’s green score puts Stubblefield’s buck 5 1/8 inches above the current state record for an archery buck in Mississippi. Although the drying period still has to take place, the Clarion-Ledger reports scorer Ronnie Cannon fully expects the buck to be the new record.
“It being a 12-point, which is a bit of a rarity, and it being as symmetrical as he is is even more rare,” Cannon told the paper. “The symmetry of the rack is exceptional.”
While it remains to be seen if the buck will capture the new No. 1 crown for Mississippi, there’s no denying this is the buck of a lifetime.
The south has been producing some pretty nice bucks early in many states’ bow seasons so far in 2016. This is the second buck over or near 170 inches so far for Mississippi this year. Nearby Louisiana also produced a potential top-5 non-typical earlier this month.
It seems 2016 is off to a heck of a start for the big bucks. If this deer doesn’t make you want to hit the woods, nothing will!