A last minute thought to register in the Tyler Morning Telegraph’s 33rd Big Buck Contest has put Tyler’s Clayton Bochow, 15, in second place in the North Texas Youth Division with a DeWitt County 10-point buck scoring 145.
After arriving at the ranch the ranch after dark, the Bochows went to their favorite spot and put out a pop-up blind.
“The next morning, we got to our blind early and waited for the sun to rise. We saw several 8 points that I could have taken, including one particularly good buck that I had my crosshairs on. But I decided not to shoot since it was the first day of our hunt. The action died down around 12:30, and we were able to leave unnoticed at 1,” the young hunter said.
The two returned for an afternoon hunt that started slowly until a group of does moved in and two reared up on their back hooves and began fighting each other.
“Around 5 that evening, a large buck appeared out of a nearby duck slew. He approached the group of doe with his head down, startling and scattering them. I was unable to get a clear shot on him because the doe were between us,” Bochow.
He thought he missed his chance for the buck when he moved into the brush behind a doe.
“Suddenly, the buck popped into a clearing and raised his head looking for the doe. At that moment, I shot him with my Remington .270. He immediately collapsed,” Bochow said of the shot measured at just over 200 yards.
“After waiting a few minutes, we got out of our blind to retrieve my buck. The grass was tall where the buck went down. As we approached, we could see his rack standing above the brush that confirmed he was worth my wait,” he said.
Cooper Hill, 8, Tyler, continues to lead the division with a 9-point Anderson County buck scoring 156. Cole Findley, 11, Flint, falls to third with an 11-point Concho County buck scoring 142 5/8. Trey Cooper, Flint, drops from the standings.
Tyler’s Earl Brady leads the North Texas Division with a 9-point Throckmorton County buck scoring 158 7/8. Mike Armstrong of Tyler is second with a 9-point Cherokee County buck scoring 140.
There haven’t been any entries in the South Texas and Women’s divisions yet.
Registration continues and is free at any of the contest sponsors: The Tire Barn, 13687 FM 206 at Spur 364; Army/Navy Store of Tyler, 1201 E.SE. Loop 323; East Texas Seed, Cotton Belt Rail Yard; Lynch’s Food Store, 3400 E. Fifth; Mac’s Gun Shop, 213 E. Elm; Noonday Gun Trader, 14674 Texas 155 South; and Still Life Taxidermy, 1415 E. Tyler St., Athens.
Hunters must register at least 24 hours before taking their deer.
The contest has three adult divisions: North Texas, South Texas and Women’s. Winners in each division will receive a Remington .270-caliber rifle and a mount of their deer. Second-place winners will receive gift certificates.
No deer taken within a high-fence property may be entered in the contest.
There are two rule changes this season. Only bucks with hardened antlers may be entered in the contest.
This eliminates so-called velvet-horned deer from the competition. The change was made not because velvet-horned deer aren’t bucks, but because the velvet covering provides a scoring advantage.
Also beginning this season all deer must be taken to either Still Life Taxidermy or Lynch’s Food Store within 10 days of being harvested to be entered in the contest.