Recent Francis Marion graduate, Ryan Manore killed a huge eight pointer on his family farm in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Even though the storm brought epic destruction and tremendous turmoil to various communities in the southeast, the floodwaters brought just enough pressure in Clarendon County to flush out a huge buck Manore has had in his sights for over a year. But a mishap between his truck tailgate and his brand new .270 caliber rifle almost foiled his big score.
Manore hunts on his family farm just outside of Alcolu in Clarendon County, South Carolina. At the end of last season, Manore and his hunting companion, Zach Mays picked up a few photos of a really large, wide-racked buck on a series of trail cameras. After hunting him hard last year, the buck made it to January 2nd without any kinks.
As the 2016 season crept up, Manore scattered trail cameras all over his farm and finally captured three photos of this same buck on August 21 at 2:00 in the afternoon. He was excited and knew he may have a chance at this deer. Manore strung up a half dozen trail cameras in the cypress swamp he thought this big buck was visiting in hopes of getting a good pattern on the buck. But, the deer vanished and never showed up again.
As hurricane Matthew struck, the rain and winds plagued the eastern seaboard and a tributary to the Black River swamp where Manore was hunting flooded well out of its banks.
“Ever since the hurricane hit, the cypress swamp flooded and pushed all of the deer out of the swamp and pushed the deer into the next block,” Manore said. “The hurricane disturbed the wildlife more than anything I have ever seen and more importantly, it screwed up this buck’s normal schedule.”
Manore started hunting hard immediately after the storm moved out and for the first two days, his bow stands were not getting the attention he had hoped for. And when he walked out of the woods into the field, he could see deer all over the field. So, Manore solved this problem, quickly purchasing a brand new .270 rifle and scope. The deer were still in an abnormal pattern on his farm and with the rut starting to pick up, Manore knew he needed to adapt to get a chance at something he would be proud of.
The next morning, Manore was discussing his hunting strategy with one of his friends and the unthinkable happened. Manore had propped his new rifle on the tailgate and it fell to the ground landing on the scope.
“This is just my luck, I will see a big buck this a.m. and I will miss him because my scope is off,” Manore said.
But, it was too late to do anything about it then. So, Manore headed off into the stand.
As daylight arrived, there was a dense layer of fog covering the field that impeded Manore’s line of sight. But within a few minutes, Manore saw a tail flicker 200 yards down the wood line.
“I raised my scope and thought it was a huge doe at first until he lifted his head. That’s him! He was even prettier than when I saw him in velvet. His antlers were unmistakable,” Manore said.
The deer trotted down the field edge towards Manore’s stand and stopped at 125 yards.
“I clicked off safety and let him have it!”
The deer ran off without leaving even the first drop of blood in his path. Manore was worried he had missed even though the shot sounded like it met its mark. Manore and his friend Mays began to look for the deer and after a few minutes, Zach found him just 30 yards away from where Manore shot.
“As soon as I got to him, I put my hands on him and started losing it,” Manore said.
Manore’s 200-pound buck boasted an 18.25” inside spread and several very long 10 ½ and 11 ½ -inch tines on both sides of his rack.