Terrell County Odd-Ball Buck With Hollow Ball-Like Growths On Both Antlers

GON Staff | May 26, 2000

Jerry Melton, of Americus, had been trying to get his friend and business associate Sergio Chavez, of Phenix City, Ala., to go hunting with him all season long. The two friends were finally able to get together on a Wednesday in early December last season. The result of the hunt was one of the most unusual bucks taken from the Georgia woods last season.

Jerry hunted his favorite spot on a 1,500-acre lease in Terrell County and spotted a big-bodied deer in a thicket around 7 a.m. that morning. Jerry could see the deer had an abnormal rack and plenty of points but never got a clear shot. The buck finally chased a doe out of the area.

That afternoon, Jerry was taking Sergio to that stand when the two spotted the buck standing only 30 yards away in the edge of a bottom.

“When I saw that thing, I could not believe it,” Sergio said. “I saw his horns and said ‘this is really something different.’ I knew I had to shoot right away.” One shot from Sergio’s Browning .30-06 ended the hunt. Walking up to the deer after following a 50-yard blood trail, neither Jerry or Sergio could believe what they saw.

The buck had two growths, both of which were hollow, on the beams of its antlers. WRD Biologist Bill Cooper said the growths probably resulted from an injury the buck sustained to his antlers while in velvet.

“The injury probably diverted the blood supply in the same manner that you have an aneurysm in a blood vessel that causes a swelling,” Bill said. “It’s hard to say. It’s not the typical injury you expect to see—usually the antler would just fall off, but this antler continued growing. I’ve seen a lot of different abnormalities but nothing shaped like this to that size.”

Jerry said he was glad he and Sergio finally had the chance to hunt together, and that Sergio killed this most unusual buck.

“He just couldn’t believe he got that deer—he was grinning ear to ear,” Jerry said. “It was certainly a once-in-a-lifetime buck.”

Terrell County’s Odd-Ball Buck presented some interesting challenges to Grayson Roberts, the Leesburg taxidermist who is mounting the buck. Grayson did not have a place to put the ears because of the hollow growths on each antler.

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.