It’s possibly the biggest buck killed in Williamsburg County
Youth hunter Lewis Hemingway of Georgetown, S.C. killed a massive, 24-point buck in Williamsburg County on Oct. 22 on the property of Back Woods Quail Club. The deer’s rack has been green-scored at 181 inches. The 15-year-old hunter had a slight history with the deer.
“We saw pictures of it on our trail cameras for the first time in November 2018. We didn’t see him in person, but we were still getting trail camera pictures of him when I took the cameras down in January. And when I put the cameras back up in July, he was still there,” said Bill Hemingway, the teenager’s dad.
Once the season rolled in, the big buck continued showing up on trail cameras, but only three times during daylight hours. Then on Oct. 22, the young hunter finally got a look at the buck in the flesh.
“The buck came out just before dark. It walked up to a big gravity feeder we keep loaded with corn this time of year. Lewis shot it, and felt confident that he’d made a good shot. But with the flash of the gun, he couldn’t tell what direction the deer ran off in,” said Hemingway.
Bill’s brother ( Lewis’ uncle) Rick came to help look for the deer, and George Hutto, who has a good tracking dog, also joined in to look for the buck.
While waiting on the tracking dog to arrive, they looked only in the location of the shot. They didn’t find any blood at all, and Hemingway said he was a little concerned.
Tracking dog comes in handy
“My brother Rick and I, we talked about how shooting a deer with a .270 at that distance, which was about 125 yards, there should have been some blood or bone fragment or something at the feeder. We didn’t say anything to Lewis at the time, but in the back of our minds, we thought maybe he’d missed. But he was confident the whole time that he’d hit the deer.
Once the dog arrived, Lewis’ confidence was confirmed.
“It was after dark by then, and the dog went about 30 yards or so and found blood. The deer ran maybe 75 yards or so and there it was. And it looked bigger in real life than it did on the trail cameras. It was really something to see,” said Hemingway.
“Being in my 50s and never having seen anything like that, and being Lewis’ dad, I started tearing up. George started tearing up. And then here’s Lewis, 15-years-old and the one who killed this massive deer, and he just doesn’t understand what he’s killed. He’s just standing there calm and collected and I’m telling him he just doesn’t grasp what he’s done,” he said.
The buck was quartering toward Lewis when he shot it. He hit the deer in the shoulder, and the bullet went into the buck’s body, but did not exit.
After the mandatory 60-day drying period, Hemingway’s 181-inch buck should take over as the No. 1 buck to come from Williamsburg County. That’s currently held by Hugh Gaskins’ 2003 buck that measured 170 5/8 inches, which ranks as the No. 26 all-time biggest buck in the Palmetto State.