By Gary Lloyd
CLAY — Call it The Kill.
In the early morning hours of Jan. 5, Ray McCollum saw four deer below his tree stand in Lamar County, all “panting like a dog.” He had never seen this before, figuring something must have been chasing them.
Thirty seconds later, he discovered what it was.
A huge deer emerged, just 20 yards away from McCollum, a 2010 Clay-Chalkville High School graduate. McCollum shot and killed the deer. When he descended the tree stand, he realized the deer’s mass, much bigger than the two 8-points he killed last year.
This whitetail deer had 13 points. It was 155 pounds. It scored 166 3/8 inches.
“It’s been like a dream come true,” said McCollum, who has gone hunting with his dad since he was 8. “Just excitement overcame me.”
McCollum said the kill will go in the state whitetail record book. He does not yet know specifics about how the kill ranks statewide.
McCollum’s dad, who has also killed a 13-point in his time as a hunter, helped him bring the deer out of the woods.
McCollum lives in Tuscaloosa now, majoring in forestry at the University of Alabama. He wants to specialize in wildlife management.
“I fell in love with deer hunting at a young age and I fell in love with nature,” McCollum said. “It’s just been something I’ve really wanted to do and have something to do with for the rest of my life. It’s something that makes me happy.”
Contact Gary Lloyd at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.