Between playing travel Softball and keeping up with grades, 8th grader Madison McNeill of Camden SC, harvested a mature Kershaw County Buck while on a hunt with her father. Not only did she kill a big 11-point buck, but she killed it on her October 9th, which also happened to be her 14th birthday. After about forty-five minutes of sitting in the woods and a slow squeeze of her Remington 1170’s trigger, she was all smiles as her birthday buck hit the dirt.  

The big buck’s gross green-score was 134 inches. 

Madison McNeill might have just turned fourteen, but she is no stranger to harvesting her share of deer. “I started hunting when I was 8 years old,” said Madison. “The first time I ever hunted, I killed a big doe. Since then, I have killed thirty-six deer,” she said. Due to a few family connections, Madison has had plenty of opportunities to help hunters manage doe numbers on their land.

“This was the first time I was able to hunt all year,” said Madison. “My father told me for my birthday, that he would take me hunting out on the family’s land.”

“She has been playing Softball and due to all of the storm water, we haven’t been able to hunt,” said her father Jason McNeill. “But we were blessed on her birthday with some good weather.”

The two had creeped into their ground blind overlooking a corn pile about forty-five yards away. Not long into the hunt, they were beginning to hear deer rustling in the woods and an eight-point stepped out and began eating from the corn pile. A few moments later, he scooted over as the big 11-pointer began to feed.

“He was out there for probably about three minutes before she could make a shot,” said Jason McNeill. “There was a branch right in the way of her making a clean shot.”  

After the buck moved out of the way of the branch, Madison took her opportunity to squeeze the trigger. Her excellent shot-placement dropped the buck right where he stood.

“It meant more to me seeing her kill that big buck than me killing all my big bucks combined,” her father proudly said. After showing off the buck to her mother and her grandparents, the father-daughter duo took the buck down to Peach Orchard Processing to be processed. They took the buck’s head and cape down to family friend Jason Meeks, of Dogwood Taxidermy, to get a full shoulder mount.  

“It was a really awesome birthday gift,” said Madison. “I have never killed a deer on my birthday before and I was glad my dad was there when I got him.”