Carl Lucky III didn't have an answer when his grandsons, 12 and 10 years old, asked him if he ever killed a giant buck, would he holler?
"I said, 'Luke, I don't know that I would, that's not really my personality. I've been excited about killing nice deer before but never screamed and hollered.'"
After harvesting Missouri's seventh largest compound-felled whitetail in BTR's semi-irregular category back in November 2021, Carl had to let them know he had a change of heart.
"Spontaneously at one point I yelled 'Yessir!' as loud as I could. When I got home and was talking to Luke and Sam, I told them I know what I'll do when I kill a giant. They said, "Well, what'd you do?' I said I hollered," Carl laughed.
The 70-year-old gained permission through a mutual friend to hunt a family's property in Livingston County he had never met before. The father and son who own and manage the 300 acres were the salt of the earth, Carl said.
He drove from southern Arkansas the day before Missouri's rifle opener, and they took the time to share trail-cam inventory and boundary lines with a friendly stranger.
"My friend had done such a good job helping the family develop native grasses and simply asked if they minded if I hunt their property. They said it'd be fine. If it's a friend of his, he's a friend of ours."
The next morning Carl scouted the property on his electric bike, checking wind directions and considering scenarios that made sense for a buck decoy. He hung a stand around 1 p.m. and decided to sit along a tree line the rest of the afternoon.
"One hour before dark I noticed a doe off to my left, and behind that doe was a buck in some thick foliage standing by itself in this switch grass. I saw the horns, then I saw its face."
Both deer wandered out of sight, Carl made a few grunts and not long after heard a hellacious buck fight behind him.
"It had to of been one hell of a fight because he was scratched up and had blood on his forehead after we recovered him. No idea what the other buck was but it sounded like a good fight."
Ten minutes after the skirmish the 17-pointer emerged from the woods line victorious with its hair standing up, still mad and walking straight to the decoy.
Carl was at full draw with the buck under his tree at 7 yards, released an arrow and hit a limb with his broadhead. The arrow broke in half, and Carl said the noise was so loud it sounded like a .22 caliber bullet ricocheting off concrete.
"Thought I blew an opportunity, but he was so mesmerized by this decoy he jumped out again at 30 yards. He turned broadside looking at the decoy and meanwhile I'm trying to get another arrow nocked and find another gap to shoot through."
His second arrow connected through the heart at 31 yards.
"I'm not a great, super smart deer hunter," Carl insists humbly. "This episode probably proves that. But if I hadn't missed that first shot, he was going to hit that decoy and probably get out of the area in a hurry."
After a 65-yard track later that night, Carl and the landowner recovered the 190" giant in some switch grass.
Buckmasters' scorer Cecil Reddick measured the Livingston-County 10x7, which scored 190 2/8 inches for Buckmasters Trophy Records.
"I live for this. It's one of those deals you don't forget. I'm 70 years old still climbing trees, still doing what I was when I was 20. As long as I stay healthy I plan to keep doing what I love."
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