MS deer hunter takes ‘booty’ money with dad’s rifle 30 years later

MS deer hunter takes 'booty' money with dad's rifle 30 years later

“I will have higher reminiscences than the 150-inch deer for who had the rifle, who made the inventory, and for closing the chapter on a subject I began as a child.”


It was good cash.

It was a mature deer with 11 factors. It had a 5 1/2-inch base and a 23-inch essential beam. Estimated score in the mid-120s.

With a rating within the mid-120s, it is not the type of deer that typically makes headlines, but it surely wasn’t the mass and size of the horns that mattered to this hunter. It was a few lever-action rifle inherited from him by his father and a 30-year journey to purchase mature cash with it.

“You possibly can’t clarify it,” mentioned Jay Stokes of Louisville. “Everybody has a distinct opinion on what a high quality deer is, however killing a mature deer with my father’s rifle, which my uncle wore a inventory, was priceless. I suppose you could possibly say it is like enthusiasm.”

It was 1990, and Stokes was 10 when his father gave him the e book. Marlin 336 barrel rifle .30-30 Winchester. This was his first deer rifle and Stokes was excited and decided to gather his first deer with it.

Nonetheless, it didn’t seem on the playing cards. Stokes mentioned one hunt after one other went flawed and, after all, the pictures had been missed.

“By no means,” Stokes mentioned. “I hunted with him for about two or three years.

“I felt like I could not join. I might have missed it.”

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Hunter retires first deer rifle

Stokes did not say the rifle was cursed, however clearly it wasn’t a very good luck allure both. Stokes raised the rifle. He switched to shotgun with buck shot and was in a position to harvest his first deer.

A couple of years later, Stokes started utilizing a rifle chambered within the .270 Winchester. He used it till he went to school and his love for weapons grew.

“I am a gun freak,” Stokes mentioned. “I began shopping for, promoting and buying and selling after I went to school and made my very own cash.”

And the rifles received greater. Stokes mentioned he began utilizing magnums just like the 7mm Remington and the .300 Winchester.

In the meantime, the outdated .30-30 sat mainly forgotten in a cabinet for nearly 30 years, however issues are beginning to change for Stokes.

“In 2019, reminiscences of looking started to imply greater than the game itself,” Stokes mentioned. “I used to be divorced and did not at all times have kids. That began hitting dwelling and perpetuating reminiscences.”

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COVID-19 breathes new life into an outdated deer rifle

The next yr, the COVID-19 pandemic took root in Mississippi. Stokes mentioned his uncle, who has retired, has largely stayed at dwelling for concern of the virus. His uncle can also be a woodworker, so Stokes took the rifle to him to make new shares to exchange the originals that had seen higher days.

In any case, his uncle had time and he used it to make a murals.

“Fabulous,” Stokes mentioned. “He is constructed from actual walnuts.

“He hand-carves two patterns, a basket weave sample and a leaf sample. It has a leaf sample.”

Stokes got down to accumulate a mature deer with him, however did not apply it to each hunt. He went looking when he felt that the pictures wouldn’t be greater than about 100 meters, due to 125 years of expertise that restricted the cartridge vary.

Nonetheless, these hunts weren’t fully fruitful.

“I did not see something,” Stokes mentioned. “You realize what it is like if you wish to do one thing. It is like watching water boil.”

On the afternoon of December 27, after two seasons of looking with a rifle, his luck would change.

However not with no main hiccup.

Stokes mentioned he hunted in a blind field overlooking a cultivated lane in a pine bush. Shortly after the hunt started, a deer appeared and Stokes determined to interrupt the ice.

Stokes shot the deer and pulled him out of the lane. It was nonetheless early and the anger was in full swing. When Stokes lastly shot a deer together with his rifle that will put the meat within the freezer, he nonetheless needed a mature deer to finish the journey.

So he went again to the sales space and waited. He noticed seven or eight extra deer, however none of them had been what he was after.

Then it occurred.

A setback and a accomplished journey for the deer hunter

“At round 5 o’clock, I observed a doe crossing the lane,” Stokes mentioned. “He crossed the lane as if one thing was chasing him. 30 or 40 seconds later he jumped out.”

The bucket was 60 yards from the stand. Stokes raised his rifle, aimed on the man, and pulled the set off. However as an alternative of the traditional sound of a rifle, all Stokes heard was a ‘click on’.

Stokes defined that when he is at a stand with the rifle, he normally leaves the cross pin security off as a security precaution and leaves the hammer half-armed. After taking pictures the deer, he instinctively opened the secure and was unaware. Thus, when he pulled the set off, the hammer fell, however the security prevented it from hitting the firing pin.

“It was shut,” Stokes mentioned. “He heard me. I can not let you know what I mentioned.”

The cash nonetheless didn’t escape. Stokes raised the rifle, pushed the protection, and fired.

“It hit the bottom,” Stokes mentioned.

The goat did not even carry a rack near the others he harvested, however once more, that wasn’t the purpose. It was in regards to the reminiscences he introduced again from his childhood and the reminiscence he fashioned at that second.

“I used to be very fortunate,” Stokes mentioned. “I killed a 150 to 160 inch deer.

“I believe it is that good. I will have higher reminiscences than the 150-inch deer for who used the rifle, who made the inventory, and for closing the chapter on a subject I began as a child. The trophy is within the eye of the beholder.”

And Stokes wasn’t the one one blissful about cash.

“Dad was blissful for me,” Stokes mentioned. “My uncle died from being tickled.”

Contact Brian Broom at or 601-961-7225.

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