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Leon County produces Buck of the Year!

Fain Searcy of Tallahassee, Florida won the 2011-12 Florida “Buck of the Year” contest with a monster whitetail he killed in Leon County on Dec. 1, 2011 at 5:15 p.m. Fain’s 13-point buck weighed 180 lbs., and the buck’s gigantic rack gross-scored 161-6/8 inches. After 6-7/8 inches in deductions (including one inch for a small extra point on the left antler), the rack was entered into the Florida Buck Registry (FBR) with a net score of 154-7/8 inches.

“I had been hunting hard, even though the weather was not cooperating, but I had not been seeing any mature bucks,” Fain said.

“Refusing to get discouraged, I kept to my routine and hunted the moon phases religiously. I had a group of nine or ten does and yearlings come in with a dominant doe that had been worrying me all year. At first she was blowing at me, but I finally got her to bring her group in and feed.

“My first thought was to shoot her during doe week, but I changed my mind after getting her to settle down and accept me in her house,” Fain said. “She would always keep track of me while her group was feeding, and if she noticed any movement she would lead everyone out.

“On this day, she came in at about 4:30 p.m. But, instead of repeating her usual ‘feed and go’ routine, she and her group stayed for a while,” he added. “Then, 45 minutes behind them, this beast stepped out of the woods. I knew right away he was a shooter, as my heart was almost busting out of my shirt!

“I settled myself and started counting points as he quartered in front of me. Three times I counted to 12 before he stepped behind a big white oak tree and allowed me to get my gun up,” Fain remembered. “I shot him with my trusty .308 and sat for about another 15 minutes in the stand gathering myself before climbing down.

“When I got to him, I said out loud, ‘Man, you are going to cause a commotion!’ This was my buck of a lifetime. I am blessed to have witnessed him both alive and on the ground,” Fain added.

To compare Fain’s impressive buck to other top bucks taken in Florida last season, see pages 42-43.