Whitetail Or Upside Down African Buffalo?
This Laurens County buck has some jacked-up antlers, even making our state deer biologist scratch his head.
Brad Gill | February 16, 2023
Corey Wren, of Rentz, killed a buck with such a unique set of antlers that even our state deer biologist is scratching his head.
The Laurens County buck first made an appearance on Corey’s trail camera on Nov. 10, 2021. The buck had two main beams that grew straight out to the side.
“They were almost like handlebars,” said Corey. “We just had that one picture at night. I hunted him all last year, my wife hunted him, and we never saw him or got another picture.”
Fast forward to just over a year later, on Nov. 13, 2022. The buck showed back up on the same camera from 2021. Only this time the buck’s antlers curled and the tips of the beams pointed downward, almost like an African buffalo with its horns upside down.
Then, on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 the buck crossed a food plot 50 yards from the camera that had snapped the two trail-cam photos. Positioned within view was Corey’s wife, Kristen, with a .243 rifle.
“She let him walk because she was after a big 10-pointer we have on our property,” said Corey.
As with most good husband-and-wife hunting duos, there was some discussion after Kristen let the buck go.
“I am like, ‘he’s got bad genes,’” Corey said. “But she wanted that 10-pointer. She did say that she would have shot it if she knew it was going to get her in GON. She stays on me about that, saying that if it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t get in GON. I will say that if she wanted to kill him, she could have. She’s a pretty good shot.”
On Sunday, Dec. 4, Corey was in the stand 300 yards away from where Kristen passed on the buck.
“I was hunting a food plot, but there’s a shooting lane through the pines,” said Corey. “He stepped out at the end of that shooting lane 150 yards away and was facing me. There were two does in the shooting lane, one ran off, and he was steadily coming to me. Then the second doe took off, and he took off. I just knew I’d lost my chance at that point.”
One would think so…
“Five minutes later, he walked out into the shooting lane 75 yards away and gave me a shoulder shot,” said Corey. “He went down. It feels good because of the way it went down with only seeing him twice on camera. My neighbor hunts the land beside me and nobody has ever had him on camera.”
GON showed the photos to Charlie Killmaster, WRD’s state deer biologist, and he said he didn’t have a solid answer as to why the buck grew such crazy antlers.
“That’s pretty crazy, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that particular flavor of antler,” said. Charlie. “I really couldn’t guess as to what the cause could be, maybe some genetic defect that codes antler shape?”
Another deer biologist looked at photos of the jawbone and believes the deer to be 4 1/2 years old.
And the 10-pointer? Well, maybe Kristen will get her picture in GON with him this coming fall.
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