A late-September goose hunt kept Cory Christensen from killing a huge buck near his home in Bonneau – for a day, that is.
Christensen went goose hunting on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 28, breaking his string of hunting every Saturday morning since the season arrived in mid-August. He got back, checked the trail camera set up near a box blind he hunts, and there, with an 8:15 a.m. time stamp, was a photo of a huge buck.
He killed it the next afternoon, and it was certainly worth the 36-hour wait, a main-frame 5x5 with three sticker points that scored 155 6/8.
“I have hunted that stand every Saturday the whole season, but I didn’t hunt it that Saturday or the Saturday before, because my grandmother passed away that Monday,” said Christensen, 31. “I got back from goose hunting and checked my camera, and there he was, at 8:15.
“I hunted Sunday morning and saw some small bucks – they were running does off a corn pile, starting to rut. I went back that afternoon. I usually never get in that stand until 6 o’clock, but I got in this time about 5:30.”
That was 15 minutes to the good. At 5:45, the buck walked out of a cutover, emerging on a deer trail 20 yards from the stand, headed for some big timber. It was over seconds later, with one shot from Christensen’s .30-06 taking the buck through the heart and anchoring him to the ground.
“I was surprised to see him in the afternoon after I had the trail-cam photo of him from the morning,” Christensen said. “I guess it was because of the rut. He was starting to rut; he stunk – he’d already been urinating on his tarsal glands.”
Christensen called a friend, Kyle Jones, who broke out his camera and took dozens of photos, then helped him dress the 172-pound buck and cape him out for a trip to the taxidermist. Finally, Jones put a tape measure on the buck.
“He’s 19 6/8 inches inside, and the greatest spread is 22 ½ inches,” Christensen said. “The G-2s are 10 5/8 and 6 5/8; the G-3s are 9 2/8 and 8 3/8, and the brow tines are 5 3/8 and 5 5/8. He’s a main-frame 5x5 with three small sticker points.
“Kyle talked with Charles Ruth (deer project leader for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources), because we want to get a good score on him,” Christensen said. “We know that 149 is the biggest deer ever taken in Berkeley County, and this one scores 155 6/8 green.”
If the buck loses only two or three percent of his size during the required 60-day drying period, it could wind up being the biggest ever taken in Christensen’s home county.