The morning of Saturday, Nov. 11 turned out to be the best deer hunt Roy Mckenzie of Walhalla has ever had in South Carolina.
Before the season, Mckenzie decided to place a corn feeder and a trail camera on the back of a small piece of private property he owns in Oconee County. In a short time, he had a group of regulars, three small bucks and about five does, visiting his feeder on a regular basis.
A little over a week ago, the camera provided a partial photo of a much better deer, but the photo only showed part of the nose and one side of it’s rack. That prompted the Oconee County Sheriff’s Deputy to spend his day off sitting at the window of the old barn on his property where he had a good view of the feeder just 85 yards away.
Seven minutes into his hunt, a little 6-point stepped out into the open and immediately locked up, staring past the feeder into the high grass. Having been rousted from her bed, a doe stood straight up to face the 6-point.
“I heard a loud grunt and then another deer, a huge buck, stood up beside her,” said Mckenzie. “He was bedded with her in the grass and he ran that 6-point off into the woods before I could get a shot.”
Fortunately, the 6-point stepped back into sight, followed by the bigger deer, but at a distance of 150 yards, leaving Mckenzie nothing but a neck shot.
“It wasn’t much of a target, but it was all I had and I let my old Browning .270 have at him,” he said.
Daunted when the buck didn’t drop, Mckenzie immediately left his stand and went to the spot where the buck had been standing but didn’t see him.
“When I got to the spot, I heard a deer run off in the woods and my heart sank,” he said. “Then I looked on a little further and there he was.”
The deer was green scored at 148 1/8 inches by Jason Grant at Beaverdam Taxidermy in Fairplay where the buck will be mounted. It’s field weight was 215 pounds.
Mckenzie was in for another surprise shortly after he posted photos of his deer on the Upstate SC Deer Hunters Facebook page.
“A guy who hunts close by sent me pictures of this deer and another one almost the same size that he had collected on his trail camera,” he said. “They’d been running together all summer.”
Closer inspection revealed the deer Mckenzie had killed was not the one he had the partial shot of. His deer was bigger, but that meant there was, and still is, another record book deer roaming his property.
“I have a 17 year old daughter that loves to hunt too and I told her she needs to be in the stand every chance she gets,” he said. “I’d be so proud if she could take the other one.”