By Mike Giles / Outdoors Writer
Charles Compton was a young man of 30 years before he ever harvested his first deer, as he was raised in Clarke County during a time when there wasn’t a deer to be found. “I can remember when they started the Buckatunna Wildlife Preserve and brought some deer down here from up north,” Compton said.
“We got excited when we saw a deer track, and sometimes you might go weeks without seeing a fresh track,” he said. “It was big news just to see a deer track.”
Compton quit deer hunting for a time, but now that he’s retired he’s taken the habit back up and enjoys spending much time in the woods and on his deer stand in Clarke County. “I hunt down at my daddy’s old home place and have killed a few bucks down there over the last few years and an occasional doe for meat,” said Compton.
After several years of retirement Compton’s harvest resume included quite a few “cull” bucks, as he calls them and one nice eight point. “I think I’ve about got them weeded out now, but for several years all I saw were bucks with a nice three or four point rack on their right side and only a single point on the left side,” Compton said.
“Some years I’d see as many as 15 does in the field and only cull bucks occasionally,” he said. “But this year it’s been tough to see a deer and I’ve only seen just a few does the whole season.”
Yes indeed, times have been tough for viewing deer this year, but Charles Compton didn’t let that stop him from heading to the deer stand. With the season winding down Compton hunted about two weeks without sighting a deer.
“I went a couple weeks and just didn’t see a thing,” said Compton. “I can remember a few years ago when I was hunting alone and I said, ‘Lord can’t you just send me one buck with long tines and a big rack by?’” But it never happened.
Thursday January 9th Compton made the trek from his Clarkdale home to his deer stand and the day started as the rest of the previous hunts, without a sight or sign of a deer. “I got there about three p. m. but hadn’t seen anything but a couple of redbirds,” Compton said. But that day turned out to be a different day, though he didn’t foresee it.
With the last rays of sunlight fading, things took a sudden turn.
“All of a sudden I looked across the field and saw a rack heading towards the food plot,” said Compton. “His rack was sticking up above the cypress leaves and I got so excited I didn’t know if I could shoot or not.”
The massive buck kept coming until he was in the open in the green field and Compton centered the crosshairs of his scope on the buck’s vitals and squeezed the trigger of his Thompson Center 25-06 Encore rifle.
Ka-boom roared the rifle and the buck collapsed in a heap! The buck of a lifetime had appeared in an instant and Charles Compton was one excited hunter. The trophy buck sported 10 main frame points with a kicker on one base making it an 11-point.
“I always said that I would never mount one but this one was the largest I’d ever seen and it scored 142 3/8 and weighed over 180 pounds,” Compton said. As a result, a quick trip to the taxidermist was in order. “He took his time sending that big buck by me but it was worth the wait,” Compton said. After weeks of fruitless hunts Compton’s tenacity paid off with the biggest buck of his career and a lifetime memory was made on the old home place. It just doesn’t get much better than that.
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