It took more than a year, but one South Carolina hunter finally got the deer he almost missed out on thanks to 2016’s Hurricane Matthew. And it was a good one — a 12-point buck in velvet with an 18-inch inside spread.
When Matthew crashed into the eastern seaboard last fall, devastation and extensive flooding caused extreme turmoil for people all over the Carolinas. It also prevented many hunters from their early season opportunities.
For Spencer Evans of Aynor, the flooding terminated access to one of his favorite hunting leases in the lowlands of Horry County just after he saw a massive 10 pointer on one of his trail cameras. But, during the first week of August this year, the buck was back as a bigger 12 pointer.
“He was a real nice 10 point last year. Then, the flood came and we couldn’t get back into that tract the rest of the year,” Evans said. “My hunting buddy, Seth Rabon, and I worried about that deer all year long. “
Rabon and Evans set their cameras out in early August to see what bucks they had and after just the first few days, Rabon texted Evans a heartwarming note.
“Heeeee’s back!” said Rabon of the now 12-point buck.
“He was the first deer to show up on camera and at 10:30 in the morning. He really looked huge on camera too,” said Evans. “We kept getting photos of him every day and he was always traveling with a seven pointer.”
Bow season came in and both Evans and Rabon started hunting their stands hard, but without much luck until the afternoon of Aug. 23 when the buck’s traveling companion showed up on Evans’ corn pile.
“I saw every deer come to my corn pile except the seven and the 12 pointer. The other deer all fed and left,” he said.
Then at 7:30, Evans heard a stick crack a few feet away from his stand. It was the seven point and Evans got excited. The buck cautiously walked to the corn pile and started eating. Evans quietly stood up and got ready because he knew what was about to happen.
Ten yards away and practically under the stand, the deer turned broadside and Evans released the arrow right in the sweet spot.
“I couldn’t have made a better shot. It was a complete pass through right behind his shoulder. It was meant to be,” he said.
The buck took off running and disappeared into the pine woodlands. Evans got down and found his arrow completely covered in blood. And after a 100-yard track, he found his buck piled up along the forest floor.
Evans’ buck green scored at 134 inches and is the biggest bow buck he has ever taken. And he believes it will topple his previous overall personal best, a 131-inch record-book buck he killed a couple of years ago.