Meridian Star

January 3, 2014

Hot buck action now: Bucks in Rut

By Mike Giles
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — After a mid-season lull deer hunting action is picking up at a fast pace with bucks chasing does in full force now. With many does coming into estrous, the bucks are on the move. Starting a week or so ago many hunters from around the area reported sightings of increased buck activity among young bucks.

    And many of those bucks were harvested as they made the mistake of darting across small openings or logging roads with their headgear in full display. It’s hard enough to spot a buck in some of these areas and when they chase a doe across a small opening they’re gone in the blink of an eye. And that’s not enough time to judge a rack. If a deer is feeding in a greenfield or acorn flat hunters have time to judge racks. If they are chasing does in full force, however, the hunter only has a split second to make a judgment call of whether to shoot or not.

    Most veteran trophy hunters usually know instantly whether they want to harvest a buck simply by the first sighting. The rest of us who aren’t trophy hunters usually don’t have the luxury of watching a buck and then deciding. If you have yet to score on a nice buck, a hunter is more prone to pull the trigger at the first sight of a rack. First the doe comes by and then a buck with headgear on. Man do they look like rocking chairs up there as the buck darts through an opening.

    More often than not the racks suffer from Mississippi Ground Shrinkage, as we call it. In fact, I’ve only shot a handful of bucks in the state that didn’t shrink when they hit the ground! One of those bucks that I did know was a shooter was harvested while hunting with Ronnie Foy, of Canton a few years ago. The massive eight point buck charged out of a thicket into an open field at a distance of about 250 yards and I knew he was a shooter instantly as his thick rack shined like Christmas lights even with the final rays of sun disappearing.

    That buck scored nearly 150 B&C, which is a monster for an eight point. The 240 pounder charged into the field after a couple of does like a bull charging a matador in an arena. And he had blood in his eyes and you knew he meant business.

    As the does dispersed the buck picked one out and ran full out towards her as she disappeared into the sage. As he stopped at the field’s edge, a precisely placed 30-06 Hornady bullet laid him down for the count. Even from my stand at twilight’s last gleaming I could see the thick rack.

    Walking towards the big buck a few minutes later after dark the rack seemingly grew. “Man that looks like a Canadian sized buck” I said to myself. Yes, the buck was indeed huge to a man that’s spent most of his life hunting in East Mississippi with lots of bucks, but not a lot of monsters, though that’s changing now.

    If you want to harvest that buck of a lifetime then you might want to spend as much time as possible in the woods around popular doe spots or late season food sources and you just might harvest the buck of a lifetime. Or you may want to give Ronnie Foy, of Foy’s Guide Service a call at 601-859-2300 and he might be able to put you on that trophy.

    Contact  Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at