Payton Mireles' First Buck: 154-Inch Indiana Bruiser

Payton Mireles' First Buck: 154-Inch Indiana Bruiser

Hunter: Payton Mireles

State/County: Indiana/Starke County

Score: 154 3/8 green score

Gear: Marlin .357 Magnum lever-action rifle

Practice makes perfect.

That's the lesson Payton Mireles, age 10, learned firsthand in 2012 after bagging an amazing Indiana buck. Mireles spent the offseason practicing with her Marlin .357 Magnum lever-action, honing her skills for a chance at a great buck.

Her persistence paid off on the first morning of opening weekend, as the monster buck chased a doe down a trail right in front of where Mireles was positioned. She got in shooting position, squeezed off a shot and watched as the buck tried to run off. Seventy yards into its flight, the trophy buck dropped dead.

Mireles, who hunts with her Uncle Jimbo, was ecstatic about killing her first buck. Uncle Jimbo said they'd seen the giant on trail camera photos and named him "the King."

As for Mireles, she's set the bar pretty high for the rest of her life, but it's a memory she won't soon forget.

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