One group of hunting club members near the Gilmer and Murray County line are heartbroken after hearing of a well-known buck from the area being struck by a car.
Timmy Lowe, a Murray County deputy, responded to a call Aug. 27 involving a car that had hit a monster buck. Just west of the Gilmer County line on Hwy 282 in Murray County, the car collided with a huge 10-point buck with a huge rack still wrapped with velvet.
“I’ve worked many calls involving deer, but nothing of this size,” said Deputy Lowe.
A lady from Dalton reported the call to 911 stating she hit a deer, and it was still alive, but by the time Lowe had reached to wreck site, the buck had died.
Lowe attempted to get with DNR Law Enforcement Ranger Casey Jones, but he was held up on a call of his own and couldn’t come to the scene immediately.
“I drug it into the woods to get it off the road and to also give me time to run into town and come back to the deer,” said Lowe. “I wanted to get it mounted and donate it to the sheriff’s office.”
However, before Lowe could get back to the scene to attend to the deer, someone removed its antlers. It’s not illegal for someone to remove antlers from a road-killed deer, although it did ruin Lowe’s plans to recognize the big buck.
“Whoever removed the antlers was probably someone who saw it while I was working the scene,” said Lowe. “The base of his horns were as big as Coke cans.”
Lowe later found out that a police officer from the hunting club near where the buck was hit had been watching the giant buck on trail cameras for several years. It was confirmed to be the same buck due to a noticeable cut on its left ear.
“After realizing that, I would have given the mount to those guys. It was basically their deer,” said Lowe, “I would want someone to do the same for me.”
With the rack still in velvet and still several more weeks to grow its antlers, Lowe is confident the buck would have been one of the top deer ever taken in Murray County. According to GON’s County-by-County Big-Buck Rankings, the current No. 1 deer from Murray County scores 166 5/8 inches and was taken by Jacob Castleberry in 2011.
“People wait years to kill a buck of that size,” said Lowe.
Hopefully the rack will turn up, and the antlers can be measured. Road-kills can still be listed in official county rankings. If you have info, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call GON at (800) 438-4663.