posted on October 14, 2012 09:36
By Mike Handley
That little picture next to the word “snakebit” in your dictionary is Ricky Sullivan of Meridian, Miss., although he’s sure to be replaced by another deer hunter when the next edition is published.
Ricky’s visage was added to the big red book in 2010 when he missed a buck he and a buddy had nicknamed Pea Vine, one of the finest whitetails ever to roam Lauderdale County. The deer got its name from the first trail cam mugshot that revealed a rack so strange that Ricky couldn’t tell, at first, whether he was looking at bone or vines from the peas it liked to eat.
On the last Friday of the 2010 season, Ricky shot over the buck’s back. He missed it again during the 2011 Christmas break, which he blames on an unseen sapling.
Ricky again had Pea Vine in his sights in January, but he decided not to take the neck shot.
“He was only 100 yards away, but the shot was just too iffy,” he said.
The next time they crossed paths, it was a tad too late to shoot.
With only five days remaining in the season, Ricky grew desperate and decided to burn some vacation time. He planned to hunt from dawn ‘til dusk every day until the closing bell sounded.
“On Jan. 18, the last day of gun season, I got in my stand before daylight and, at 6:48, while I was scanning with my binoculars, there stood a big deer about 200 yards away. I knew it was Pea Vine,” he said. “When my crosshairs hit his shoulder, I squeezed the trigger.”
So ended his unluckiness.
His reward is the No. 9 Semi-irregular among rifle-taken deer in Mississippi. Its BTR score is 172 2/8, and the inside spread gives it a composite score of 194 6/8 inches.
Lisa Price had the pleasure of chronicling Ricky’s odyssey for Rack magazine. Look for it this fall.