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It took 40 years for Jacob Ayecock to break Thomas Sparks' state record for a typical-rack whitetailed deer, but Ayecock's record didn't last long.

On Dec. 3, 2018, William Lloyd of Wynne killed a 14-point buck in Lee County that netted a Boone and Crockett score of 200 1/8. That beat the record set by Ayecock in 2015 with a Drew County buck that netted 195 2/8.

The Boone and Crockett Club, based in Missoula, Mont., confirmed Lloyd's score Monday.

Lloyd's buck had a gross score of 208 7/8. Its inside spread is 24 4/8 inches. Its right beam is 29 2/8 inches, and its left beam is 29 4/8 inches. Mass measurements range from 4 2/8 inches to 5 3/8 inches.

For perspective, Lloyd's buck is the biggest ever killed in the Deep South, and only the 17th typical ever to score 200 inches. It is the fourth 200-plus net typical killed in the 21st century, and the biggest typical killed in the past decade.

The hunt shatters traditional perceptions about how and where to kill giant whitetails. According to an article by Lynn Burkhead in the January issue of North American Whitetail, Lloyd got permission to hunt 160 flat, featureless acres. About 80 acres were planted in soybeans, and the other 80 acres were weeds. Lloyd did not hunt in the woods that skirted the property.

With no place to put a stand, Lloyd hunted from the ground. He shot the deer from about 200 yards with a Thompson/Center Encore, a single-shot, break-action rifle, chambered in 300 Winchester Magnum. He used a Bog Pod bipod to stabilize the rifle. Lloyd's first shot missed, according to North American Whitetail, but the buck kept approaching. His second shot was perfect.

Kenn Young of Clarksville, the dean of deer-hunting writers in Arkansas, said Lloyd caused a stir as an outsider killing a buck that local hunters had been pursuing for quite some time. Lloyd acknowledged in the North American Whitetail article that the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission investigated the kill and found everything to be in order.

Jerry Nipper of Malvern, owner of Hunter's Hanger Hoist, said he recalled hearing about the buck. He said he saw photos of it on the internet, but he said the buzz ebbed quickly and no further information emerged.

"Everybody just kind of believed it was a hoax," Nipper said.

I believed that Ayecock's record would last at least another 40 years. I believe that Lloyd's record will endure longer than that.

Seasons' endings

The winter sun is setting on my best deer season. I killed two bucks for the first time, and I got three does. I did it efficiently, taking four deer in four days, discounting a fifth day in the middle that I didn't hunt.

I intended to try to get one with a crossbow to earn my first Triple Trophy Award, but I have lost interest. My freezer is full, and I won't kill an animal for vanity's sake. Maybe next year.

Duck season will end tomorrow. My sources in northeast Arkansas say they had their best season in memory. Many in southeast Arkansas had a very poor season, and prospects probably won't improve until we start having long, cold winters again.

As I write this on Tuesday, Miss Laura's daffodils are budding. My passive-aggressive plum tree is covered with buds. As it has for the past five years, it will probably blossom in late February or early March, and then get nipped by frost. It's the most beautiful fruit tree I've ever grown, and it hasn't given me a single plum.

Across the road, Miss Jackie's japonica is blooming. Last week in Baxter County, redbuds were about to bloom along the White River. Winters are warmer than they used to be, and they don't last as long. Duck migrations have changed correspondingly.

One notable development is a burgeoning number of ducks migrating down the Central Flyway. Oklahoma in particular has become a duck-hunting hotspot. Even though hunting was largely unproductive in Bayou Meto Wildlife Management Area this season, hunters who I conversed with said the hunting experience is better than it was in the WMA's Wild West days. One notable development is the way ducks in Arkansas concentrated in unmanaged habitat.

It was a typical season for me. I had good hunts, bad hunts and great hunts.

My dream season is on the horizon. Gobble, gobble!

Sports on 01/30/2020

Print Headline: Typical whitetail record set in state

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