With one of the earliest deer seasons in the country, South Carolina hunters get the opportunity to take velvet bucks long before the rest of the country’s deer hunters are even thinking about looking at one of these mysterious beasts. And for Josh Wall of Fairfax, South Carolina, the opening week of his 2017 South Carolina season started off with a bang when a huge 14 pointer stepped out into his food plot on one of his trophy-managed hunting tracts in Allendale County.
“This is my highest scoring SC deer ever, beating a 144-inch, eight point I killed back in 2003,” Wall said. “I hadn’t sat at this location yet this year nor have I had any trail cameras set up in this area.”
For over 15 years, Wall and his family have been practicing trophy management on a variety of different tracts where only bucks 4 ½ years or older make it to the skinning rack.
On the afternoon of Aug. 19, Wall slipped into his deer stand overlooking a lush stand of iron clay peas in hopes of viewing this year’s crop of bucks. And in no time at all, several does and small bucks came out to feed during that hot afternoon in August.
“At 8 pm, does and small bucks looked toward the woods like they always do when more deer are approaching the field and three good bucks stepped out into the food plot with one (being exceptionally large) that I thought was a long-tined nine point,” he said.
Wall pulled up his binoculars and decided this was a shooter.
“I calmed myself down as much as I could and squeezed the trigger,” he said.
The deer scattered and Wall quickly felt as if he had missed the deer clean. He climbed down and went to inspect the area to look for any blood. But, he saw nothing after several scans around the food plot and around the trails entering and exiting the plot. His heart sank and then he began to walk out. On the way out, he decided to shine his light across the wood line one last time and something caught his eye.
“I could see the tips of his tines sticking up out of the brush,” he said.
It was him, but he ended up having 14 points versus the 9 points he counted from his deer stand. It was a beautiful buck with many long tines covered in velvet. Wall calculated a preliminary gross score of 147 inches for this buck, topping his previous best by three inches.
“My brother and I have been fortunate enough to consecutively kill mature deer every year and have been for the last decade because of our strict rules and the summer and fall food plots that we plant every year,” he said.