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Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog

30

Kenny Redd

By Mike Handley

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."

Twin Towers had died with his head held high, wedged against a 6-inch-diameter pine. Kenny almost shot him again before he realized there was no point.

Not surprisingly, the buck is the biggest ever taken at Kenny's hunting club. At 171 1/8 inches (even without the 16 3/8-inch spread), it's the fourth-largest Typical ever felled by a rifleman in Mississippi.

Members have been drooling over trail cam photos of it for four years, even when it was younger and much smaller.

I can't imagine why, can you?

John Geisinger Jeff Lampe Brant McKenzie BTR

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