Dan Wynne hunts in deer-rich Bamberg County, where big bucks abound, and he has been a member of a club that has dedicated itself to trophy whitetail management for 25 years. Those things happily came together on Oct. 19, when Wynn took a buck sporting 14 scorable points that has a little bit of everything: width, mass, height, split beams and even a drop tine.
Measured at New Life Taxidermy in Ehrhardt, the buck green-scores an estimated 155 5/8 non-typical points.
“This guy truly understands the practices of let ‘em go let ‘em grow,” said Christie Checefsky of New Life.
Wynne’s club has a rule that allows members to take only two bucks per season, with a little something added to that.
“Your second buck must be larger than your first one,” said Wynne, who splits time between a farm in Ehrhardt and his job in Jacksonville, Fla., who explained that it makes for some often difficult decisions in the deer stand.
Wynne started hunting this particular buck two years ago after getting trail-camera photos of the deer. He’s spent plenty of time concentrating on the buck since, searching for sheds, hanging stands, looking for rubs and waiting for just the right wind.
“I knew where he was bedding based on the big rubs, and where I found his shed last year” he said.
Other hunters knew about the deer, and at least one had had an encounter with the buck; one of its ears carried the scar of a buckshot hole. A local farmer had seen the buck and told Wynne about its rocking-chair rack, and Wynne later learned that a hunter on an adjoining property had also been concentrating on the buck for two years.
Wynne figured that his best chance to take the buck would be early in the season or during the rut, and he spend as many hours in his stand whenever the wind would allow. On one occasion, he drew his bow on the buck and tried to fit an arrow through an opening in some vines, but it hit a limb and missed.
“I was very disappointed but even more motivated to hunt this deer with a bow and arrow,” he said.
Oct. 19 was a cool, clear day with a light north wind, perfect for Wynne’s stand.Just before dark, a doe came into view with a 7-point buck on her trail. The two stopped in front of Wynne for a moment before the buck nudged the doe with his nose and they left the area, nose to tail. Shortly thereafter, Wynne heard grunting from the same direction the two deer had come.
“I just knew it was him and hoped that he would give me a shot,” said Wynne, who bleated with his mouth to stop the buck at 17 yards.
With the buck quartering away, Wynne drew his Elite Energy 32 bow and slipped a Carbon Express Maximum Hunter arrow tipped with a 100-grain Grim Reaper broadhead through the buck’s vitals.
“I heard him crash about 75 yards away, just seconds after the shot” Wynne said.
Wynne’s buck had a fairly typical left beam with five points. The buck’s right side, however, was a bit out of the ordinary. Three different beams are growing out of the base. The first grows upward and has a brown tine and three other points. The second is a long beam split in half that Wynne calls a “crab claw” and the third beam, just below it, is also split in half, with the longest part stretching to 14 inches. A 7-inch drop tine jutting downward from the base of the antler completes the rack.
“When I first killed this buck, I didn’t really want to tell anybody about it, because I didn’t want to make it like I was this great hunter,” Wynne said. “But really, this deer deserves (the publicity). It’s just so special.”