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14-year-old harvests #1 Public Land Buck

Fourteen-year-old Hunter Mathew Combs of Sanderson, Florida was running dogs when he killed the 5th-place “Buck of the Year” and the top-scoring buck taken on public land in 2012-13.

On December 11, 2012, Hunter was dog hunting with his family on Osceola WMA in Baker County when he killed the buck of a lifetime.

“The family and I had already run a couple of does when we came up on a monstrous track in the middle of four smaller tracks going into the head of the river,” Hunter said.

“We only had about six beagles in the box, but we were determined to run this big one instead of the little ones. I was riding with my big brother, Travis, at the time, and the dogs trailed the buck for about 30 minutes before they finally jumped him.

“About 30 minutes later we heard them coming to the Hatchet Road, and I realized I only had two bullets left in my .243 rifle. I shot once while he was in the bushes and again once he hit the dirt road,” Hunter said. “After I shot, he fell right there, and we came off the back of the truck screaming.

“All I could think was my last bullet had laid him down! I never dreamed I’d kill a big buck like that coming out of the forest!” Hunter stated.

Hunter’s great 8-point public land buck scored a whopping 141-5/8 inches gross and netted 139-2/8 inches after just 2-3/8 inches in deductions.