Teen Kills 171-Inch Buck In Morgan County

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Garrett McCarty passed on a marginal shot on this bruiser weeks before killing him.

After he killed an 11-point buck he’d been watching for about two months, 16-year-old Garrett McCarty, of Rutledge, would say that all good things are worth the wait. This buck would ultimately gross 171 5/8 inches, and once it is officially measured, Garrett could have the No. 5 buck of all-time in Morgan County.

It was about two months before Nov. 9 that Garrett saw his buck for the first time on a camera near a food plot at his Morgan County hunting club. The Morgan County High School student actually had a chance to shoot him about two weeks before his big hunt.

“We first saw the deer on camera two months before I shot him. He was on a food plot just down the road in the hunting club,” said Garrett.

A few weeks ago, Garrett was in his stand when saw the same deer about 160 yards away, but he didn’t fire because he wasn’t comfortable with the shot.

The 16-year-old hunted every day for the next week but had no luck. After taking a week off, Garrett decided to give it another try.

It was on the afternoon of Nov. 9 when Garrett was once again in his stand. With just minutes left of shooting light, he’d only seen a 6-pointer. After deciding not to shoot, Garrett began to pack up to leave when he heard something under him about 30 yards away. He paused and could see the buck’s eyes looking up at him.

“He was right where I couldn’t see his antlers, but I knew he was a good buck,” Garrett said.

The buck began to run and made it about 30 feet before Garrett took the shot. He connected in the front shoulder, but the deer still ran.

“I didn’t have time to sit there and shake or get ready and check him out,” said Garrett.

Garrett waited about five minutes before he climbed out of the stand to search for blood. After having no luck on his own, Garrett called his dad, Stephen, to come help him look. After searching in some think cover, they found the buck. It had only run about 40 yards.

After finally finding the buck, Garrett’s dad was impressed and even a little bit jealous of this buck.

“He was excited because he knew I got a good one,” said Garrett.

At Newborn Taxidermy and Deer Processing, Kyle Smith gross green-scored the main-frame 10-pointer at 171 5/8 inches. With some minor side-to-side deductions and one small abnormal tine on the left side, the buck is expected to net around 164 inches. If that score holds, it will rank No. 5 of all-time in Morgan County.

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