“All I saw was horns walking into the field.” That's how Tom Addley described his first sight of the 135-plus class buck he shot Oct. 16 on a private lease in Anderson County. “He had a very high rack. As soon as I saw him I knew he was a shooter.”
Fate played a major role in giving Addley the opportunity to take the huge buck with a solid 9-point typical rack that taxidermist Chip Hamilton green measured at 137 3/8 inches.
“This was one of my last chances to hunt the property before moving from the upstate to Charleston,” he said. “A friend was supposed to be in my stand that afternoon, but his son had a car accident and he could not make it. I got a phone call at the last minute to come hunt.”
The hunting lease near Starr is managed by Steve Crenshaw who took a 150-class buck there on Halloween 2014.
“I have passed up numerous deer on this property. There is always a good chance of killing a good deer there,” Addley said.
With less than half an hour of daylight left, Addley was watching two does off to the right feeding in a stand of row pines. He turned his head to look straight ahead and saw another doe pop her head out and start feeding. Addley said he glanced back at the two does to the right and when he turned to look at the single doe feeding, all he could see was a head full of antlers.
He downed the buck with his Ruger M77 and he and Crenshaw took it to Hamilton Outfitters Taxidermy & Deer Processing in Easley. Word of the big-racked buck with the big body spread fast and a group of hunters was waiting when they got to Hamilton's shop.
“Chip weighed the deer at 225.2 pounds and the guys there were saying, 'No way,' so he re-calibrated the scales and it weighed 225.2 again,” Addley said.
“There are five points on one side and four on the other and the inside spread is 16 ¾ inches,” said Hamilton who estimated the deer was 5 ½ years old. “The left main beam is 23 inches long and 4 ¾ inches around at the base while the right main beam is 22 ½ inches long and 4 ½ inches at the base. The unusual thing about this rack is that the mass carries all the way out to the end of the main beams. It is thick all the way to the end.”
“I grew up in Upstate New York and have shot several big deer in my life, but this is by far the biggest buck I have shot to date,” Addley said. “It was a beautiful deer and I feel very fortunate to have been able to hunt that land for a long time.”