32-point Velvet Buck Killed In Wilkes County

Kevin Marshall's buck was tough as nails but was finally recovered eight hours later.

Brad Gill | October 26, 2017

It took multiple shots with a muzzleloader and a well-trained tracking dog, but a very tough Wilkes County buck finally went down and was recovered on Oct. 20. The giant 32-pointer was taken by Kevin Marshall, of Bethlehem.

“What most people will never believe is that this buck let me get four shots off at it with a muzzleloader,” said Kevin,

Kevin was hunting in a ground blind in a new spot along a creek bottom that he had discovered a few weeks earlier. The buck showed up at 8:20 a.m.

Kevin Marshall, of Bethlehem, took this 32-point velvet buck in Wilkes County on Oct. 20. The buck was recovered with help from Jeff Andrews and his tracking dog Copper.

“The first shot was a clean miss at 35 yards,” said Kevin. “I neglected to clean the rifle from the Saturday before when I shot at a pig. He ran and stopped at 55 yards. After what seemed like forever, I finally got the gun reloaded, and the second shot was perfect.”

Even with a well-placed hit, the buck staggered off 20 yards and stopped.

“The next reload was a little faster,” said Kevin. “Shot No. 3 hit him high.”

The deer staggered another 30 yards and stopped again.

“Another fumbled reload. Another high hit,” said Kevin.

Kevin watched as the buck left the creek bottom.

“I went to shot No 2, found blood, marked it and went to camp. My nerves were shot,” said Kevin.

Kevin made a great decision and waited three hours for the buck to expire.

“It felt like three days,” said Kevin. “We went to the blood I marked and started trailing. After about 150 to 200 yards, we lost blood. We searched for about an hour and backed out to look for a trailing dog.”

Kevin made another great decision and went online to find a tracking dog on GON’s Dial A Tracking Dog list. He called Jeff Andrews and his dog Copper.

“He showed up around 4:15 p.m.,” said Kevin. “I’ve never used a trailing dog, so this was a first for me. It had been eight hours since I shot. Copper went to the first blood, and he started trailing. He lost it for a few minutes and then went to the creek bottom, and 400 yards from last blood, I heard Jeff yell that Copper had found him. I think we were all in shock.”

When the search party recovered the buck, they knew it was no ordinary buck. He was in full velvet and had many, many points.

“We have counted several times, but 32 points is what we keep coming up with,” said Kevin. “He is a true cactus buck. No testicles. He was aged at 6 1/2 years old. This is my first muzzleloader buck, and the first deer with my new CVA.”

A buck that keeps its velvet indefinitely year after year is often referred to as a cactus buck. It can be caused by injury to the male parts, or, when one or both testes don’t descend into the scrotum of a deer, the condition is called “cryptorchidism.” The result of this condition in a buck is a lower-than-normal level of testosterone, which means antlers don’t go through normal cycles. Antlers on these deer grow in odd shapes, the velvet remains year-round, and the antlers go on growing without being shed. The antlers will continue to grow causing a fuzzy, cactus-like look.

Kevin’s buck is entered in Week 6 of Truck-Buck where he’ll be contending for a new CVA muzzleloader and a spot in the Truck-Buck Shoot-Out next year.

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  1. hunterThebeast618 on November 8, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Someone email me on my personal and we can talk hunting and fishing in ware glynn wayne and brantley as well as camden and pierce counties my personal is [email protected]

  2. hunterThebeast618 on November 7, 2017 at 9:01 am

    has anyone killed any nice bucks out of brantley,ware,glynn,or wayne county so far this season?

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