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Our Top Bow Bucks Of 2004
Owing to the combination of dark clouds and waning sunlight, Alley wasn't sure that the buck was a shooter until it was within shooting range. Once he got a good, clear look at the massive antlers, however, all doubts were erased. And then he tried to draw his bow.
"I tried to draw back when he turned and went to my right," Alley said. "But even though I put my bow up, I couldn't draw back. I tried my hardest to draw back, but I couldn't."
Worried that something was wrong with his equipment, Alley took a quick look at his gear. Soon, the bowhunter was convinced that his bow was in fine shape; the problem was with his rattled nerves.
"I realized that my bow wasn't messed up -- it was just me. When he got into one of my shooting lanes, I stood up and drew."
When a clear shot presented itself, Alley settled his sight pin and unleashed an arrow from his Hoyt compound bow.
Unsure of how well the whitetail was hit, Alley retreated to the deer camp cabin to enlist the aid of hunting buddy Don Nace. While the pair quickly picked up the blood trail that evening, it faded away after a lengthy search. With the threat of rain diminishing, the pair decided to continue their search the following morning.
Resumed after sunup the next day, their big-buck quest didn't last long. "I was down on the ground looking for blood," Alley said. "Don walked up and said 'There's your deer over there.'"
Following the successful recovery, the hunters were amazed at the massive rack they held in their hands. With 14 scorable points, the Alley buck had a gross score of 181 6/8 inches and a net score of 174 0/8 -- good enough to rank as the largest non-typical bow buck reported to TBGA last year.
PEELER G. LACEY
Peeler G. Lacey is certainly no stranger to hunting success. After all, the 50-year old physician from Laurel, Miss., has taken a number of fine game animals through the years, including a grand slam of North America wild sheep.
Still, even with all of his success, there's nothing that he enjoys more than spending time in the woods with his soon-to-be-married daughter or his son the University of Mississippi law student. And bowhunting big whitetails on the King Ranch just might run a close second to spending time with his kids.
After watching his son take a nice management buck on the opening weekend of the archery season, Lacey began his hunt in earnest. Seeing several deer, including a good buck, working an overgrown gas line convinced Lacey to erect a Double Bull ground blind for his first evening's hunt.
That's when he had a close -- but unsuccessful -- encounter with a huge Texas whitetail. The next morning, as lightning flashed and thunder rolled in the distance, he was back in the same spot again.
"It looked like it could open up at any time, although it never did," he recalled. "Still, I was getting very concerned that if I did shoot a deer, any rain could affect the blood trail."
When a big buck appeared and moved into range, Lacey eased his Mathews bow to full draw and tried to get into position for the shot. When the arrow flew from his bow, the hit was a bit farther back than desired. Lacey and his guide, Jack Fleming, retreated for several hours before beginning their search for the deer. When they returned, it was with several trackers and a tracking dog.
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