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Bubba Taylor’s Leon Co. Buck is #2

Clinton E. “Bubba” Taylor said he almost didn’t go hunting on Nov. 25, 2011, the day he killed the 2011-12 “Buck of the Year” runner-up.

He was glad he decided to go after he shot a 14-point, Leon County monster with an amazing rack that gross-scored 154-7/8 inches and netted 146-3/8.

“It was a hot afternoon, and I almost didn’t go,” said Bubba, who manages a quail hunting plantation north of Tallahassee. “It was hot and dry this past year, and the deer stayed in the swamps.

From his stand, located in open woodland next to a swamp, Taylor could hear deer moving around in a nearby thicket, but couldn’t actually see them.

“I listened to them for 15-20 minutes before a doe finally came out, followed by another. The mosquitoes were starting to get bad, so I glanced at my ThermaCell and reached to turn it on.

“Right then, this big buck came walking out, making me suck in air,” Bubba said. The buck walked into full view and spent several moments ‘messing around’ with the does.

“The does got to within 70-80 yards, but the buck was in the fire lane behind them. I’m a pretty decent shot, but I’ll admit this deer shook me up a little. I shot once and knocked him down, but he was still struggling a little. I’ve seen them run off, and I had plenty of bullets (in his .25-06), so I shot again, and then shot again,” he admitted.

Bubba knew his wife, hunting in a nearby stand, would be wondering what was going on, so he grabbed his phone and texted: “I got him... Expensive,” referring to the fact that this buck would be mounted. He then climbed down, walked over to the deer, took a photo and sent it to everyone he knew.

“I walked away, then went back and looked at him again. Then I did it again. I started to go get my truck, but walked back and looked at him one more time. The third time I walked back to him I said, ‘You’d better be here when I get back!’”

After loading the hefty, 200-pound buck into his truck, Bubba went to pick up his wife.

“She was flabbergasted, as was everyone in our hunting party that evening. I am 53 years old, and I’ve killed quite a few deer in my lifetime, but this was the biggest deer I’ve ever shot. It was the thrill of a lifetime!” Bubba added.

“I worked very hard to manage our deer herd, and I feel very blessed that God gave me the opportunity to harvest this buck,” Bubba said.