Dorchester County hunter bags huge buck

huge buck

Huge buck has been green-scored at 162 inches

Tanner Herndon of Rosinville, S.C. killed a huge buck in Dorchester County on Aug. 29 that has been green-scored at 162 inches. It’s a buck that the 21-year-old hunter had a long history with. The 12-point buck weighed 222 pounds.

Herndon shot the buck with a .243 during an evening hunt on the property he’s had a lot of success over the years. It marks the fourth buck from his family’s farm that will be listed in the South Carolina record book.

“This buck is estimated at 5 1/2-years-old based on trail camera photos and sightings we’ve had of him, both in and out of the stand. He’s been on our farm since he was born,” said Herndon. 

In mid-July, the hunter began patterning the deer and noticed it was frequenting the same area it’s roamed throughout its life, on a smaller scale. They’ve allowed the buck to walk in previous seasons. And they decided this year would be a good one to harvest it.

“He was staying in the same area he has always held to, with his range shrinking a bit as he’s aged,” he said.

Herndon’s dad advised him on where to sit that evening to have the best chance at getting a shot at the animal. He got in the stand around 6:30 p.m.

“I didn’t have to wait long. Around 7:45, the deer came out and crossed through an area from where he was bedded to a food plot where he had been feeding every day for several months,” he said. “Even with knowing the size of the deer and having that history, my nerves were a wreck when he stepped out.”

One shot put the buck down

Not wanting to make himself even more of a nervous wreck, Herndon didn’t even look at the deer’s antlers through the scope. Instead, he focused on the body, took aim and squeezed the trigger.

“He dropped down and left the lane,” he said.

He knew he’d made a solid hit.

“I sat tight and called dad and told him I got him, and to please bring an extra light. I figured 15 minutes or so would give the deer time to lay if he wasn’t dead. When dad arrived, he asked a few questions about the actions of the deer when I shot. And then he said ‘okay, well, he will be right over here then.’”

His dad’s estimate was right on the money.

“Within a few yards of walking, dad said ‘there he is.’ I asked if he was sure, and dad replied that ‘yes, it’s hard to mistake a deer like that,’” he said.

The huge buck had a 22 1/4-inch spread with good mass throughout the antlers. It sported 11-inch G2s and brow tines that measured 9+ inches in length.

For hunters that still doubt South Carolina’s potential to grow trophy bucks, Herndon has some advice.

“So many people out there still don’t believe we can have big deer in South Carolina. The one piece of advice I can pass on is that dead deer don’t grow. It is amazing what a buck can become with just one more year of growth. This will be my fourth South Carolina record book buck, and my dad also has half a dozen in the book.

“It just proves that with a little time, effort and patience, we can grow trophy bucks in South Carolina,” he said. 

Pernell’s Taxidermy handling mounting duties

Dan Pernell of Pernell’s Taxidermy in Summerville agrees with Herndon’s advice, and said the work they’ve done for the hunter’s family over the years is proof. They’ll be creating a mount for this buck and it will be one of many they’ve done for the Herndon family.

“Tanner and his family put in the time and effort that it takes to consistently grow nice deer. We appreciate their business and get lots of it because of their consistency,” said Pernell.

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Herndon’s deer lands him in Bag-A-Buck contest

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About Brian Carroll 19 Articles
Brian Carroll is an award-winning writer, photographer, and videographer. He is an avid outdoorsman. He owns and operates Marine Marketing Group and The Outdoor Image. Brian is a member of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Assn. and a past president of the South Carolina Outdoor Press Assn.

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