On the morning of Nov. 21, Nick Mead of Fountain Inn, S.C. was looking for signs of a doe he had attempted a long shot at in an area called “the hayfield” on the previous evening when he was surprised by the buck of a lifetime.
“The light was getting low that evening and I could not find any blood, so I decided to come back the next morning and look for her,” he said. “The next morning I was wearing my work clothes and was just standing there where I had shot at the doe the evening before. When it started to get light I walked into the woods and waited.”
Suddenly, a deer jumped up right in front of him and it stopped right in the only opening in the thick brush and looked back at Mead. He knew the buck right away; he had seen his pictures for three years and had already named him “Goliath.”
Mead raised the rifle, aimed at the buck's shoulder and squeezed the trigger. Goliath ran 30 yards and dropped just out of the woods in the hayfield.
“Everything hit me all of a sudden. It was such an emotional moment I called my dad,” Mead said. “I had only seen him on the hoof one time before and that was on Tuesday the week before. I was sitting in the same spot and he came out on top of the hill on the back side of the field. But he was 600 yards away. He worked his way toward me, but the closest he got was 459 yards and I could not shoot.”
Mead had captured “Goliath” on the six trail cameras he has stationed on the Spartanburg County farm near Moore owned by Gene Webster. He first showed up three years ago as a main frame 8-point inside the ears. By last year he had added mass and this year even more mass, Mead said.
The right main beam measured 24 inches and the left main beam was 23 ½ inches. The right G-2 was 13 ¼ inches and the left was 12 5/8. Taxidermist Chip Hamilton green-scored the buck at 144 7/8 inches as an 8-point, but with the kickers included, the gross ran to 150 ¾ inches.
Mead has had good success deer hunting since moving to South Carolina from Vermont six years ago. Coincidentally, he killed another big buck exactly two years to the day before, a 9-point that scored in the 140s.
“I killed some good bucks up there, too, but nothing to the caliber of this buck,” he said. “The biggest I ever killed up there near the Canadian border weighed 324 pounds. He was an 8-point, but his horns were really small.”
Webster, the property owner, helped Mead load the buck he called Goliath and then asked him if he ever found the doe he was looking for.
“I said, 'No, we should go look for her now',” Mead recalled. So they went back and searched the thorn thicket the doe had run into, but never found any blood sign or hair to indicate he had hit the doe.