Big Buck Contest

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quitman Co. buck put hunter in lead

By Billy Davis

Deer hunter Eric Patterson hung on through part of December and all of January to win The Panolian’s Big Buck Contest.

Patterson jumped into the lead in late December with a Quitman County buck that earned him 68 points.

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His entry dropped contest leader Joel Williams into second place. Williams finished the contest in second with 66.75 points.

The contest concluded January 31, the final day of Mississippi’s 2008-2009 deer season.

Both Patterson and Williams bagged their bucks in Quitman County. Patterson bagged an 11-point on December 21. Williams bagged a 12-point on a December 3 muzzleloader hunt.

Patterson, 33, said Monday he was unaware of the contest results until a reporter phoned him for comment.

His comment? He became a celebrity over night when The Panolian reported in a December 30 issue that he had jumped into first place.

“I heard from more people than I ever thought I could because of y’all,” he said. “How many subscribers do you have?”

At Batesville Gun and Pawn, the contest co-sponsor, Patterson’s buck measured an inside spread of 22 inches and a main beam length of 28 inches. The base circumference measured seven inches.

Williams’ buck sported an inside spread of 23.50 inches and a main beam length of 25.25 inches. The base circumference measured six inches.

Patterson’s point score brought him within an inch of topping the annual contest. That honor still belongs to Kenny Crockett, whose 18-point earned him 68.75 inches in the 2006-2007 contest.