That includes a trio of hunters who joined the ranks of the leaders in the Tyler Morning Telegraph’s 32nd Big Buck Contest.
Among the three is a father-daughter combination that has taken the early leads in the South Texas Adult and Youth divisions. Brad Morris, Flint, took a 10-point Dimmit County buck scoring 139 6/8 to lead the South Texas Adult Division. His daughter, Sydney, 10, took an 8-point buck on the same ranch that scored 128 5/8 to lead the South Texas Youth Division.
Another Flint hunter, Kim Oldham, has taken the first lead of the year in the Women’s Division with a Concho County 8-point buck scoring 113 1/8.
The Morrises were hunting over the Thanksgiving holidays when they took their deer.
“The evening of the 25th Sydney and I were hunting and later that evening her 8-pointer came into the road we had feed, but it was too dark to shoot,” Morris recalled. “The next morning we went back to the same stand and the deer came back out into the road. After about 30 minutes the deer gave Sydney a good shot and she hit the deer perfectly and dropped him in the road.”
The next afternoon the two hunters went deeper into the ranch.
“We were hunting for the 10-pointer we had seen on the camera. With about 30 minutes of shooting light left the buck showed up. After looking at him I asked Sydney if I should shoot him or not. Very quickly she replied ‘yes.’ I asked her how old he was and she said he was old and big enough to shoot. So I took the shot. This was the first 10-pointer I had ever shot,” Morris said.
The buck had an inside of 17 1/8 and a longest main beam of 23 6/8. Its longest tine measured 7 5/8 inches and the largest base mass was 4 3/8.
Oldham was hunting Thanksgiving Day on the family’s longtime lease on the Denis Ranch in Concho County.
After the sheep left, the buck came back chasing a doe.
“My son said ‘Mom he is a shooter and you need to take him out!’ My son coached me through it and told me to take a deep breath and squeeze the trigger. Needless to say I had buck fever badly,” Oldham said.
The deer came in for a close shot, and Oldham had her buck down.
“We were so excited and we were high-fiving and hugging each other. What an awesome experience to hunt and with your kids,” said Oldham.
At the same time her daughter, Ashley, was hunting with her husband, Greg, in another stand and also took a buck.
The buck had an inside spread of 15 1/8 inches and a longest main beam of 20 2/8 inches. The longest tine was 7 5/8 inches and the greatest mass at the base was 4 inches.
James Wilson of Flint continues to lead the North Texas Adult Division with an 11-point, velvet-horned Henderson County buck scoring 156 3/8. Brownsboro’s Clay Lemmert is second with an 11-point Henderson County buck scoring 140.
Mason Barker of Bullard leads the North Texas Youth Division with an 8-point Smith County buck scoring 138 6/8. Andrew Bergfeld, 10, Tyler, is second with a San Saba County 10-pointer scoring 135 6/8 and Austin Tarrant, 16, LaRue, is third with a Henderson County 10-point buck scoring 126 2/8.
The contest is for open-range deer only. No deer taken on a fully enclosed, high-fenced property may be entered.
The contest features three adult divisions — North Texas, South Texas and Women’s; and two youth divisions — North and South Texas. The youth division is open to hunters 16 years old and younger.
First-place winners in each adult division will receive a Remington .270-caliber rifle and a shoulder mount of their deer. Second-place winners are awarded gift certificates.
Winners of the youth divisions will receive a shoulder mount of their deer. Second- and third-place finishers will be awarded gift certificates.
All deer to be entered in the contest must be taken to either Still Life Taxidermy or Lynch’s Food Store.