3rd annual Big Buck contest off to hot start

Published 8:21pm Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The weather outside is freezing, but the competition for the 2013-2014 Big Buck Contest is heating up.

With a total of 102 hunters registered and plenty of big deer being shot, there is a lot of excitement building for the stretch run of this year’s contest.

“We’ve got a lot of people that have come in and asked about it,” Rountree Outdoors owner Chet Chapelle said.

The contest ends Jan. 31 with the winner of the adult competition taking home $1,000, along with a free head mount and tree stand. There’s also a youth competition where the winner takes home $500.

Right now the leader of the youth and adult competitions is the same person. Gage King, a 14-year-old from Pleasant Grove, leads the way after shooting a 9-point buck in Dallas County. Mims Taxidermy scored the kill at 144.75. The average score for winners of the Big Buck Contest is usually in the 140-150 range, so King’s buck has a chance of hanging on to the top spot.

“It just came through checking for does, cruising down a little ridge I was hunting,” King said when asked to describe how the kill took place.

King said his latest kill and the one currently setting the standard in this year’s contest is the biggest deer he has ever killed.

“We watched him on camera during bow season and I kind of figured that was the one I was going to try to kill,” King said.

In 2011, he won the Big Buck Contest’s youth competition and now he is hoping to pull a rare double, winning both the youth and adult competition. Because King paid to be in both contests, he is allowed to win both competitions.

Mark Mims of Mims Taxidermy, which handles all of the scoring for the competition, said there is a good chance King’s score may hold up, but he wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t either.

“There is a good chance it could be beat too though,” Mims said. “It’s early right now and the rut is just fixing to start. Between now and January is when we get most of our big deer in.”

Mims estimates he has scored between 15 and 20 deer at this point, which is about average for this time of the year. He said he has scored several deer larger than King’s buck, but those hunters were not signed up for the competition. Anyone interested can still sign up at Rountree Outdoors for $20. Along with Mims Taxidermy, the contest is sponsored by Pepsi, Budweiser and Mark’s Mart.



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