Davis gets last minute buck
Feb. 2, 2001
This is the first year that Mississippi hunters have been able to go after deer in late January with a firearm. Many serious hunters broke out their favorite muzzleloader and went to the woods in search of that big buck.
Scott Davis of Pachuta, was one of those hunters willing to spend a few more days afield in search of a trophy buck. Although he had seen a few small bucks and many does during the last season, he had not yet seen a real "shooter size" buck.
On the Saturday prior to the final weekend of the muzzleloader season, he went squirrel hunting and did a little scouting as well. While the squirrel hunt was a success with the procurement of a few squirrels for some fine table fare, the scouting turned out to be an even bigger success.
Davis located a scrape line and a good number of fresh rubs. Some of the rubs were on pretty large trees and indicated that a nice buck was in the area.
Perhaps even better was the location of the deer. This particular area had received little deer hunting pressure over the course of the season. This could have been one of the reasons that the big buck had retreated to this remote area.
Whatever the reason, the sign that he left indicated he was big and working the area regularly.
Davis made plans immediately to hunt the area before the season was over. A late afternoon hunt with a friend buoyed his enthusiasm for the area.
Davis dropped off his hunting partner in a good looking spot and then went another 200-300 yards down the bottom. Just before dark, a nice buck came by his partner chasing a doe at near breakneck speed. The buck was just out of range in a thicket and didn't stop long enough for him to get a good look.
Going into the final Saturday of the season Davis knew he had one last chance at the buck. That would be the last day that he would get to hunt this season. Late that afternoon, Davis and his hunting partner went back to the woods for that one final time.
After arriving at his hunting spot, Davis ascended a tree in his Ole Man tree stand. From that vantage point he would be able to spot any deer that came near without being detected.
Once he got settled into the tree stand it didn't take long for the action to begin. In fact, he had only been in the stand about 30 minutes when he spotted a lone buck sneaking silently through the woods. In an instant he realized the buck was legal and one that he wanted to take.
Picking out an opening just in front of the buck he settled the scope's crosshairs on the deer and squeezed the trigger on the Knight muzzleloader as the deer came into view.
As the rifle roared and smoke flew everywhere, the buck kept going with nary a sign that he had been hit. All Davis could do was watch the buck as it kept on moving through the woods. Suddenly the large buck fell and lay motionless, only 40 yards or so from where he had been shot. The .240 grain Hornady Sabot had indeed done its job.
Upon inspection the deer turned out to be a fine 9 pointer, with a rack even bigger and wider than he had first thought. By taking advantage of the new late season muzzleloader hunt and hunting until the last possible moment, Davis had seized the opportunity and taken his best deer of the year.
What more could a hunter ask for than to take a trophy deer on the final hunt of the season?
Mike Giles is an Outdoors writer for The Meridian Star.