Four years ago, Koss LeGette of Galivant’s Ferry decided to take a break from deer hunting to pursue other interests. But on the weekend before Thanksgiving, he decided it was time to take a break from life and get back in his tree stand. He bought his hunting license and set out to kill a deer for the freezer. His second day back in the woods, he killed a giant 10-pointer that could be the biggest buck to ever come out of Horry County.
Stuart Johnston of Wildlife Creations in Conway, S.C., measured LeGette’s buck at a gross score of 163 ½ and net score after deductions of 153 5/8 Boone & Crockett Club points. According to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ records, LeGette’s buck has the potential to surpass Eric Branton’s 150 3/8-inch buck killed in 2009 — the biggest buck on record from Horry County — if the 60-day drying period doesn’t have a major impact on the final score.
According to Johnnston, LeGette’s buck has a 19-inch inside spread and two tines that measure 11 4/8 and 11 2/8 inches.
Ever since LeGette started hunting in the 1980s, he always wanted to kill a decent buck, but it wasn’t until he least expected it, a few minutes before the end of legal shooting time on Nov. 23, that the buck of his dreams appeared.
That afternoon, LeGette had two does on his corn pile when the big buck walked up right before dark at 35 yards. He could tell from the deer’s silhouette in the moonlight that he had a rack, but had no clue the buck was toting 163 inches of antler.
“I have doe tags, but I might as well shoot something with some horns,” LeGette said. “I took him for a 4- or 6-pointer.”
LeGette aimed his Browning .25-06, a gift from his stepfather 14 years ago, at the deer’s vitals and shot, and the bullet found its mark. The buck ran quickly across a cutover and disappeared into a stand of dog fennel 70 yards away.
LeGette was excited to say the least. He headed into the dog fennel to claim his prize, but as he approached the place he’d seen the deer fall, the buck suddenly rose up on its front legs just 10 feet away.
“I was amazed when I saw him and realized how big he actually was,” said LeGette, who wasn’t about to let the buck get away, finishing the deer off with a second shot. “I have hunted all of my life and never had the chance at anything so beautiful. I was in awe and immediately thanked the Lord for what he provided for me,” he said.
When not shooting record book bucks, LeGette splits his time between being pastor at Galivant’s Ferry Baptist Church and training hunting dogs at Goliath Gun Dogs on his property in Horry County. His buck was a true testament to one of his favorite quotes he preaches about frequently in his sermons.
“Timing really is everything,” he said.