sc 2013 kid buck

On August 20, 12-year-old Tanner Herndon killed this 240-pound, 140-class giant in Dorchester County. Read the full story here.

Taxidermist Dan Pernell of Summerville is doing the mounting, and he believes this buck will easily be one of the best killed in South Carolina this year, in terms of body weight and antler.

Having just hunted a few miles from where Tanner shot his giant with a .243, I have some thoughts:

Tanner shot his buck in a field of low, green peanuts. You hunt some unusual food sources in the Lowcountry. One evening Krista and I hunted in a cotton field adjacent to a peanut field. “I didn’t know deer would eat cotton,” I said into the camera. “Weird.” But they will; we filmed deer munching on the tender green leaves on top. But cotton is not a preferred food. They tell me that when that same field is rotated into soybeans, you see a lot more deer.

Two evenings earlier, Tyler and his father, Harley, spotted the buck, but it was getting late and they let the buck walk. Krista and I did the same thing the night before she killed her 200-pound buck. A mature 8-point in velvet stepped out into the cotton with two smaller bucks at last light—still legal, but very iffy camera light. Krista did the right thing too and passed. The bucks in the Lowcountry are as tough as I’ve hunted anywhere, spooky and late movers.

It is not surprising that Tanner’s buck was in full velvet. But it did surprise me that when we started hunting on August 22, the bucks were 50-50 velvet and “shed out.” I would have thought 70-30 more toward velvet. But Krista’s old August 23 buck was dark-antlered and polished, like his velvet had been gone for a week.

It didn’t say so in the story, but I’m betting Tanner and Dad had their Thermacell running. We had two of them smoking the whole trip. Lots of rain down there this year…it is August…the mosquitoes will eat you alive in places! And the spiders are bad too, though we did get some amazing spider footage for our hunting show.

Yes, some tough and interesting hunting in the Lowcountry in August. Great going Tanner, great buck and some accomplishment!