Jimmy Brannan of Greenville County has hunted all over the world, killing everything from elk to grizzly bears, but his biggest hunting thrill happened last week on a small 80-acre tract of land behind his parent’s home near Belton. Brannan killed a 150-class buck with a 20-inch wide rack with 24-inch beams.
The hunt started normally enough, with Brannan taking to his 16-foot tall tree-stand around 4:30 in the afternoon of Nov. 3. He watched a big doe cross the field he was overlooking, and noticed the deer kept looking back and appeared nervous. Brannan looked several times trying to determine what had the doe nervous, but he didn’t see anything. He watched the doe leap over a fence, and then a flurry of activity ensued.
“All of a sudden, I saw horns running across the field. All I could see was horns, and the buck was running full speed. I screamed at it, trying to get it to stop so I could take a shot, but that buck didn’t even slow down. It didn’t react to my screaming at all,” said Brannan, who realized he would have only one shot at this buck – and that would be as the buck prepared to leap the fence. Brannan took aim through his Swarovski scope and fired one shot from his Remington 7mm just as the buck made its jump.
The buck made it over the fence, but Brannan was sure his aim was true. He climbed out of his stand, walked to the fence, and saw blood everywhere. It disappeared at the creek that was just on the other side of the fence.
Brannan went to his parents house, got a bite to eat, and picked up his Kubota. His brother joined him to search for the buck, which Brannan knew was a big one.
“The creek was running really high, and I began to fear the buck may have gotten washed down with the current. When we got to the creek, we crossed it, then climbed the bank. It was muddy, and you slipped every time you took a step. We finally made it up the bank, and luckily, the blood trail started right there again. We found the deer just about 80-feet away. My brother was surprised at the size. He told me the same thing I’d been thinking, that he’s hunted all over the country and this is a true trophy right here,” Brannan said.
Click here to read about other big South Carolina bucks.