A Mississippi man has earned some rare bragging rights this hunting season.
James Keel was hunting in the Mississippi Delta, a stretch of land located between two regional rivers in northern Mississippi on the morning of December 16 when he heard a soft rustling.
Up until that point it had been a slow search for Keel, who hadn’t seen a squirrel let alone a deer that morning. At around 8:30 that morning, he observed a buck chasing a deer on his right side.
He told the Clarion Ledger, part of the USA Today Network, that there was no way the rack was going to that deer.
The buck Keel found had mature antlers, even though the animal itself weighed less than 95 pounds.
His size makes him a rare find, according to Keel, who found a place where bucks like him usually weigh about 200 pounds.
“When I saw him coming running through the woods, I knew he was a small deer, but I didn’t know how small he was,” Keel said.
The buck in question received an antler score of 127 in the Magnolia Records Program, the official white-tailed deer record keeping program for the State of Mississippi. A 125 is considered a fairly typical score, while a 155 may be considered unusual, according to their website.
Here’s what we know about the arrest.
When did Keel realize that money was short?
After a while Keel realized that the money he was looking for was like a dog. He shot the deer and chased it for a hundred yards when he noticed that the trail of blood had stopped.
With the help of a dog handler and their tracking dog, Keel found the money later that night. It wasn’t until he brought the money back to his camp that he realized how much he had gotten.
“I was almost shocked by the smallness of his body. He looks like he’s holding a lab, Keel said.
How much does a buck weigh?
The bullet weighed 93.9 pounds. A local processor determined the animal’s age should be between 3 or 4 years, Keel said.
What are the measurements of bucks antlers?
For those curious about bucks antler measurements, they are included below. The antlers are a main-frame 8-point with split G2s.
- Bases: 4 4/8 inches
- Main beams: 20 4/8 inches
- G2s: 8 6/8 inches and 9 inches with an inside width of 14 inches
The unofficial gross score for the buck’s antlers is 127 3/8 inches. To put it in perspective, that’s like a 190-pound buck with antlers that measure over 250 inches.
Has a Keel deer been found to be a dwarf deer?
Yes, but it’s not as common as you might think.
Stories about dwarf deer, or short bucks, have been around for years.
Explanations for the stories often revolve around small deer brought into the state in the days when deer were imported into the state to restock the population, leading to speculation that the genes still show up. from time to time.
If small deer were introduced to the region, it would have been a long time ago.
It’s been decades and decades since the state brought a deer here, said Russ Walsh, wildlife chief of staff for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Talk about that, but I’m not in a rush to take that back.”
The more likely cause is an anomaly linked to an issue with a chromosome, Walsh said.
Are there other mini-Mississippi bucks?
There have been a couple reported in recent years. At least one other very small amount of money is coming from The Magnolia State.
Another resident of Mississippi, a woman named Lesley Cannada, shot what she thought was a monster buck on her farm in 2018, knowing something was wrong with her approach to the animal.
That buck, also relatively small, weighed 117.6 pounds. A biologist aged him to 5 1/2 years. He comes from an area where the average weight of adult bucks is over 200 pounds. weighing 295 pounds.
“There’s a normal variation in their body weight, but I’ve never seen one this small. A 110-pound mature buck is unheard of. I looked at data from over 30,000 deer, and I have never seen anything like this, MDWFP Southwest Region Private Lands biologist Kamen Campbell shared at the time.
And like Keel’s buck, the Kannada buck’s horns aren’t as big, scoring 129.
What will Keel do with the money?
Keel knew he had an unusual animal on his hands, but he only realized it was more important than he first thought after he talked about it with other people and read the comments on social media.
Instead of the typical shoulder mount, he plans to install a full-body mount to really show off the size of the beast.
“I think it’s something I’ll never see again in my life. I’ve always wanted a house with a hunting room, and this is a great piece with a story to it. said Keel.
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