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Taking a White-Tailed Buck Scoring 156


Editor’s Note: Marvin Temple of Nixa, Missouri, has been hunting deer for more than 40 years. He’s been a Mossy Oak Pro ever since the program began. “When the Mossy Oak Treestand pattern first came out in the 1980s, I thought it was an incredible pattern, and I've been wearing it ever since,” Temple says.

The biggest buck I've ever taken scored in the mid-150s, and I took him in Kansas. I was hunting back in the late 1990s right after Thanksgiving. As I sat in my stand, I was starting to be concerned about getting back to my home in Missouri, which was about 1 hour and 45 minutes from where I was hunting. I'm the basketball coach for my two daughters’ basketball team. 

Temple_day3I passed by one of the agricultural fields on the property we lease and saw four bucks and 12 does feeding in the back corner of this field. But I was too far from the deer to see how big the bucks were. I didn’t have my binoculars with me. I’d left them back at the hunting camp. However, the very next day, I went to that field early and put up a stand in a cedar tree close to where I’d seen the deer feeding. The next morning I climbed into my stand, and this buck came through checking does to try to find one in estrus –only about 15 yards from me. I couldn’t believe my luck. The buck was coming head-on to me, walking toward the does. Once the buck put his head down behind a small bush, I drew my bow. 

At that time I was using a mechanical release that fastened to my arm with Velcro. If you’ve ever used one of those type releases, you know that often the tag end of the Velcro strip sticks up rather than lying down. The weather was pretty chilly, and I had on a fairly-heavy jacket. When I drew, the tag end of the release got caught on my jacket and sounded like cloth ripping. The buck’s head came straight up, and I said to myself, “Oh, no, I'm done.” The buck looked at me, took one step to the right and gave me a quartering-to-me shot. I released the arrow with my pin right behind the buck’s right shoulder and got a complete pass through, and the buck went about 40 yards before he piled up. The buck scored 156 points on Pope & Young.

To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone. 

For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from

Day 2: Temple Prefers to Hunt Closer to the Buck’s Food Source 

Tomorrow: We Don’t Hunt Our Best Deer Stands until the Rut

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