Mary Claissen Jones of Florence has been hunting with her dad for a number of years, and she’s killed her share of deer before, but on Nov. 8, she killed her biggest deer yet, a 10-point buck that’s been green-scored at 139 7/8 that she shot at 85 yards.
That was her first time hunting without her dad in the stand. Instead, the 13-year-old sat with her friend Wills Urquhart while her dad was about 300 yards away in another stand.
During the hunt, Jones decided to look at her phone to see what time sundown would occur. After a few minutes, Urquhart nudged her and whispered “look, big buck coming across the field.”
Overlooking a food plot from the double-ladder stand, Jones had little time to react. She raised her Ruger 7mm-08, found the deer in her Zeiss scope, placed the crosshairs on the buck’s vitals, and pulled the trigger. The deer stumbled, then ran off, crashing about 30 yards away.
Jones knew she’d killed the buck, but she didn’t know how big the deer was. She called her dad and told him “it might be a small one. I’m not sure if it’s big enough, so please don’t be mad.”
Her dad, Ty Jones was anything but mad, especially once they all found the buck lying on the ground 30 yards away.
“When we got to the deer, we realized it was a big buck that we’d been after for the past three years. We’ve been watching him on trail cameras and we even had one of his sheds from last year. I was excited, she was excited. We were all excited, and we called an SCDNR biologist to get a green-score on it,” he said.
“He green-scored it at 139 7/8, and joked that she might as well sell her guns now because she’d probably never kill a bigger one,” he said.
The rack is quite symmetrical, and the biologist expects it to only lose a few inches once the drying period is complete. This deer is definitely headed for the South Carolina record book.