Mississippi Bowhunter’s Roller Coaster Ride of a Search After Shooting Trophy Buck

by Quentin Blount

Talk about a feeling of disbelief. One Mississippi bowhunter has a wild story to tell about searching for his trophy buck.

Ken McGarrh has been a very selective hunter over the years. As a matter of fact, he hasn’t shot a trophy buck in more than ten years. But he was out hunting just recently and stumbled across a buck that he couldn’t say no to.

“I just went and hunted a spot because the wind was right to hunt that particular spot,” McGarrh told Magnolia State Live. “I was hunting some persimmon trees.”

McGarrh took his shot at a beautiful 150-class 8-point buck. It had been a while, but the Mississippi bowhunter felt good about how big this deer was.

“There was a 120-inch 8-point feeding under the persimmon tree and I heard something break,” he explained. “I knew I was going to shoot as soon as I saw him. I didn’t know how big he was, I just knew he was big enough. There was no hesitation because I haven’t shot a trophy buck since 2009. I’ve been very selective over the years.”

But what McGarrh didn’t know was that there was a big storm heading his way. Since he shot his buck so close to the Mississippi River, that could lead to some problems while out searching.

“I looked at the radar and there was a storm coming. There was one big cloud and it was coming straight for us.”

Big Storm Aimed Right for Mississippi Bowhunter

When the big moment came to be, McGarrh took his shot and felt good about it. He quickly called up his wife Stephanie to let her know and have her come out to help track the deer. They did so for roughly 250 yards before the storm interrupted things.

“We’d been on the trail about 45 minutes and the bottom fell out,” he said. “It was raining sideways and lightning all around. We couldn’t have gotten more wet if we’d jumped in a lake. We only tracked that deer that far due to the rain. My gut was telling me the whole time to back out.”

Ken and Stephanie were able to follow a blood trail. Normally, he said he would have waited until the next day to track it, but he felt uneasy thanks to the rain. After the storm passed, though, McGarrh called up tracking dog handler, Chad Smith. The dog tracked the deer straight to the Mississippi River.

“We got there and there’s blood on the rocks and the dog was looking at us like, ‘What do I do now,'” he said. “Needless to say, my heart sank.”

McGarrh went home and then came back out to search the following morning. He eventually found his buck behind a downed tree right by the river’s edge.

“I called up Stephanie and told her I’d found the deer and she thought I was joking. If you could bottle up that feeling and sell it, I’d be a rich man.”