A month before deer seasoned opened in Madison County, Texas, a pair of fisherman snapped a picture of a deer with a monstrous rack swimming across the Trinity River.

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Jim Hay thought that the deer might end up on the 1,600 acre hunting lease he shared with his daughter… and he was right.

On the morning of Nov. 2, Hay dropped Makayla at her blind in the predawn dark. She setup on a tree line with a good view of open cow pastures and wooded cover. A few does gathered around a nearby feeder just before sunrise. An eight-pointer also appeared, which she briefly considered. When another buck appeared on the scene, however, Makayla didn’t give the eight-pointer a second thought.

“A few minutes later this big deer walks out,” Makayla said. “And instead of seeing just a few points, there were tons of points going down on every side. And I decided I was going to shoot it because it’s better than any deer I’ve ever killed.”

Makayla routinely keeps her 7mm unloaded until she’s prepared to shoot. She took a moment to load the cartridges and raised her rifle. The buck was still standing 150 yards in front of her, just steps from where he entered the pasture. She lined up the crosshairs and squeezed the trigger. The buck dropped.

As she watched from the blind, the buck got to its feet. Predicting he was going to make a run for the fence, Makayla fired again. This time the buck stayed down.

A Boone and Crocket Club official scored the nontypical buck at 213 7/8 inches gross with a net score of 203 1/8 inches.

It may be the largest free-range whitetail buck ever taken by a youth in Texas.

Not bad for a 15-year-old girl, huh?

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