By Mark Kenyon

More often than not we share big buck stories from states across the Midwest or Northeast, but today I’m excited to share a good ole hunting tale from the state of Mississippi. My good pal Chad Bell put the hammer down on a great buck this December, and here’s his story. Congrats Chad! – MK 

“I have been blessed to have a close friend, Steve Sceroler, that bought his own place last year and has spent countless hours on his dozer and tractors getting this place groomed and working on making it into his private piece of heaven for his daughters, their friends, his family and whoever else is lucky enough to be obliged to his invitation to hunt here….yep, me!!  I spent several weekends up there at the camp with him this summer building gates and putting up barbwire fences to keep the place sealed off from poachers and trespassers.  And doing a little fishing in between so we had some dinner.

The weekend of December 21-23, 2012 started off like many have this year since whitetail season has opened up in the state of Mississippi. Me, with my gear loaded in my truck and ready to head north on Friday night after work just like I had done several times already this year.  I decided to press my luck and make it a tad farther than I should have on my fuel and I ran out on the interstate about 20 miles south of his camp.  10:00pm, and I’m calling Steve to get him out of bed to come and get me off the side of the road.  This caused them to not get the required amount of sleep to get up and go to one of his other camps that he is a member of and we decided to stay at his place and hunt that first morning.  I chose to hunt a tripod stand that sits on the crossing of two lanes in the middle of a gorgeous pine plantation.  Behind this stand is a creek that has a bit of water in it, in front of the stand is a green grass strip that is a great stopping spot for whitetails as they are cruising and making their way through the pines.

About 8:00am I had a really nice 8 point that stepped into the bend of the food plot and stood there for about a minute.  I tried to get a good look at him and I think he was actually a shooter, but I couldn’t make myself squeeze the trigger after seeing him in the scope and not being 100% sure.  For the next hour and a half, I was kicking myself in the rear thinking I made a mistake and should have taken that buck.  About 9:30 am, I heard some twigs snapping and such that are the distinct sound of whitetails slipping through the pines.  As I looked to my left, about 110 yards down there stands a young buck.  As I eyeball him through my scope and realize he isn’t a shooter, I actually set my rifle back on the rail and within 10 seconds another head pops out behind him.  I immediately picked my rifle back up as I knew that there was no way a doe was following a young buck and when I got my scope on this buck, my heart raced as he had some great tine length and his mass looked good as well.  When he stepped into the middle of the lane, I gave him the “blah” with my mouth and he locked up, looked my way and I could see his rack was nice.  Body was big and he wound up weighing 205lbs which is solid for a whitetail down here in the south.  I squeezed off the shot, he bucked and lunged forward and I marked the spot where I thought I could tell he was standing.  The smaller buck ran back into the lane when I was getting down out of the tripod and then left in a hurry.

Once I made my way to where he was standing, I found the torn up dirt in the food plot where he lunged.  Two steps into the woods and I found great blood and knew this was going to be a quick track job.  The blood trail led me to the creek.  When I got to the edge of the creek and he wasn’t laying there, I got concerned immediately, thinking maybe he had made it up the other side of the creek which was about a 10 or 12 foot embankment and I was gonna have some issues with the track job.  Well, I was wrong!  One step into the creek bottom, I turned to my right and about 35 yards away lay my buck.  He was in the creek and I couldn’t do anything but be in awe at that moment and the vision of what I saw.  Him laying in that running creek water, rack sticking up.  I was so lost in that moment that it was the first photo I had to take of him.

I went back to the camp and Steve’s daughter, Sidney, and her boyfriend, Harris Schwing came back with me and helped me drag him up out of the creek and load him up.  Sidney gets the photo credit for the picture of me, and her dad and I couldn’t have asked for a better morning than to spend it with my friends.  Thanks to Steve, Rhonda, Sidney & Mallory Sceroler for their unbelievable hospitality and friendship and my newest hunting buddy, Harris, for letting me be a part of their lives and their family hunting ground.  I’ve got some special memories for life that we captured and shared together!”

 ‘Enjoy the Experience’

Chad Bell

Sitka Gear Pro Staff