Saturday, Aug. 27, turned into a day to remember for Chris Trout of Myrtle Beach, who waited until the last few minutes of legal shooting time that evening before pulling the trigger on a 235-pound, 10-point Bamberg County buck.
Typically, a mature buck in South Carolina tips the scales at 180 to 200 pounds, and anything over and above is remarkable. According to Trout, the landowners in the area he hunts harvest tremendous crops of soybeans, corn and a wide variety of produce that he feels is responsible for putting the pounds on his buck.
“Between the produce and row crops in the area, he was fattening himself up pretty good,” Trout said. “We also plant some corn, cowpeas and oats for our deer to make sure they have something to eat all the time.”
In the middle of South Carolina’s agriculture belt, Bamberg County has one of the highest production densities of corn, soybeans and peanuts per square mile, and the deer are sure benefiting. Just ask Trout; this wasn’t the first monster the farm he hunts has produced.
“We have now had three heavy bucks killed off our farm: two at 235 and one at 235 1/2 pounds,” he said.
Trout said he was familiar with the buck, even though he didn’t recognize it until he walked up on the deer on the ground in the cutover after his shot.
“I first saw this buck running with another deer back during the first week of August,” he said. “We were checking on stands to make sure they were safe and free of wasp nests, and this buck jumped up with another nice buck and ran down the fire lane.”
While Trout hoped to see the deer again, he knew it would be tough to get a bead on, especially after spooking it from a summer hiding place. But at 8:40 p.m,, with only a few minutes of available shooting light remaining, a big-bodied deer stepped into a bulldozer lane at only 45 yards away.
“I pulled up my binoculars and realized he was big and definitely a shooter,” said Trout, who moments later shot the deer, which ran only 25 yards before falling.
“I knew it was a shooter buck, but I really couldn’t tell if it was that same deer I saw before or how big the deer actually was until another buck stepped out into the lane right where the other deer was standing,” he said. “I pulled up my binoculars on him, and he was a shooter, too. It wasn’t until then I realized how massive the other deer was.”
While the buck’s body size was massive, it’s 10-point, full-velvet rack was nothing to sneeze at. The very symmetrical rack gross-scored 148 inches. It has a spread of 21 1/4 inches and four tines, two on each antler, that tape out at better than 10 inches long.
“We are real picky about what we shoot on our Bamberg County farm, and we provide plenty of food for the deer all year around. But, I got lucky and was definitely in the right spot at the right time,” Trout said.