In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, Jerry Lee of Johnsonville finally got a chance to bring home his largest South Carolina buck ever—a 152-inch, 11 pointer in Florence County. For over four years, Lee watched this deer grow from a small eight point yearling into a mature, heavy-horned stud.
Lee was ready to take this deer last year, but the 2015 flood sent the buck packing, vanishing from all surveillance cameras throughout the entire property. Lee was relieved when the buck showed back up on camera in September 2016, and couldn’t wait to get another opportunity at this deer. Then, Hurricane Mathew made a visit on Oct. 8 and brought more devastating floodwaters to his Florence County farm.
“Our property became impassable with high water and downed trees everywhere. It was happening again,” Lee said. “I thought he was going to be gone again just like he did last year!”
As the floodwaters receded, Lee erected his trail cameras back up and to his surprise, the big 11 pointer was back.
“We got him on camera on October 16th and we started hunting him hard,” Lee said.
The deer showed up where Lee had a stand overlooking a dead end road inside a woodlot. With the rut in full swing and plenty of does around, Lee felt the deer would show back up any time. He decided to start hunting the stand every afternoon until the deer showed up.
Lee hunted hard all weekend and into the next week. And on Monday afternoon, a familiar fellow showed up in his sights. The deer came out within view, but really didn’t present Lee with a decent shot.
“He was such a good deer, I didn’t want to take a pop shot at him and mess him up. So I let him go,” Lee said.
Then at 6:30 on Wednesday afternoon, the buck stepped out right at the end of the dead end road at 218 yards and it became a real “dead end” for this deer. Lee raised his 300 magnum and didn’t waste any time claiming his trophy buck that had eluded him for the past few years.
Lee measured every point and dimension according to the Boone and Crockett scoring system. The collection of lengthy 8 and 9-inch tines, 16½-inch inside spread, a 24-inch left main beam, and tremendous mass throughout, produced a very impressive final gross score. At 152 inches, this will be Lee’s biggest South Carolina buck ever and will easily make it as a 2016 entry into South Carolina’s record book.