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I'll keep my gun...You keep the change
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Hunter downed possible record whitetail deer​
By GARNER ROBERTS Special to the Reporter-News
Thursday, November 12, 2009​
Even at a distance of 350 yards, Mike Hicks knew this white-tailed buck was
"I saw him in the corner of my eye at 350 yards on my range finder," Hicks said. "There
was no mistaking those antlers. ... I had heard of him, but I had never seen him."
Hicks, a veteran deer hunter from Dallas who has hunted in Shackelford County for at
least six years, was hunting alone on the Merrick Davis Ranch on Sunday. And by the
second day of the 2009-10 season, Hicks had his trophy buck.
The ranch is operated by H&M Cattle Co., primarily a cattle operation, with a focus on
conservation to benefit both cattle and wildlife on the ranch.
"Big Jim," as Hicks calls the deer in memory of his friend and former hunting and
fishing partner Jim Thomas, was running with other bucks and does on a flattop ringed
with mesquite trees. "He was in and out of the mesquite for about 15 minutes," Hicks
said. "I had no good shot at him. I thought, 'I'm going to have to stalk him.'
"My best friend, Jim (who died recently), had told me to be patient," Hicks continued.
"He (the deer) took a step out from the mesquite and started into the flat, and I told
myself, 'This is it.' "
Rick Hanson, a partner in H&M Cattle Co. with Matt Matthews, said: "Mike was a very,
very patient hunter. He waited for the buck to expose himself. He was running with
about six other bucks chasing does. Mike waited until he got a perfect shot, and he
downed him with one shot."
Hanson said the 16-point buck unofficially measured 203.375 by standards of the
Boone and Crockett Club of Missoula, Mont., and field dressed 155 pounds. That score
most likely will be lowered when the deer is officially scored by a Boone and Crockett
representative in about 60 days.
"Overall, everything about deer is good this year," said Brian Huckabay, game warden
for Shackelford County. "Hunters have told me there aren't many mature deer coming
to feeders because there's so much for them to eat.
"I know there have been some deer that scored in the 180s and 190s (by Boone and
Crockett), but this is the only one I know of over 200," Huckabay added. "It's much
bigger than average. There's definitely only a few deer running around in Shackelford
County like that."
The gun season for deer opened Saturday and closes Jan. 3. Bow season was earlier,
Oct. 3 through Nov. 6. Huckabay said bow hunters also were reporting few deer
coming to feeders.
Hanson said "Big Jim" could be the biggest or one of the biggest white-tailed bucks
killed in Texas this year. "He's enormously larger than the biggest scores I've seen," he
added. "I've heard the Shackelford County average is about 140."
Hicks said one Shackelford County rancher told him "Big Jim" is the second-largest
white-tailed buck ever killed in the county.
"I knew if I had tried to stalk him, I would have missed him," Hicks said. "Some guys
think you go out there and shoot and leave, but you can't do that. You have to be
"Out there you always hear about this mythical deer," he said. "Sometimes you make
yourself see them when they aren't there.
"It's the prettiest deer I've ever seen. This will cause some excitement. It already has.
Shackelford County is well known for large game."
The 51-year-old Hicks has been hunting deer about 25 years. Before coming to West
Texas to hunt, he hunted deer in South Texas. He said the Boone and Crockett score
of 203.375 is a "green score," and it must be rescored in 60 days after the antlers are
dry to officially be considered by Boone and Crockett for records.
Hanson said Hicks' trophy buck is by far the largest ever killed on the Merrick Davis
Ranch. And the previous record of 178 was set three years ago, also by Hicks. The
13,622-acre ranch also is home to quail, bobcats, coyotes and feral hogs.
In 2007, the ranch received the Showcase Wildlife Conservation Award from the Texas
Department of Parks and Wildlife in its Lone Star Land Steward program.
Hanson said the Boone and Crockett scoring system provides a standard by which
measurements of antlers are taken so there can be accurate comparisons.
The Boone and Crockett Club maintains records for native North American big game
as part of its conservation program to assess the success of wildlife management
Justin Spring of Boone and Crockett told the Abilene Reporter-News on Thursday that
three deer killed in Shackelford are listed on the club's all-time list of white-tailed
bucks, including one in 1991 that scored 190.25, which ranks 139th on the all-time list.
The official record for Texas is 196.50 for a deer killed in 1963.
"A 190 whitetail is pretty massive," Spring said. "This one will score well, but I can't say
with any certainty (from looking at a picture) how this one will stack up. It looks like
there would be some deductions; 203 is probably a gross score."
The Boone and Crockett scoring system recognizes mass and symmetry, and points
are deducted from the gross score, for instance, when there are unmatched points on
either side of the antlers (lack of symmetry).
There also are sets of records for "typical" and "nontypical" antlers, according to
Spring. "This one looks like it has a pretty typical frame," he said.
Spring said there are usually minimal differences between "green" and "dry" scores. To
be considered for official records, Hicks must have his trophy buck measured by one of
about 1,200 certified Boone and Crockett representatives, 70 to 80 of whom are in


1,394 Posts
I doubt if the deer will book. The author of the article doesn't have a clue. Very nice buck though.
It is a heck of a deer but I agree that the author has no clue. If you go to the Los Cazadores Deer Constest you'll see several bucks in the high & low fence catagory that are over 200". Currently the low fence leader is 201" & the high fence leader is 210" with a ton of season left.

I don't want to take away from that deer at all, that's a deer of a lifetime for anyone of us but the author of the article jumped the gun to call it a record breaker.

Click on this link for the contest:

3,681 Posts
So basically we're seeing things on 2coolfishing that are not true???

I'm so insulted!!! I thought everything on this site was 100%.

I'm going back to chubacharra.com

Equine connoisseur
2,259 Posts
If B&C is considering it, it would be low-fenced. IMO it will make the book, but not close to #1. Heckuva deer by any standards.

2,427 Posts

I agree with Pablo. That is a book deer, but not a record. 203.375? What kind of score is that?
Great deer and kudos to the hunter non the less.
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