Hunter and 12-point buck had a long history
Andy Till of Orangeburg, S.C. killed his biggest buck yet on Aug. 17 on private land in Orangeburg County. The 12-point buck (11 scorable points) had a 19 1/2-inch outside spread and has been gross green-scored at 167.
It was a deer he was very familiar with. He had named the deer One-Eyed Jack after tracking it on trail cameras for some time because one of the buck’s eyes never reflected light in any of the trail cam photos. It was on his hit list for quite a while. And he actually missed the deer twice during the 2018 season.
He feels fortunate to have gotten a third chance at the deer, but it almost didn’t happen. At least not on Aug. 17. Till said a little divine intervention helped him out.
“I was watching over a field and five bucks came out. Two of them were also on my hit list. I put the crosshairs on one of them. I had decided I was going to shoot that one. But it never would offer me a decent shot. So I waited. Another deer came into the clearing, and then another. One-Eyed Jack was the seventh deer to walk into the field. I recognized him immediately and put the scope on him and pulled the trigger. He dropped right there, then started kicking and wiggling around. I put another shot in him and that was it,” said Till.
He shot the buck with a Browning .270 with a 130-grain Winchester bullet from a swivel seat in a tree stand from 125 yards away.
Till killed the deer from the same stand he had previously missed it from
“I hit him a little bit low in the kill zone on the first shot. My dad killed a really big deer years ago, and his first shot didn’t faze it. I was worried about that happening here so when this one started moving around, I decided to put another shot in him,” he said.
Last season, Till pulled the trigger on the same buck, from the same stand, on Oct. 10. He thought he’d just made a bad shot until two days later, when he missed the same buck again. He checked his scope then, and it was way off. After that, the buck went nocturnal and he didn’t see it again for the rest of the season. And he thought he might never see it again until his trail cameras captured it a couple of weeks before this season started.
“We did some logging on the property from February to June, and I thought it might run him off for good. But luckily he came back. I hunted that same stand the first two days of this season and didn’t see much of anything. But on the third day, ole One-Eyed Jack finally slipped up,” he said.
Deer’s non-reflecting eye was scarred over
When he took a close look at the deer, he realized it had both of its eyes, but one was scarred over.
“I’m not sure he could see out of that eye. It was like it had been injured while fighting another buck or something. It had this scar tissue kind of covering the eyeball,” he said.
Till had the deer processed at Great Outdoors Taxidermy & Deer Processing in Bowman, and is having taxidermy done by Gerald Bonnette in St. Matthews.
As with many long-term goals, Till said finally getting the buck has filled him with mixed emotions.
“It’s so bittersweet to finally get my hands on this set of horns after dreaming about them for the last 10 months. It’s gonna be tough not seeing him on the trail cameras anymore. But I do look forward to seeing him on the wall next spring,” he said.