“Maggie” and the Monster Buck
January 9, 2018
Editorial Staff (194 articles)
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“Maggie” and the Monster Buck

Hunter takes big buck in Liberty County

By Corey Fuller

Beep…Beep…Beep.

The alarm on my phone went off opening day of rifle season 2016. I jumped out of bed and got in the shower for my de-scenting ritual. I threw on some clothes, grabbed “Maggie,” and headed out the door.

By the way, Maggie is not my dog or my lady. It’s a name my dad and I gave to a .300 Weatherby Magnum I purchased when I was 13. I’m 32 now. We have been through a lot together and taken many whitetails and our fair share of hogs.

I pulled up to my dad’s house at 4:30 a.m. He hopped in the truck and we drove off to the woods. In our case, that means going into Liberty County for a 20-minute drive from his house. Dad and I stopped by our storage unit to hook up the trailer, and load the four-wheeler. We’ve been on many hunts together, but none like the one we were in for that day.

We pulled off the road and onto the white-rock logging road. Not a light in sight, and the smell of pines trees permeating the air lets you know you’re definitely in East Texas. I headed to our normal spot where we park the truck. Unloading the four-wheeler and getting our gear went by like a blur. I was worried about beating the sun to the stand.

After the 10-minute ATV ride, 15 minute walk, and crossing a small ditch—hip waders required—we climbed the 15-foot ladder and got as comfortable as possible in our lean-to tree stand. Maggie leaned against the shooting rest with three 180-grain rounds ready for business.

Ready at sunup

The sunlight slowly made its way into our neck of the woods, lighting up the white rock of the logging road. My eyes started scanning the area for movement. Opening morning always has a way of keeping me on the edge of my seat and alert. It wasn’t long before I noticed something down the road to the north of my stand.

As I adjusted the binocular, three medium-size hogs came into focus. If you have lived in Texas for any time at all, you know the importance of feral hog control. I drew the bolt back, chambered one of the other two rounds from the magazine, and fired.

As I sat Maggie down, my dad asked, “What was that.” I whispered, “A hog,” as I sat back against what was left of the sun-damaged cushion we neglected to remove for the off-season the previous year.

Forty-five minutes or so had gone by with not even the sound of a squirrel running through the trees. I felt my phone vibrate in my pocket. It was the guy in the closest stand to the north of our location. “Did you get one,” the text read.

I sent him a text about the hog. As I set the phone down I glanced down the road to the west. My eyes stopped on what a thought to be a clump of grass, but I saw movement. As I looked through the binocular my heart dropped into my stomach.

“There he is,” I said. I quickly handed my dad the binocular and whispered, “Monster buck.” I guess muscle memory had already started the process of getting Maggie where she needed to be.

Through the lenses of my 4.5-15X scope, I came face to face with a mature buck. What I could see had least 10 points with tall tines, accompanied by a doe that led him to cross paths with us.

Taking the shot

Resting the crosshairs midway up his swollen neck as he quartered towards me, I slowly squeezed Maggie’s trigger. The muzzle break flash blinded me as the 180-grain bullet traveling at almost three times the speed of sound left the muzzle.

BAM!

The bullet went through his spine and stopped with no exit wound. The only sound was the doe running off through the pine saplings as the buck hit to the ground where he stood. There was no site of movement.

My phone vibrated again from a text message that said, “Did you shoot again?” I texted him a short and sweet message: “Yeah, I got a nice one.”

Fifteen minutes or so went by and I could not wait any longer. We climbed out of the stand and went down the road towards him. As the rack came into sight my mouth dropped and my heart started pounding. I knelt down beside my trophy and noticed he was indeed a 10-point, but both his brow tines where split, actually making him a unique 12-point buck.

I looked back to see my dad walking up with one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen on his face in a long time. That smile said more than words ever could.

I’m proof you never know when and where taking a big trophy buck will happen. I’m grateful for my grandpa getting me interested in hunting, and for my dad keeping me interested.

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