Every year, Nick and Angie Starkey of Buckhannon, West Virginia venture to out to their deer lease in Upshur County to try and bag a deer. Angie says she doesn’t much about antler size and it’s venison that she’s after, but for her husband, a big buck has been a prize he’s sought for quite some time.
It seems that this was his lucky year. The Hampsire Review reported that on opening day last month, Nick may have broken a 20-year-old state record with a massive 15-point buck—and he owes it all to his wife.
The two hunters generally hunt from different blinds to maximize their chances of bagging a deer. That changed this year when Angie was browsing through the photos taken by her trail cam and found an absolutely massive buck. Understandably, the picture caused a ruckus in the Starkey household, but Nick said he encouraged his wife to take the big buck. Angie, on the other hand, had different ideas.
“That picture set him into a mode that he was so excited he couldn’t sit still,” she told West Virginia MetroNews. “I wasn’t that excited about the buck. I’ve never really cared about the horns, but I know he does so I told him, ‘Why don’t you hunt that spot?’”
It may not sound like much to many people, but to a hunter like Nick, it was a precious gift—so much so that he did not accept it initially. The couple agreed to let their young daughter Raven take the first shot if she was able. Opening day came and the Starkeys waited in their blind for any sign of the massive buck, but it was not until daylight was almost gone when it appeared. Faced with the overwhelming animal, Raven feared that she would miss the once-in-a-lifetime shot and handed the rifle to her father.
Nick did not think twice about taking the shot. At first he thought he missed, but they later found that the buck only had time to run over a hill before it keeled over. A green score of the rack measured 191 and 2/8 inches, potentially making it a new state record. The current record is held by a 185 and 4/8 rack from a buck killed by Junior Bailes in 1994. Official measurers from the Boone and Crockett Club will be able to score the rack after a 60-day mandatory drying period.
Until then, the Starkey family is more than happy with their massive buck—and plenty of meat in their freezer.
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