For two years, Ben Anderson and Levi Tussey kept tabs on a huge non-typical buck on their Forsyth County hunting land. But this wasn’t just any buck. It was a gnarly-racked beast with four main beams, 22 scorable points, and a 14-inch drop tine extending down past the deer’s face.
Anderson and Tussey have killed several trophy bucks over their hunting careers to date, but this was truly a unique specimen they were pursuing. On Sept. 22, Anderson was on deck. That afternoon just before dark, he looked up from his deer stand with crossbow in hand and saw his dream buck appear in plain sight.
“He’s a real nice deer and the most unique buck I have ever killed,” Anderson said. “According to the jawbone, he is 6.5 years old. We had many photos of this buck from last season and started getting photos this year of the buck back in April when he first started growing his antlers.”
Last season, the buck’s unusual travel pattern caused turmoil between the hunters and neither one of them were able to see the buck in the flesh. And ever since they started getting photos of the buck this past spring, the deer continued to visit their stand sites in similar fashion.
“He would come in for three days in a row and then he would disappear for 12 to 14 days,” Anderson said. “It was the same pattern over and over.”
The two hunters developed a strategy to hunt this specific deer every day of the season until he showed up. Typically, Anderson refrains from hunting a stand for multiple days in a row. But he wwas willing to change his hunting style to get a chance at this buck.
“We decided we were going to hunt every evening to get this deer down. He had to come out eventually and it was about time for him to show up,” Anderson said.
After 11 days of hunting, neither Anderson nor Tussey saw the deer on their stands. Yet, they knew the three days on would be coming up soon and would mostly likely be over the upcoming weekend.
On day 12, Tussey was swamped with work, so Anderson headed to the woods alone. Just before dark, the big buck showed up and offered the hunter a broadside shot at 30 yards. Anderson let his arrow fly from his Mathews crossbow. The shot was perfect and the Rage Hypodermic broadhead penetrated both lungs and the top of the heart. The deer ran 25 yards and dropped.
The deer’s rack is huge and mysterious, the antlers are covered in velvet, and the velvet on one of the beams is white.
Tussey is the taxidermist at Driftwood Taxidermy and he knew that in order to correctly preserve the buck, the antlers must be dried as soon as possible.
“We sent the buck to Kentucky to get it dried and it will not get back to us for 12 weeks,” Anderson said.
Preliminary measurements indicate the buck’s antlers will tape out between 180 and 200.
“He’s impressive. My first full velvet buck and the most unusual looking buck I have killed,” Anderson said.