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Mercer’s monster Madison 9-point is #2

Shane Mercer of Lee, Fla. was hunting on private property in Madison County on Dec. 3, 2009 when he harvested a monster 9-point gross scoring 153-5/8 Boone & Crockett inches.

The amazing main-frame 8-point buck amassed the second-highest gross score of any typical killed in the state last season (153-5/8 inches), but had one abnormal point (4-5/8 inches) and another 3-3/8 inches in deductions (difference between the two antlers) to net-score 145-5/8 inches and nail down the title of the #2 typical taken during the 2009-10 hunting season.

The buck had extra-long 25-2/8- and 24-5/8-inch main beams and 4-1/2-inch brow tines.

What really beefed up the buck’s Boone & Crockett score was the towering G2s measuring 10 and 12-4/8 inches in length and the tremendous G3s measuring 9-5/8 and 10 inches tall! The beast had a 19-2/8-inch inside spread and the main beams were 8-1/2 inches apart at the tips.

Mercer used his .30-06 rifle to down the big buck from 270 yards away at 7:20 a.m. while hunting from a tower blind overlooking a pasture on his family farm in Madison. Here is his story:

by Shane Mercer

I haven’t hunted from the stand that I killed this buck from in a while, but as luck would have it, I had a severe migraine the night before and was up most of the night. So, I decided to go sit in this tower blind because it has a very peaceful view of our farm, overlooking a pasture on a hill that is surrounded by pines and clear-cut fields.

I built this stand with a good friend of mine, Michael, about 13 years back for my wife and me to sit in together and just watch the deer. I got to the stand about 30 minutes before sunrise and was thinking about what my wife told me on the way out the door: “I think you’ll get a big one today.”

I admit I wasn’t believing it at that time, because my head was still pounding from the migraine I’d had all night.

It was a beautiful sunrise and a perfect morning. Not long after daylight a big group of quail came in under my stand. I watched them for quite some time, and they apparently had my full attention, because when I did finally look up, there was this buck standing off in the distance – about 270 yards.

I grabbed my rifle, took aim and shot without even thinking about the distance. I missed him! Luckily, he didn’t move and gave me time for another shot. This time I compensated for the extra-long distance and pulled the trigger again. This time it was a perfect hit!

However, due to the distance, the bullet never exited. I saw him run about 75 yards and lay down, so I decided to give him about 30 minutes.

I walked back, got my truck and called my friend Clint to let him know I had killed a big one. But, to my surprise, when I got to where he fell, he jumped up and ran! That was when I realized he was a lot bigger than I first thought.

I was only a few feet away from him in a clear-cut when he jumped up. I knew he was big when I shot, but from a distance of 270 yards, I didn’t realize he was that big! I called Clint back for some help tracking, and we spent several hours searching the 50-acre clear cut before we finally found him.

I couldn’t believe my eyes! This buck was old and seemed to have had some kind of trauma to his front left leg several years back. My friend Gary showed up and rough-scored the rack at 150 inches gross! He was almost on the money, as the FWC score was 153-5/8 inches gross and 145-5/8 inches net.

I had to call my wife and tell her she was right. I did in fact get a big one! Of course, she replied, “I told you so!”

The only way it could have been any better was if my daughter was the one that got to shoot this deer, because she wanted to go hunting with me all year, but I wanted her to wait until she got a little older. But, she gets to start hunting with me this year, and I hope she gets one even bigger.

I must give special thanks to Clint for always being there when I need help. If he wasn’t there, I don’t know if I would have found my buck. And, a huge thanks goes out to my beautiful, loving wife for wishing me good luck on this hunt!