posted on December 30, 2012 14:35
I guess you have to be from or have hunted the bowels of Dixie to envision Kenny Redd's setup and appreciate the significance of the deer he shot last year in Jasper County, Miss.
Since the 1970s, the South has been largely responsible for the toilet paper found in American bathrooms and for the utility poles ferrying electricty, television and Internet to homes. Once the hardwood forests were gone and the bottom fell out of the cotton and soybean markets, many Southern landowners turned to farming pine trees.
The big ones become poles. Others are pulp.
Piney woods don't grow really big deer, as a rule. But clear-cutting and thinning create both edge habitat, which whitetails love, and a veritable all-they-can-eat salad bar before the canopy closes and the lack of sunlight smothers everything beneath.
Kenny's buck is proof, however, that one should never say never.
Since 1997, his favorite stand has been one overlooking a cutover. A cutover is generally a piece of ground at some stage between outright clear-cut and a young pine plantation. In his case, now, it's young pines.
One morning last January, Kenny was watching those pines from atop his tripod when he glimpsed a deer with a large rack that other club members had nicknamed Twin Towers because of its height. When the massive buck crossed a shooting lane at 65 yards, he shot it.
"When I ventured into the pine plantation and found this gorgeous buck, I was shocked," he said. "But it wasn't the I-had-no-idea-he-was-THIS-big kind of shock."
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