Joey Mills was hunting over a creek bottom surrounded by hardwoods on Nov 20 when he killed what he thought was an 8-point buck he’d been watching on his trail cameras all season. Once he got to the buck though, he realized it was a different deer. This one, a 10-pointer, measured 144 1/8-inches when green-scored. 

It was a pretty quick hunt for Mills, who was sitting in a ladder stand. The buck made it easier on him after he shot it by running in the direction of his truck. 

“I got in there before daylight, and around 7:20, a bunch of does came running into view. They were running about as fast as they can, then stopped not far from my stand. They looked back, so I looked in that direction, and saw two more does about 75-yards away. Then I noticed behind them, about 90-yards away from me, was a big buck,” said Mills.

Almost right away, the buck stepped closer, then stopped broadside of Mills, who looked through the scope mounted to his Savage rifle. “It was about 75-yards away, I pulled the trigger, and it ran about 40 yards. Thankfully it ran up a hill toward my where I had parked, and it fell about 20-yards away from my truck. That saved me a lot of work,” said Mills.

From the time he spotted the buck at 90-yards to the walk after shooting the buck, Mills believed this was a deer he’s been watching for some time on his trail cameras. “When I saw the buck, all I could see was rack, but I told myself not to look at the rack, and just concentrated on the body,” he said.

“Once I got to the buck, I realized it wasn’t the 8-pointer I’ve been watching for so long, but a 10-pointer. It was all scarred up like it’d been fighting. I was thankful to get it, and glad to know the 8-pointer is still out there,” said Mills, who hunts an unusually small tract of land.

“I’ve got permission to hunt 8-acres of land. It’s near a subdivision and 100-acres of hardwoods that nobody hunts. I found an area where three or four deer trails intersect, and that’s where I put up a trail cam, so I have a pretty good idea of what’s in the area, but I never saw photos of that 10-pointer,” Mills said.

James Brothers Taxidermy in Inman is handling the taxidermy duties for Mills, who said this will be the fourth deer he’s had mounted, but the biggest one by a good stretch. 

Click here to read about other big South Carolina bucks