Jock Hendricks of Sumter has killed his share of decent bucks, but he’s never been “that guy” that gets a trophy deer every year. This year was a little different for him though. He’s killed two trophy bucks in the past couple of months, both of them in Sumter County. The two deer green-scored in the mid-130s.
“I killed both deer on different properties, but both are in Sumter County very close to Shaw Air Force Base. You can hear the trumpets they blow every morning and every evening. I don’t know what those trumpets mean to the folks on the base, but to us, they mean the deer are getting ready to move,” Hendricks said.
The first big buck Hendricks killed was in September out of a homemade 20-foot ladder stand, and it wasn’t the biggest deer he saw that day.
“It was an evening hunt, and I saw two bucks moving together. The first buck was bigger than the second, but I had no chance to get a clean shot at him. I dropped the second one though, which was a big 8-pointer,” said Hendricks, who shot the deer at 30-yards.
That buck was estimated to be a between 4- and 5-years-old. Hendricks was having another scope mounted to the gun he normally hunts with, so he shot this buck with his daughter’s Marlin .270.
Hendricks felt plenty blessed to kill that buck, which measured 134-inches, and he really didn’t even think about getting a chance at killing another buck that big, especially not in the same year. But, that’s exactly what happened last month when he killed an even bigger buck.
Hendricks’ second big buck was a 13-pointer which measured 137-inches. He killed it out of an 8-foot tall box stand on some land that rarely gets hunted, and while his first buck came at the short distance of 30-yards, he shot this one at 300-yards.
“I was using my Mossberg .270 with a Nikon scope. This is my long-distance gun. We’d been seeing that deer on trail cameras throughout the property, so I knew it was in there. The only other folks that hunt it are bowhunters. This property has some pretty freshly-planted cotton with green leaves, and the does love to get out in the open fields and nibble on those leaves this time of year. That’s about the only thing that will pull these bucks out into the open, and that doesn’t play into the hands of bowhunters, so I knew with my long-range gun, I’d have a good chance to get that deer,” he said.
During the hunt, Hendricks, who is a pastor at Alice Drive Church in Sumter, was working on a sermon for an upcoming service. He looked up and saw a number of does in the field when he noticed some motion to his left. He scanned the area with his binoculars and saw what he knew was a good buck.
“I just saw a big, wide set of antlers. The buck had its head down and was sniffing the ground. He was just on the outskirts of the field, and he stepped into the woods, and that’s when I shot him,” said Hendricks.
Hendricks summed up his deer season of 2015 when he said “I’ve shot some decent bucks over the years, but this is the first year anyone has ever told me that I need to get one scored, and it happened to me twice this year. That’s truly blessed.”
Click here to read about other big South Carolina bucks.