Justin Price of Pageland, S.C. killed a 140-class buck, his personal best, on Nov. 3 just four hours after the big deer showed up on his Chesterfield County hunting property’s trail cameras for the first time. And he killed it very close to the same stand he killed his previous personal best, a 129 7/8-inch buck that he took during the month of November four years earlier.
Until then, Price knew he had some good deer on his property. But he knew nothing of this caliber was there until he pulled his camera card around noon that day.
Price hadn’t missed too many Saturdays this year. But on that day, he was taking care of a list of honey-dos for his wife Jessica. The chores took up the entire morning.
“I was sick when I saw the photos. I got three snaps of him and they were all in the daylight,” Price said. “I wanted to show Jessica what I missed, but I just decided I would keep the peace and go give it a try that afternoon instead.”
Price got into the stand around 4 p.m. and an hour and 45 minutes later a doe walked out. She was a mature doe and exactly the kind of deer Price wanted in his area to bring the rutting bucks around. The doe stayed for a short time, then disappeared into the shadows of the nearby woodlands.
The sun began to fall and Price caught movement in the same place where the doe had come from. It was a big buck.
“The buck came strolling in her exact tracks. I glimpsed a large main beam and large body,” he said.
But, the sun was glaring in Price’s eyes and he couldn’t see much else. The deer was at 75 to 80 yards and was moving in the same path as the doe. He would be out of sight soon.
“All I could see was body and a large main beam. It was bigger than any other bodied deer that had walked down that tree line before. It was a no brainer for me and I squeezed off a shot,” he said.
The deer kicked, then ran out of sight.
“I sat for 30 more minutes wondering if I hit the deer or not. I never heard the deer crash or anything. I was kind of worried about it,” he said.
As darkness fell, Price climbed down and went to pick up his dad, Dale Price from his stand several miles away. As they traveled back to the woods where he had shot, his father asked him if it was the same buck he had on camera. Price said he didn’t think so.
Immediately, they found blood that led right to the deer only 10 yards from where Price had seen him last.
“We both went to hollering when we realized it was that big buck we had on camera. I had no idea it was him, but I am sure glad it was!” he said.
Price’s buck weighed 202 pounds and had a 19 ¼-inch inside spread. Carlyle Sutton of Sutton Taxidermy precisely measured the buck to come up with a gross-green score of 141 4/8 inches.