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Corey Webb kills #5 buck in Holmes County

Corey Webb of Chipley, Florida took the #5 highest-scoring typical in Florida last season while hunting in Holmes County on Jan. 18, 2015.

The buck weighed 205 lbs. and toted a mainframe typical 10-point rack that scored 147-1/8 inches gross and 143-3/8 inches net. Corey shot the big buck at 5:35 p.m. using a Ruger .300 Win Mag with a Vortex scope.

“It was a cold January evening as I sat in my ladder stand overlooking a road that runs along the creek that runs through our lease in Holmes County,” Corey said.

“About every 30 minutes I would give a couple grunts on my deer grunt and a couple bleats with my can, because the bucks were starting to chase does a little bit. As the evening started to fade, and it was getting to the ‘right time of evening’ we all look forward to, I heard something splashing in the creek to my left. Ducks usually land in the creek, so I just assumed it was probably some coming in to roost for the evening.

“I never imagined that sound would be my once-in-a-lifetime buck. But, before I go any further, let me go back and recap my history with this buck. I acquired this lease in 2011, and we have been working over the past four years to manage and grow some true trophy deer on it,” Corey remembers.

“The first year I had it, the deer population was very low, and I became discouraged. But, before the season started, I got my first photo of this ‘Big 8,’ and my jaw dropped. He was very photogenic, but our paths just never seemed to cross. I would sit in one stand, and he would show up at another.

“We went through the whole season, letting smaller bucks walk, just hoping for an encounter with this behemoth, but we never saw him or harvested any other deer.

“The 2011 season came and went, and all I could do was hope that he made it through the summer. When the 2012 season rolled around, sure enough, he showed up! He continued to flaunt in front of the camera all season, just tempting us.

“One of the guys on the lease had an encounter with him during the rut, but couldn’t get a shot at him. He would disappear every year during the rut, but would always show up on camera the last few days of the season, like he was letting us know he survived the season. We harvested two 8-points that year, and both were really good deer,” Corey said.

“When the 2013 season came around he started becoming a little more leery, as a mature buck will do. During the bachelor period he traveled with another big 8-point that was later killed by one of the lease members.

“Other than game camera photos, he managed to stay under the radar, crushing my hopes that anyone on the lease would ever get to hold his antlers in their hands. “As big as this deer was for 3 years old, I didn’t think he would get any bigger the following year. I figured he had reached his peak and would start going downhill. Boy, was I wrong!” Corey said. “During the 2014 season he exploded into a huge mainframe 10-point, which, of course, forced a name change to ‘The Big 10.’ That is when he really turned into a ghost. We only had a few photos of him, mostly all at night.

“I realized I had become too obsessed with this deer, so I turned it all over to God and let His will be done. That afternoon my dad and I headed to the stand (running late as usual). After our usual session of wind checking and stand choosing, we parted ways for the afternoon sit.

“It was a very peaceful afternoon, and I was really enjoying just spending the afternoon in God’s creation. Around 3:30 p.m. a few does filtered out and browsed around. I was concentrating on watching them when I heard the splashing in the creek. I had just about forgotten about the noise when I heard a deer walking out of the woods by the creek.

“I found him in my binoculars and could only see one side of his rack, but I could tell he was a good one. I quickly dropped my binos and found him in my scope, trying to ignore the horns so I didn’t get rattled.

“As soon as he gave me a clear shot, I squeezed the trigger on my .300 Win Mag, and he ran about 30 yards before piling up. After it was all over, I stopped and went back over the incident in my mind. I still wasn’t sure what buck I had actually just killed.

“After I calmed down, I climbed down and eased (actually, I ran) over to him. When I got where I could see his rack, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I got buck fever all over again. After snapping a few pictures, I called my wife to tell her, but I could barely talk. I’m actually a pretty quiet person, but my dad says I talked his ear off on the way home.

“I’ve been hunting all my life and I don’t know if I’ll ever kill another deer of this magnitude, but it’s like the pressure was lifted and I was floating on cloud 9. My son, who was a year old at the time, was just as excited as I was.

“As you can see in the photos, you can’t tell which one of us killed the deer.

“I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity at a true buck of a lifetime. I also thank my wife and family for allowing me to spend so many countless hours in the woods doing what I love,” Corey said.