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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

14

Joshua Bruce

By Mike Handley

Fainting dead away might've been the only thing Joshua Bruce didn't do during the last morning of his 2012 hunt at Giles Island, a commercial hunting operation on the Louisiana side of the father of all rivers, though it's considered part of Mississippi.

Joshua shook, probably squeaked, banged his rifle on the shooting house window, lost the use of his fingers and fell down twice. If he'd had any nerve pills, he might've chipmunked a handful.

The disabled veteran from Alexandria, La., was as rattled as a mouse in cage full of cats, and with good reason.

"It took me awhile to realize I'd actually shot this buck," he said of the nearly 270-inch (gross) whitetail that was his ungluing. "I then spiked my hat, like a football player, and started dancing around inside the shooting house. It was not exactly my best moment as a sportsman.

"Later, when T-Bird and I were going to look at it, nothing on my body was working properly," the 32-year-old hunter continued. "My fingers couldn't hit the right buttons on my phone, and my legs wouldn't work. I fell down twice while walking to the deer."

T-Bird - real name Tony Klingler -- was his guide that morning, the man who told Joshua he could shoot, the man who knew that waiting increased the odds of the deer's being hit only by an echo. Before the bullet left the gun, both men knew exactly which buck was in the crosshairs: a deer everyone at Giles Island called The Rock.

Among Mississippi bucks, this 21-pointer is second only to the world-record Tony Fulton Buck shot in 1995. Its BTR composite score is 268 7/8 inches.

Be sure to read the rest of the story in RACK magazine this fall.

Billy Garner Shawn Thompson Ryan Provance Joe Lacefield Josh Gandy Mark Amons BTR

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