Kevin Merrell Buck: 179-Inch Arkansas Record-Breaker

Hunter: Kevin Merrell

State/County: Arkansas/Greene County

Score: 179 4/8, archery (typical)

Date: December 6, 2011

Kevin Merrell closed the deal on a giant typical in Greene County that broke the Arkansas typical archery record. Kevin owns three acres on the outskirts of town and he had placed a low-hanging two-man ladder stand for his brother, who is handicapped, to hunt from on the corner of the property. He had been pouring corn on the ground for some time and had some deer coming in, but he didn't know exactly what.

Kevin lives on what the locals call "The Ridge," or Crowley's Ridge. Historically, this region has produced some of Arkansas' biggest bucks. That afternoon was cloudy and cool, as a cold front had pushed through, dropping the temperature several degrees. "On my way home from work, I saw a doe feeding by the stand," Kevin recalled. "So I decided to go sit for a while."

It was 4 p.m. before Kevin got in the stand and within 30 minutes he heard a deer coming. As he turned to the direction of the sound, he spotted a giant white rack moving along the fence line! The hobbling buck jumped the fence within 20 yards of Kevin and turned and walked straight towards him! "My leg started to shake," Kevin remembered, "and when I would put pressure on it, my other leg would start to shake!" Within seconds the buck was broadside at eight yards. Kevin released an arrow, hitting the buck slightly high, and the giant dropped.

Upon inspection, the buck had been shot twice in the hindquarters by what was a likely a shotgun slug several weeks before. The buck was very much alive, able to jump fences and move quickly, but Kevin doubts the buck would have made it through the winter. Kevin's buck net-scored 179 4/8 inches, making it Arkansas' new typical archery record. The Merrell Buck tops the former Pope and Young record of 170 1/8 inches and the overall archery record (recorded in Boone and Crockett) of 177 7/8.

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