With a baby on the way, his hunting time was limited
Mark Wuori wasn’t really planning to hunt on the evening of Oct. 27, but living within walking distance of his hunting property (and of his parents) paid off big time for the Lancaster, S.C. hunter. He killed the biggest buck of his life from a dove stool on the ground after realizing he had a little bit of free time.
The buck has been green scored at 162 2/8 inches as a non-typical.
Wuori shot the buck with a .30-06 that his dad gave him as a birthday present some years ago.
“It was Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t really planning on going hunting. My parents live next to us and my cousin’s kids were over there. So my son went over to play with them, and I told my wife I was going to walk back here (on the hunting property) and sit down,” said Wuori.
He has a tower stand about 15 yards away from where he set his stool up on the ground. But with the trees still full of leaves, he’d been having trouble seeing very well from the stand. So he opted to use the dove stool instead.
“It wasn’t a very exciting hunt to be honest. I sat there for a while and didn’t see anything until about 15 minutes before I was about to get up and head back to the house. I looked over and he was staring straight at me,” he said.
18 of the buck’s 20 antler points were big enough to score
Wuori said the deer continued staring straight at him without making a single move.
“I picked my rifle up and turned to get a steady aim, and he still never moved. I decided to take a front-facing shot, which I’m kind of against. But, I knew if he turned, he was going to be gone. So I took a shot right there in the center of the chest. It was about a 75-yard shot,” he said.
The deer bolted through some pretty thick brush. At first, Wuori thought maybe he missed.
“But then I heard him crash. I came back home and got my father from next door, and got my dog. She’s pretty good at tracking,” he said.
Bringing the dog paid off
After looking around the area he’d shot the deer and not finding any blood, his dog, which is a lab mix that he got from the pound, alerted him. She’d found blood.
“We walked about another 40 yards, and the deer was there. He’d run downhill and got into some thick stuff. His antlers were wrapped up in some small cedars and I couldn’t get a good look at it at first,” he said.
But when he cleared the buck away from the debris, he realized it was the deer he was hoping for. He’d been getting trail camera photos of this buck for some time. Its unique rack was unmistakable.
“The first thing I did was call my wife and I told her I had him,” he said.
Wuori took the buck to Hickory Hill to have it processed and caped out for a mount. Chris Melvin at Pinoak Taxidermy in Great Falls performed the green-scoring, and will handle the mounting duties as well.