TES student a co-winner in Alabama Big Buck Contest

Published 5:35 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

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The Alabama Black Belt Adventures 12th annual Big Buck Photo Contest received dozens of entries and thousands of online votes.

Olivia Faulkner, a second-grade student at Troy Elementary School, is a co-winner in the Alabama Big Buck Photo Contest.

She shares the honor with Chad Stinson, a Pintlala man who harvested a 13-point velvet buck. The two photos were separated by only four votes, so Olivia Faulkner and Chad Stinson have been declared co-winners of this year’s Alabama Big Buck Contest.

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Olivia harvested he first deer on Thanksgiving Day 2023 on a hunt on leased land in Montgomery County. The buck arrived with several others, but she spooked it by accidentally dropping her headphones in the shooting house.

“We were both down in the dumps about it,” said Morgan Faulkner, Olivia’s father.

 Things changed just a few minutes later.

Olivia said the deer came back from the woods.

“I was really scared and shaking before I took the shot,” she said. “It was my first buck and I was really happy about that.” 

Stinson said his big buck had appeared on his game camera for the last three season. On the first day of the 2023-24season, he sat in his deer stand for nearly six hours and, then, a group of bachelor bucks ran in to about 29 yards. The big buck was smart and stood behind a six-point.

Exercising patience was not easy, Stinson said.  

“It got so bad, I could feel my quiver hitting my cheek. I was shaking so bad. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, the six-point bent down to eat and he (big buck) stood straight up, and when he did, that was my only opportunity, and I let it go.”

It was Stinson’s first time to harvest a buck with a bow, and the fact that the 13-pointer was a velvet buck made it more memorable, he said.

The Black Belt includes the following 23 counties: Barbour, Bullock, Butler, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Greene, Hale, Lee, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Pickens, Pike, Russell, Sumter, Tuscaloosa and Wilcox.

(Photo & information, Courtesy of Alabama Black Belt Adventures)