Becky Stripling, of Doerun, killed a Worth County buck on her family farm the evening of Saturday, Nov. 11. Her big buck was a very symmetrical main-frame 8-pointer with three small kickers that grossed 156 2/8 and should net around 151 4/8 inches. Being only her third buck, he is by far her biggest.
Becky lives on a family farm that has been in her family for generations. She manages six chicken houses and also raises cattle.
On opening day of rifle season, Becky was out checking on her cows and headed to the back of the property to put some corn out for the does like she has for the past six to eight years. That is when she jumped the big buck near a pond dam.
“We jumped him at the pond dam, and we didn’t have a rifle, so we just had to watch him prance around the pond and just casually walk off,” said Becky, “Our mouths just dropped wide open, and that definitely encouraged us to hunt a little more.”
Becky had a few good deer on trail cameras earlier in the season but had only gotten two pictures of this buck, and they were both at night. In the years past, she hadn’t really hunted the farm. She had hunted out there some just to see what they had. They had only had some does and little basket-racked 8- and 10-point bucks on trail camera. Trying to build a population of deer on the farm, no one had shot anything off the property.
After going back to the area where she saw the buck the week of Nov. 6, Becky didn’t have any luck with deer, but she did watch a family of bobcats come through. She watched the mother bobcat take squirrels to its kittens and even had the litter playing under her stand one day.
Then on Saturday, Nov. 11, Becky had a bad headache all day, and with the temperature dropping, she wasn’t planning on going to get in the woods. However, she changed her mind.
“I got in the woods late, like 4:30 p.m. late, and sat there for about an hour, and he finally stepped out,” said Becky.
Becky’s stand was in a creek bottom, which allowed her to hear the buck coming before she could see him. When she eventually saw his antlers, she was in shock. With him walking up the fence row, she was able to find a clear spot to shoot through that was in the direction he was walking. She put the scope in the clear area, and when she saw that it was the buck they had jumped on the pond dam, she shot it in the neck. He dropped.
“My daddy always told me to take a neck shot, that way you don’t mess any meat up, and nine times out of 10, it’ll either be a good kill or a complete miss,” said Becky.
Even though her buck had a lot of antler to him, he was a small-bodied deer. Her buck weighed 175 pounds, which made it a lot easier for them to drag out.
“I’m still surprised I got him, I do more letting them walk than I do anything,” said Becky.