Lamar Arrington's Christmas Eve surprise

Submitted Photo

Reed Edwards harvested his first buck while hunting with his dad — one shot to drop him in green field. Proud grandparents are Wayne and Patti Edwards.

Deep in the woods of south Lauderdale County stands the Stucky Bridge, so named because of a legendary outlaw who reportedly operated an inn and robbed patrons and others who dared cross his bridge with any money. The bridge still spans the river, but these days the river is home to spotted bass and trophy bucks.

Lamar Arrington has been hunting some of those deer for as long as he can remember. The Meridian native followed in the footsteps of his father, Dr. George Lamar Arrington II, and grandfather George Lamar Arrington, as both were avid hunters and fishermen. While Arrington has harvested trophy deer from Nebraska and other places, the ever-elusive trophy buck escaped him in Mississippi, and more specifically right here at home near Meridian. That could be a result of his goodwill towards others, including friends and children especially.

Arrington hunted one of his favorite stands the week before Christmas and saw about 10 deer with three bucks among the bunch, but no shooters. The next week, we made arrangements to make another hunt to the area. On the morning of the hunt, my daughter Mikayla learned she would be off and asked about going with us.

We met Arrington later that day, which was Christmas Eve, and he told us to hunt the two fields in the bottom, about a mile back in the woods. He told me to put Mikayla in the field he had hunted the week before because he wanted her to see deer and maybe get a shot. Arrington made alternative plans to hunt another stand instead.

“I went back to check out another field not too far away, but I’d left my coveralls at the truck, so I went back to get them since it was bitter cold and very windy that day,” Arrington said.

When he got back to camp, he decided to hunt near the camp so he wouldn’t disturb the woods near the other hunters, as it was getting late in the day.

Christmas Eve surprise

“We had a field on an 80-acre tract that was close to the main road where we usually never killed anything or hardly ever saw anything, but it was close to the camp, so I decided to hunt there and wait on the others to get out,” Arrington said. “The field was in a bottom with hardwoods to the right and a pine plantation to the left. It was about 125 yards long and about 20 yards wide.”

It was a decision that some might regret, but Arrington was more concerned with the Mikayla harvesting a deer than he was himself.

“I got into the field about 3 p.m. and got into the stand and napped for a while,” Arrington said. “A single doe walked into the field about 4:30, and she kept looking back as she nipped at the grass. I wasn’t too excited about it until he walked into the field five minutes later.” ​

Arrington knew instantly this was a special buck and quickly got ready to shoot.

“The buck’s rack was so wide and massive that I didn’t have to look at him through the binoculars, so I just pulled up my rifle that I had in the shoot house window and tried to get the crosshairs on him as quickly as possible,” Arrington said. “I knew I might not have long to shoot since the field was so narrow. The buck crossed the food plot at 75 yards, and I took the shot as soon as I lined him up.”

“Ka-Boom!” roared Arrington’s Remington .270, and the buck collapsed in a heap. Not only was this the biggest buck he’d ever seen in Mississippi, but this buck beat all of his Nebraska trophies, and he never had a clue it lived anywhere nearby.

“After I killed it, I found out that several neighbors had seen the buck on camera, and they told me that they were hunting him,” said Arrington. “People had seen him around the Stuckey Bridge Road and on several game cameras the last two or three years in the properties surrounding the bridge.”

Ironically, Arrington never had a thought about hunting a deer there, only taking a stand on Christmas Eve because he wanted a young lady to get her chance. It’s seems appropriate that Arrington harvested the trophy buck, which was unknown to him but on the radar screen of several other hunters, after years of helping others.

Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email mikegiles18@comast.net.

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