Tri-state man hits bullseye on journey for trophy buck

Don Epley of Payson, Illinois

A local man is getting national attention for his trophy buck.

Don Epley of Payson is headed to the Boone and Crocket record books as bagging the fourth largest non-typical white tail deer while bow hunting.

It was a crisp morning in the deer stand last fall, when Payson man Don Epley heard a buck crashing through the brush towards him.

He shot the deer ten yards away with his bow and arrow. It was the same one he had captured on a trail camera the week before. But he didn't comprehend how big it was until he stood next to it in the field.

Epley said, "Pictures don't do it justice. You have to grab it and hold it to see how huge it really is."

He took the rack to the recent Deer Classic, where he met with a representative of the Boone and Crockett club, an organization devoted to documenting conservation records. It's size and non-typical points scored at 196 and 6/8ths on the rating scale. That's a score only held by the best of the best.

"When he (representative with Boone and Crockett) told me that I couldn't believe it. He said its like hitting the lottery for a bow hunter," Epley said. "He said you'll definitely want to put this in Boone and Crocket."

Epley says there's no greater feeling for a hunter.

Epley said, "It's every hunter's dream. My brother is jealous! "

And so is every other hunter in the Tri-States right now.

Right now, the deer hide is in the process of being tanned in preparation for mounting. Epley says this trophy deer will be the highlight of the hunting room in his home.

Epley's name will officially replace the current 4th place deer in Boone and Crockett record books in the coming months.