Jimmy Riley knows bucks. It's his job, since he's the head guide at Giles Island Hunting Club, one of the South's premier outfitters, and a star on Mossy Oak's "Deer Thugs" on the Pursuit Channel.

But even he was stunned at the antler dimensions of a Giles Island Buck killed Thursday (Dec. 20)by client Joshua Bruce of Alexandria, La.

"I measured him at 242 6/8 inches gross," said Riley. Say what?

"Yep, 242 6/8 inches," he repeated.

One more time?

"242 and 6/8," Riley said, laughing this time. "Granted, that's not a professional score. It is a gross green score done by me with an official scorer giving me help over the phone. He had a picture and was helping me.

"I'm sure when an official scorer gets his hands on it, the score will be different, maybe higher and maybe lower. I got 242 6/8 inches gross, and it's my opinion that when the net score is figured it may lose 17 or 18 inches, but I'm betting it will go 225 net, non-typical."

That would put Bruce's 20-point buck in the top 3 of Mississippi's all-time list of non-typicals taken by hunters, behind Tony Fulton's massive 295 6/8 inch deer (1994, Winston County, gun) and Tracy Laird's 236 ⅛-incher (2003, Adams County, archery). Richard Herring sits third at 225 inches (1988, Lowndes County, gun).

There's a pick-up in the mix. Don Rogers found a 30-point in Winston County in 1987 that scored 251 6/8 inches.

If the gross of 242 6/8 inches holds up, it would rank behind only Fulton (311 4/8 inches gross — Roger's find grossed 264 inches).

"It is one heck of a deer, and it was the No. 1 buck on the Giles Island hit list," Riley said. "At least that's what we were hoping. There's a long story behind the buck, and we weren't sure just how good it would be this year."

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