posted on April 20, 2014 08:23
By Mike Handley
When Larry Mangin decides to go deer hunting, which is almost every day the sun rises (in season), it's a matter of choosing which of his 17 setups to visit.
The retiree (except for the little antiques store he runs) has access to lots of land in Meade County, Ky. He's planted several food plots, and he has both permanent stands and ground blinds at his disposal.
Larry's happy to take a doe for the freezer every now and then, but you can't dismiss him as a meat hunter. The reason he hadn't shot a buck in the six years leading up to the 2013 season is not because antlers don't thrill him. He's just picky; committed not to shoot anything smaller than he's already shot.
He takes advantage of all the seasons, too.
"I bowhunted about eight times during September and early October, and then I hunted the early muzzleloader weekend," he said. "It was kind of funny because all I was seeing were little bucks, while I was primarily gunning for does."
He passed up three 4x4s during that period, all with benchmark, outside-the-ears spreads that would've made them shooters by others' standards. But Larry saw no reason to topple one of them.
The first Saturday of the state's rifle season, Larry joined his 86-year-old mother in a ground blind. Before the day was done, she'd shot her seventh or eighth opening-day buck in a row.
On the third Saturday, he decided he'd shoot a doe off one of his smaller food plots. In the waning light of day, he had his choice of five nannies chowing down on alfalfa and oats.
"About 5:15, I looked around one more time to see if there were any bucks before shooting one of the does," Larry said. "Just about that time, this big rascal ran out into the field with its nose to the ground."
Even though the whitetail was 90 yards away, Larry didn't need to study the rack to be sufficiently impressed. At the rifle's report, the deer collapsed.
If Larry continues adhering to his bigger-than-the-last-one rule, he might never shoot another deer with antlers. He'll leave those for his mother.
The 21-pointer's BTR composite score is 220 inches. Look for Dale Weddle's story about the deer in Rack magazine this fall.