Big buck had a unique rack, even for a 13-pointer
Bryce Hinton of Travelers Rest, S.C. harvested a massive 13-point Greenville County buck that had two unusual and long drop tines on Nov. 25 around 7:15 a.m. He and his hunting buddy, Burton Harbin, were following a time-tested formula for success.
“We had been hunting him pretty hard for the past two weeks after he showed up on our trail camera. We put out more cameras — the kind that send pictures to your cell phone — and we started seeing him more and more on camera. We said we have got to do some studying and really do our homework to hunt this deer,” said Hinton.
Hinton and Harbin had been hearing of a big deer showing up on other hunt clubs’ trail cameras since early in the season. As the season progressed, the deer began showing up on hunt clubs closer and closer to theirs. But they’d seen no trace of the deer on their land.
Then the two hunting buddies went to Kentucky for a week to hunt deer. And when they got back, they had photos of the deer they’d been hearing about. And these were daytime photos, taken two days in a row. They were shocked.
The rut seemed to be wearing the buck down
“We should have stayed home instead of going to Kentucky,” they thought. “That was a game changer. That’s when we knew we had to hunt extremely hard and be smart about it too.”
The rut seemed to be wearing the big buck down, and the two hunters knew that’s why it was slipping up and showing itself in daylight hours. They knew the deer was killable. Still, they realized they had to be smart about hunting it. They began serious preparations for hunting the buck. They moved stands, checked wind directions, monitored moon phases, and put up more trail cameras.
They hunted hard almost every day, skipping when an unfavorable wind blew through the area.
On Monday, Nov. 25, the wind was just right. They got into the woods early, and walked slowly and silently. They walked about an extra mile to be sure not to spook the buck.
By 5:15 a.m. they had both settled into their stands and waited for the woods to settle down. Hinton was 25 feet up a big oak tree in a climbing stand, looking slowly right to left and behind when he heard a limb crack to his right.
“He was right there at 60 yards. I stood up very slowly, got the .30-06 up to my shoulder and dialed in on his shoulder, then I pulled the trigger.”
Both hunters climbed down from their stands and raced to the buck, celebrating the kill with high-fives.
They nicknamed the deer “Double-D”
“We knew one of us would kill this buck,” Hinton said. “But we are in this together. Burton and I have talked for a long time about starting an outfitter service.”
Hinton and Harbin are both salesmen for Mac Tools and they plan to hold onto their jobs for a while until they can take the next step in establishing their outfitter dream.
They took the buck they dubbed “Double-D” for the two impressive drop tines to Chip Hamilton Taxidermy in Piedmont with plans for a full body mount. Hamilton weighed the buck at 190 pounds and estimated he was 6 ½ years old.
Hamilton also green-scored the rack at 181 gross with about 50 inches of deductions if it is scored as a typical rack. Both main beams measured 22 4/8 inches with the base circumference of the right beam at 4 6/8 inches and the left beam at 4 4/8 inches. The right drop tine measured 9 inches and the left drop tine was 9 3/8 inches. A testament to the heft of the beams, the rack has a 20-inch inside spread, 22 inches outside spread.
“It’s the highest scoring buck I’ve ever checked in from South Carolina,” Hamilton said. “The dark chocolate rack as well as the drop tines make it a true buck of a lifetime, especially for a southeastern whitetail. My envy is that of all the rack scenarios to dream of, my dream buck is a chocolate double drop. At least I can have my hands on one, even if it’s not mine.”
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