Big Buck

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Deer Hunter Adam Atkinson bagged this 13-point buck Sunday morning, November 25, in Panola County. Photo provided

Record-breaking buck had hunter hopping

By Billy Davis

A 13-point buck bagged over Thanksgiving weekend may be the biggest deer ever measured in The Panolian’s Big Buck Contest.

Adam Atkinson, 27, said he dropped the deer with a 7 mm Weatherby Magnum at 6:50 Sunday morning, when the buck walked into a wheat field with a second buck beside it.

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The buck sported a stunning inside spread of 28 1/2 inches, earning Atkinson 73 1/2 points at Batesville Gun and Pawn, the contest co-sponsor.

Gun and Pawn employee Paige Evans said Atkinson’s entry may be second only to an 18-point buck taken by Tate County hunter Kenny Crockett in 2006. But a search of the 2006-2007 Big Buck contest shows Crockett’s famously huge deer earned him 68.25 points that year.

If you’re slow at math, that means Atkinson’s buck likely beat Crockett’s entry by more than five points.

Measurements taken at Batesville Gun and Pawn show the 13-point had a main beam length of 26 inches and a base circumference of 13 inches.

 “The antlers are symmetrical — almost perfect,” said Bubba Atkinson, Adam’s dad. “One is 25 inches and one is 26 inches.”

The Christmas Day buck bagged by Crockett sported an inside spread of 20 3/4 inches. The main beams measured 23 1/2 inches. 

Bubba Atkinson, 49, said he has bagged countless deer since she shot his first at age six. But the buck bagged by his son Sunday morning rivals any deer he has ever bragged about, he said.

“He called me and said, ‘I’ve killed a bigger deer than you ever did.’ And he was right,” said the dad. “He surpassed everything I’ve ever gotten. It’s unusual to see a deer that size in Mississippi.”

According to the father and son, the Big Buck leader was almost the one that got away. Bubba Atkinson said he planned to hunt in a ladder stand 300 yards away from his son, but a leaky radiator on his automobile kept him at home and out of the woods Sunday morning.

“I probably would have jumped that buck going to my stand — never would have seen it,” he said.

Adam Atkinson said he was hunting in an 18-foot ladder stand when the deer walked out. The buck dropped when the hunter made a 120-yard shot with his rifle.

The hunter said he took the shot without realizing the size of the antlers. When he walked close enough to see it, he said he ran back to get his rifle before going any farther.

 “Nobody had ever seen that deer before it walked out,” he told The Panolian.

Bubba Atkinson guessed the big “sway back” buck is at least five years old, possibly as old as seven. It weighed more than 250 pounds, he said.