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Walton County buck takes #10 spot

It took nearly 20 hours and A group effort to finally bag this monster buck on Tyndal Air Force Base property in late January.

Ryan Neese is pictured below with the buck he initially shot at around 2:20 p.m. on Jan. 29.

Ryan and Zach Primavera were walking into their hunting area on Tyndal AFB in Bay County when Ryan spotted and shot the 133 lb. 10-point near the flight line area.

The 6-1/2-year-old buck, which was reportedly well known in the area due to photos taken by contractors on the base, was shot by Ryan using his H&R 20-gauge slug gun. However, a low shot and the mature buck’s will to live resulted in a long search and no recovery that evening.

During the initial search Zach jumped the deer after it had bedded down, prompting the pair to back out.

Ryan called in his buddy and co-worker Ricky Hill, who brought his beagle “Molly” to trail the buck, but a lack of blood and the scent of other deer thwarted the search party, which had grown to six people.

As Zach and Kyle Pridgen made one last circle before calling it a night, the buck stood up from being bedded down and looked directly at Kyle before running straight toward Tim Web and his son Matthew. The injured deer stopped five feet from Tim, who drew his knife, thinking the deer was about to charge him. After a few seconds, the buck ran off into the brush.

The following morning at 8:45 a.m. a group of hunters continued the search and set up a perimeter. After two hours of searching with no new sign of blood or a dead deer, Zach was walking next to some sawgrass when the giant buck stood up and ran down a fire trail.

The group tightened the perimeter once again, and when Zach walked through the brush to flush the deer out, Brendon Glass delivered a final kill shot that resulted in a quick recovery of the buck of a lifetime around noon on Jan. 30.

“Tired and worn out from no sleep and miles of walking, we gathered as a group around the deer, and exchanged high fives,” Zach said.

“There is no doubt harvesting this deer was a group effort and it would not have been recovered if it were not for the effort of each person that had a hand in this adventure.”

The 10-point rack earned a Boone and Crockett gross score of 140-1/8 inches and a net score of 133-5/8 inches after over 6 inches in deductions. The rack featured 22-inch main beams, almost 10-inch G3s and a 17-7/8-inch inside spread.