JACKSON, Mississippi — Stan Ehtredge of Philadelphia, Mississippi, took one of the most unusual deer we’ve ever seen: a rare 36 point buck.
Ethredge had been watching the deer — originally a modest six-pointer — for over three years when he decided to harvest it. But the opportunity never came. “I never got a shot at him,” Stan told news. “I just got pictures.”
Stan continued to monitor the buck. In October, 2016, the deer’s antlers started expressing abnormalities. Stan noticed that the buck’s rack was still covered in velvet, and that it had a big drop tine on one side.
Winter came and went, and the buck never lost its velvet. When all the other bucks started shedding antlers, the six-pointer never did. And its antlers kept getting bigger. By the time 2017 hunting season rolled around, the monster buck’s rack looked like something you’d only find in Deer & Deer Hunting Magazine. While the pictures and excitement for the buck were real, it had managed to stay clear of Stan’s crosshairs for quite a few years. But this hunting season was different. Stan would finally get his once-in-a-lifetime shot on October 20.
“It was about dark and a doe stepped out. She walked toward me and he stepped out. He got about 30 yards from me. I was telling myself to keep my composure. My heart was beating out of my chest.” Stan told the news.
With buck fever setting in, Stan calmed his nerves and came away with a clean shot.
“He’s eluded me for years, so I didn’t want to let him get away. I shot him as soon as I got the chance. I felt pretty good about the shot. He turned and ran away the way he came. I sat there a while and it was the longest hour of my life.”
Fortunately, Stan’s dream buck didn’t travel far. It dropped only 75 yards from his stand.
Stan’s monster buck had an incredible 36 (!) points and a 16-inch spread. It measured in at 227⅜ on the Buckmasters scoring system. And according to William McKinley, deer program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the buck’s unique rack was due to a lack of testosterone production.
“It’s not common, but it’s not uncommon. It could have been disease. It could have been a number of things. If a deer doesn’t have testosterone the antlers continue to grow. They never harden and they never lose velvet.”