Travis Allen of Greenwood County knew he had a big buck on his 600+ acre tract of hunting land, even though he had never seen it on any of his trail-cams or in person. His first sighting of the elusive deer was one morning this past weekend, and Allen made the most of the sighting, even though he was forced to shoot left-handed.
“I knew a big buck was on the property even though I’d never seen it and he’d never shown up on any of my trail-cams. There was sign around that told me it was a big buck. I had seen some smaller bucks and does the day before, but I let them all walk. The next day, the wind was in my favor to hunt a certain stand in front of a swamp, and that’s near where I’d been seeing big deer sign,” Allen said.
After getting in the stand around 6:50 that morning, Allen said it wasn’t long before he heard rubbing in the swamp behind him. “I could hear it, like squirrels jumping from one tree to the next, but I turned and could see this one tree shaking and I realized the buck was rubbing his antlers on the tree,” said Allen, who watched the deer as it started moving from the swamp toward some oak trees.
As the buck walked, Allen finally got a decent look at its antlers and knew it was a shooter, but he was on the wrong side. Allen, who shoots left-handed very infrequently, and only then just to try and stay proficient at it, decided that was his best chance.
“I was in a 12-foot ladder stand with no rife rest, so I had to freehand it,” he said.
Allen raised his Weatherby .308 and peered through his Leupold scope. “He was moving fast, but he was moving, and I wanted him to stop, especially since I was shooting left-handed. He finally got to a little clear area and stopped. He was about 30-yards away so I felt pretty good about the left-handed shot,” he said.
Squeezing the trigger, Allen sent his Winchester 150-grain bullet at the buck, which dropped on the spot. Being the only deer he saw that day, it was a fitting ending to Allen’s pursuit of a buck he’d never seen before. “I don’t think it had been on my property very long. And even though he was a big deer, you could tell he’d been beaten up. I think he may have gotten pushed off some other property by a bigger buck, which would explain why I had not seen him up to that point,” said Allen.
The buck’s rack green-scored at 135 1/4, and is Allen’s biggest so far. The taxidermy duties are being handled by Wilson’s Taxidermy near Aiken, and the deer was processed at Rock House Road Processing in Greenwood.
To read about more big South Carolina deer, click here.