Those who don’t believe lightning never strikes twice have never met Chuck Mulkey. On Oct. 16, he arrowed a magnificent 5 ½-year-old buck with an impressive rack that measures almost 155 inches – the same buck he shot two years ago and never recovered.
In 2011, Mulkey was hunting a piece of property near his taxidermy shop in Anderson County when he hit a fine buck a little too high and far back, and he never found the buck. Two seasons later, when he and the same buck met up against, the buck went down for good.
“I was sick back then when he limped off,” said Mulkey, who owns Chuck’s Taxidermy and Deer Processing on SC 28 in Anderson, “but he showed up on my trail cameras about three weeks later, so I knew he’d survived.”
Nicknaming the buck “High Tower” for the impressive height of the deer’s rack, Mulkey tried to hunt the buck during the 2012 season but never saw him, either in person or on trail-camera film. He reasoned that the deer must have moved, because taking a buck that size would have gained any local hunter plenty of notoriety.
Mulkey knew that High Tower was trading between two other pieces of property because a friend had collected trail cam photos of the deer. In his quest, Mulkey struck a deal to lease 47 acres of property adjacent to the area that he guessed was in the deer’s home range.
“I leased this new property on (Oct. 14) and went in there to hunt it for the first time on (Oct. 16),” Mulkey said. “I found a good scrape line near some pin oaks and climbed a tree right over the top of a scrape.”
While watching two does feed in the oak grove, Mulkey saw a big-bodied deer making its way toward the does. The buck walked within 15 yards before Mulkey recognized his old quarry.
“I couldn’t see his body because he walked on the other side of a tree, but I could see the rack, and I knew it was him,” he said. “That gave me time to draw, and this time I held low on him and got him right in the heart. He didn’t go but 40 yards before I saw him stumble and fall. That’s when I started hyperventilating.”
Mulkey said he rough-scored the deer at 154 7/8 Boone and Crockett inches and believes the deer may wind up as the best bow kill ever in Anderson County. He’s already making plans to do a full body mount of the animal.