LENORE, W.Va. — Myran Copley didn’t have a lot of confidence ahead of the 2013 bow season. His family had lost their hunting lease after a coal company exercised their rights and started up a mining operation late in the year. Myran was left scrambling for a place to hunt. Desperate, he picked an old standby on family land along the edge of an old family cemetery in Mingo County. The property bordered the Laurel Lake Wildlife Management Area.
“I really didn’t have anywhere else to hunt,” Copley said in an interview for Ram Trucks West Virginia Outdoors. “I’d been in there quite a bit and knew there were some good deer in there, but I didn’t know there was going to be anything that big.”
Copley,19 and a 2013 graduate of Tug Valley High School, is now calmly referring to the massive non-typical buck he killed at the peak of the rut. He wasn’t so calm that day.
The morning of December 3, 2013 didn’t start the way he hoped. Copley overslept and didn’t make it to the woods until just a bit after daylight. He hadn’t been in the area to hang a tree stand so he quickly deployed a ground blind. Things started to weigh on his mind when he’d had no activity by 10 a.m.
“I figured I messed up the day because I overslept,” he said. “It was almost 10:00 and I was getting ready to leave and had all my stuff packed up. I looked down a four-wheeler road and saw the nine-point I was after was coming up toward me.”
Copley prepared himself to stick the nice nine pointer as it drew near, but he suddenly caught sight of more movement further down the trail beyond the buck he was watching.
“I was getting ready to shoot him, but I looked and the bigger buck I wound up killing was following him,” Copley said. “It took 20 or 25 minutes for him to get up there. I’d set up on a scrape line and the nine point was working the scrape line. I guess it was the bigger buck’s scrape, he grunted and ran him off. Then the big buck came up to work the scrape.”
The monster buck walked within ten yards of Copley’s blind. With his heart pounding in his chest, Myran explained he knew he wouldn’t have any room for a mistake.
“There was one tree between him and me where I had a chance to pull back my bow back and he would have been ten yards away,” Copley said. “When I pulled back I guess he heard it because he stood there for about a minute until he stepped out and gave me a good shot.”
The minute seemed like an eternity to Copley. He had taken a few nice bucks in his young life, but this was something special. The buck stepped from behind the tree and stood perfectly still. Copley loosed his arrow and watched the broadhead disappear into the buck’s right shoulder.
“When I shot he took a big leap and went down into a little drain about 40 yards away,” Copley explained. “I saw him trying to come up the other side and then I watched him fall over.”
Most bow hunters don’t get the luxury of seeing their buck fall, so no trailing was necessary. When Copley got to his buck, it was an amazing experience.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Copley said. “I was thinking any minute somebody was going to slap me and wake me up.”
The buck was estimated to be five and a half to six and a half years old. It still needs more drying time for the prescribed 60 days before it can be officially scored under the Pope and Young Scoring System. The green score was a whopping gross of 192 5/8 and after deductions the net score was 180 4/8ths. It was the largest non-typical buck killed in West Virginia in 2013.