Irwin County 17-Point Buck Grosses In The 190s

After net deductions, this deer could net the 170-inch B&C minimum.

Mike Bolton | December 16, 2023

Josh Grantham with his Irwin County buck that’s been rough scored at 190+ total inches and could net in Boone & Crockett status once it is officially scored after the 60-day drying period.

The huge buck that showed up on Josh Grantham’s Irwin County lease each year seemed to have a calendar. It just wouldn’t present the farmer with a shot.

“I got the first picture of him in November of 2020 when he was an 8-point that would score about 135 inches,” Josh said. “I never saw him in person and none of the neighbors ever saw him. I don’t know where he came from or where he went.”

When November of 2021 came around, the buck appeared on Josh’s camera again. The buck never appeared during the daylight hours. In November of 2022, it appeared on camera again, and its antlers had taken a huge growth spurt. Josh hunted him hard, and he was rewarded by finally getting a glimpse of him in the daylight. He couldn’t get a shot.

“I’m in this lease with my brother and a friend,” he said. “It’s about 350 acres. We all farm and hunt when we can. This buck would only appear on our property between Nov. 1 and Nov. 10. We’d never saw him any other time of the year. The neighbors never saw him.”

Just when Josh thought he may have the buck patterned this year, it would throw him a curveball. It appeared on his game camera in July, but not in November.

“We farm peanuts. corn and cotton, and it was an exceptionally busy year for us,” he said. “I didn’t have the chance to hunt the buck very hard. I was on a tractor from August to November. We weren’t getting him on camera, so I figured someone might have killed him.”

On Nov. 10, Josh was preparing to go hunting in Texas. He decided to spend the day taking all the game cameras down.

“I decided, ‘What the heck, I might as well sit part of the day and see what I could see,’ he said. “At 8 a.m., the buck appeared 200 yards away. I knew instantly it was him.”

Josh shot and the buck ran off. This deer wasn’t finished torturing the farmer.

“I couldn’t find a drop of blood,” he said. “We were leaving for Texas that night. We decided we better find someone with a tracking dog.”

Fortunately for Josh, Matt McCallum and his dog found the buck about 100 yards from where it was shot. It was piled up in some broom straw.

“It was something,” he said. “It was a 17-point with one tine broken off. We scored it, and it grossed 193 inches. It has to dry, of course, but I believe it will net somewhere around 170 inches. I’m just hoping it will make Boone & Crockett.”

Josh is kicking himself for an oversight that occurred during the busy farming season.

“In 2018 , I killed a big buck and was a subscriber to GON, so I was entered in the Truck-Buck Contest,” he said. “My subscription lapsed this year, and I didn’t get around to renewing.” Josh said his brother got the magazine, so there was always a GON in the tractor cab or truck. “I don’t know if I would have won that week or not. A lot of big bucks are killed that week.”

Irwin County Best Bucks Of All-Time

1160 5/8 Ronald Merritt2010IrwinGun
2182 3/8 (NT)Josh Grantham2023IrwinGunView 
3158 7/8 Charles Johnson2001IrwinFound
4155 6/8 Bill Lyles1999IrwinGun
5155 4/8 James Aultman2007IrwinGunView 
6154 1/8 Jeremy Phillips2016IrwinGunView 
7153 2/8 Josh Grantham2018IrwinGunView 
8153 Sammy Smith1997IrwinGun
9152 Jay Hall2008IrwinGunView 
10149 4/8 Chris Cook2017IrwinGunView 

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