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Gary Wallace • 1/2/2013 • Newton County, MS • Rifle

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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

Bellringer Gets Another Poke

After more than 20 years of collecting glass-eyed trophies for his wall, Tony Pruett of Vanntown, Tenn., would rather hunt with his son or grown daughter than go it alone. But he had no buddy when he took to the Lincoln County woods before dawn on Dec. 31, 2012.

He tried rousting then 12-year-old Tyler, but his son opted to sleep in that day. A warm bed was not an option for Tony.

Tennessee's rifle season was winding down, and even though he'd launched a Hail Mary at a tremendous buck a couple of days earlier, he hadn't harvested one that year.

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Fooling Moses

When Josh Stephenson saw the tsunami rolling through the yellowed stalks, he stood and grabbed his bow. Whether the parting corn represented a Biblical shift or the opening of a new fault line near Danville, Ind., whether a robed and bearded man, a herd of deer or geology was to blame, the 25-year-old bowhunter wasn't going to find out without clipping his release to the string.

He didn't sit down again until the arrow he'd nocked was long gone, along with the bulldozer of a buck it skewered en route to the ground. Josh was breathing as if he was the one with a hole through his bellows.

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Colonel Mustard did not do it in the library with a lead pipe. Miss Scarlet did not do it in the kitchen with a knife. And Professor Plum didn't do it in the study with a revolver.

In the game of Clue that played out in central Louisiana during the long Christmas break, 'twas John Prior who drew blood, with a rifle, in a place called Honey Brake.

The 50-year-old Georgia businessman and designer of bass fishing lures might not have been the only one to make a shot count during that extended week, but he definitely won the game.

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Never Assume You've Missed

One reason even veteran deer hunters fail to get more than one shot at a fleeing deer is because they're shocked when the animal doesn't falter or collapse after the first boom. All too often, those who manage a follow-up shot are too rattled to make it count.

That might've been the case in Pointe Coupee Parish, La., last December, when Phil Major fired twice at what he calls the local "celebrity buck." The deer, fixated on a doe, didn't react in the least to Phil's first shot, and a quick second round flew wide.

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