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Levine kills 142-7/8-inch buck in Leon Co. backyard

Jack Levine, Jr. hunted 50 years in Minnesota, but never killed a buck like the one that he got in his own Tallahassee, Florida backyard on Dec. 12, 2013.

The unbelievable 8-point buck finished as the #4 overall typical in the Florida Buck of the Year contest with a net score of 142-7/8 (148-1/8 gross).

“When I moved down here I never had hunted public land before, so I just put a feeder in the back corner of our property and put a stand about 30 yards back into the woods in my backyard,” Jack said. “I can’t walk more than about 300 yards and really can’t carry a stand anymore. I also don’t hunt in the mornings – only afternoons.”

“I have access to 20 acres across the street and was hunting it six weeks after sur-gery on my hand. The day I shot this buck I asked my surgeon if I could shoot, and he told me no. I couldn’t cock my crossbow, so I figured my smoke pole wouldn’t kick that much. I just wanted to sit in the woods. I put two pellets in my muzzleloader and was there about 10 minutes when five does came into a little plot I turn up every year,” Jack said.

“Right after the does came in, I saw a buck. All I saw was a big rack. He was nice enough to stop for me. When the smoke cleared I saw it knocked him down right there,” Jack added.

“I used some Throw & Gro and Deer Cane. I put out some minerals and freshened it up once. I drag it once a year and get just enough clover to get them to come in. I have a kiddie pool in a dry pond I keep full of wa-ter,” Jack explained.

“I am sold on my Traditions Pursuit now. I was 0 for 2 on that gun before this. I ripped off the scope and practiced in the yard to find I was doing much better with the fiber-optic sights than with the scope. I made the shot from about 40 yards. He weighed 200 lbs., so I had to have my buddy come over to clean it for me because I was one-handed.

Jack, who practiced taxidermy for 25 years, said a leftover form from Minnesota fit the buck perfectly when he mounted it.

“It took me three weeks to do what usu-ally takes three days, but I did it myself. I’ve got 12 nice bucks on my wall, and killed one per year since I was 16. This is a very nice deer – especially for an 8-point.

“I wouldn’t go back up north to hunt for nothing. It is too cold, and I believe the bucks down here grow just as much bone. I see more game here than up there anyway,” he added.